February 18, 2014

Band on the Rundown - Invasion 50 Brunch Style

By Joe Johnson, Beatle Brunch Host

The Beatle Brunch 50 Year Anniversary of Beatlemania was out of this world, and out of the country!  For the past year, most fans have wanted to know if we were playing Mind Games with them by holding an American Invasion Celebration in Mexico. Well, now you'll know we weren't. Here's The Band on the Rundown.

FOUR FAB Days of Concert Celebrations grew Wings when it began Thursday night. Wing's lead guitarist, two time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber opened the evening with a photo slide show of his time in Paul's band. It's all coming to fruition when LJ's new book, "Guitar With Wings" comes out. He's no paperback writer, this Juber character, this is a full blown Wings related collectible. We urge you to order your limited edition signed copy in advance at LaurenceJuber.com.

Imagine All The Pipers
After dinner, Beatles fans were served dessert: Tim Piper's Just Imagine, a musical biopic of John Lennon. What a story of John's life, told to his musical legacy, led by an amazing band featuring brother Greg on bass, Morley on Keyboards, Don on guitar and Lester on the skins. Lennon's legend was portrayed spot on, with videos side by side, taking the fans through a mystical journey of Lennon's life.  To bring them even closer, Tim strolled and strummed the audience with Lennon sing-alongs.  Their show ended with the premier of Tim's latest music video release, "The Shot Heard Round The World."  View the video on BrunchRadio.com.

Guitar with Wings
Friday evening at 8 o'clock as the day begins, Wings lead guitarist Laurence Juber opened with a selection of finely crafted Beatle instrumentals and original compositions that showcase LJ as clearly, The Best lead guitarist working today.  He plays a finger-picking style, but also makes magic playing bass lines and melodies with his left hand, finger picking and strumming with his right, while all the while, keeping time thumping on the guitar. Host Joe J asked Laurence where the rest of the band was hiding. His playing set the perfect mood for our next guest, an "actual" Beatle, Pete Best.  The Pete Best Band, who after a brief, spirited interview with Host Joe Johnson, launched into an hour of Beatles and cover tunes that brought down the house.  Fans were really impressed that Pete flew all the way from Liverpool, some 25 hours to perform just for us - boy are his Wings tired.

Speaking of which, One Wing became 7 when Laurence Juber and Denny Seiwell jumped on stage Saturday night with "Band On The Run". These guys were not stuck against a black wall, they were truly out there, getting "Hi Hi Hi" with an hour's worth of solo Beatles and Wings material, lead by  "Macca" impersonator and Fab artist Peter Paul Sacco. BOTR played a great selection of Beatles and solo songs from the McCartney songbook. Laurence and Denny made sure to cover both spectrums of Wings: The original band and the last.  The boys jammed on not often heard live tunes like "Rockestra Theme", "Junior's Farm", "Soily" and of course, crowd favorites like "Live and Let Die" and "Band on the Run". It was an over the top sensory experience to be front and center for the show.  This unique performance rivaled even a grandiose "Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame" jam. L J's searing lead guitar played off licks from the band including Denny's 'four corner mojo' on drums, but this was just an appetizer for what was to come on Sunday night.

Beatle Brunch Finale: The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Sunday, February 9, 1964 at 8:03 pm, The Beatles exploded on American television  for the first time when Ed Sullivan introduced the lads from Liverpool - "The Beatles, here they are!"  74 million viewers witnessed a television and cultural blast that opened the flood gates for The British Invasion. On the same night, 50 years later, Joe J. stepped onto the stage of The Hard Rock Riviera Maya in Cancun at precisely 8:03 to deliver the opening monologue to The Ed Sullivan Show, true to the original, complete with sponsors.  When JJ launched into "The Beatles!", the curtain parted for Invasion 50, starring Band on the Run, running through the same 5-song set The Beatles played 50 years to the second. Everyone in the room was taken back to Broadway and 53rd and to the moment we all saw The Boys for the first time.  Middle-aged fans became screaming teenagers again, while teenagers of today, also filling the room, screamed like Yesterday was today.  After the first five, LJ joined Band On The Run till lights out, not only recreating Wings classics, but performing note-perfect renditions of  "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "I Want You (She's so Heavy)", and "Sgt Peppers / The End" with the double drumming of Denny and Brad on drums.

Thanks to all who traveled far and wide - Mark Mayrsohn came from a business meeting in Berlin, Germany to join his family at the celebration. Jim Berkenstadt, author of "The Beatle Who Vanished" came to the event on his own dime to discuss his book. And last, but not least, as Beatles fans we seek good karma in most everything - Beatle Brunch would like to extend a very special appreciation to Angela DeDomenico of Music In M'Ocean who initiated the whole enchilada. Even though she was not present due to personal family issues, this truly remarkable, unforgettable musical milestone, The Beatles Anniversary - 50 Years of Beatlemania would NOT have been possible without her efforts. It was a lifetime celebration each one of us experienced, and we hope everyone witnessed the great time we had in Cancun. Let's go back soon!

And overall - BIG kudos to BBC Members, Bob and Laurie Gohl for the daily filming of our Cancun event.

And Since We're Talking 1964

The 30 year long traveling Beatle Band, 1964 The Tribute, did just that this past weekend, when they honored The Beatles 2nd Ed Sullivan show live from the same stage, in the same room, on the same night, 50 years to the weekend that Ed brought his full show to "Miamuh Beach". America's delightful Mitzi Gaynor was overshadowed by The Boys, who were enjoying unparalleled success in "our country".  1964 took the stage to recreate the same six Sullivan songs The Beatles played in 1964: "She Loves You", "This Boy", "All My Loving", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand".  1964 The Tribute is unique in that they only play songs from The Boys touring years.

After the Sullivan set, they launched into 90 minutes of fan favorites, including "Twist and Shout" and "In My Life". The Deauville Hotel, fortunately for fans, is stuck in a time warp.  Many of the same light fixtures and hotel décor remain in place, taking fans back in time along with the music. A HUGE thanks goes out to Mark Johnson, Strut Productions, for all his hard work producing a 'FABulous Shew'!

The Faux and Jaux Hope You Will Enjoy The Shaux

Five amazing musicians backed by the Hogs Head Horns and Crème Tangerine Strings, will get back to the Parker Playhouse stage this Saturday night, February 22nd.  The Fab Faux, led by 30 year Letterman Band bass player Will Lee, and Conan's musical director Jimmy Vivino have made South Florida a Fab Faux stop for the past five years. They travel from every corner of the U.S. to give us a show expertly performed, note perfect, that even The Beatles say they couldn't perform live. They're not just there to love you and hold your hand, you'll treated to rarely performed songs like "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "And Your Bird Can Sing", and the night wouldn't be complete with out Jack Petruzzelli's amazing vocal on "Oh! Darling", the song that brings down the house. 

Joe J makes you this promise: "If you come see The Fab Faux, you'll say, 'I'll never miss this show again".  Tickets for Saturday's show are almost sold out. Get em while you can, including meet and greets, at ParkerPlayhouse.com

Congratulations to Will Lee for being inducted into "The Musician's Hall of Fame."