Let's all get up and wave to a tune that was a hit soon after your mother was born;
though she was born a long long time ago,
your mother would know;
your mother would know.
And your grandmother
and your father and your grandfather.
Uncle Albert would know it too-- Uncle Albert Schram, who conducted the orchestra last night.
You see him here in the background of this alternative-fact unauthorized photo.
In fact, Albert knows those old Beatles tunes so very thoroughly. He conducted the Charlotte Pops through an incredibly rousing symphonic accompaniment last night. I could hardly believe it.
Take the infamous John Lennon composition Day in the Life piece, for instance. It's on Sergeant Pepper's.
When I first heard that strange finale in 1967, my sixteen-year-old mind didn't know what to make of it.
Whatever it meant or did not mean (we were all wondering), it signaled that the Beatles had turned a huge corner in their musical development, from pop-music fab-four phenom to . . . ???
". . . found my way upstairs and had a smoke. Somebody spoke and I went into a dream, Ohhhh, oh oh ohhhh. . ."
Now in 2017, it means. . .hell, I don't know what it means.
That such a cacophonic cadence as that Day in the Life finale could actually be orchestrally performed was amazing to me last night. All these years, I thought it was just Brian Epstein's or George Martin's studio tricks.
Tony Kishman, the musician who fulfills the Paul McCartney role, pointed out that John, Paul, George and Ringo had never done this with a live symphony back in the day when they were in their heyday. Pretty interesting, I thought. Now their aged Sgt. Pepper's studio wizardry has morphed into this phenomenal "tribute" event performed by an incredibly talented Beatles-tribute band. And however many hundreds or thousands of us geezers were enthusiastically waving our lit-up phones while singing.
"Naa naa naa, na na na naa, na na na nah, Hey Jude!"
"Take a sad song and make it better. . ."
Take an old song, and make it rock again . . . is what these guys do, the Classical Mystery Tour (they call themselves) along with our jubilant audience-participle thronging of us when-I-get-older-losing-my-hair baby boomers. I mean it was, like, so far out man.
Just how many 64-year-olds there were waving their devices and singing Hey Jude in that theatre last night, I do not know. But I can tell you this. A rocking good time was had by all, including the band. Just some good clean fun, y'all.
Tony also said something to us that, as he so poignantly pointed out, Paul had never said to a Beatles audience. "Visit our website."
Haha! Ain't it the truth. Who'd have thunk it, that all this stuff would happen since those halcyon smoky days of yore.
But hey, life goes on. Times change, and most of us get a little stuck in our minds back in that time of unsure discovery when we passed through teendom while wearing bell-bottoms, wondering who Lucy in the Sky was. And if you're have trouble remembering the '60's, it's probably because. . .
Never mind. Beneath the surface, something very special was always going on.
Underneath it all, such a time as that had never happened before, nor would ever again.
But this is true even now; its part of the mystery tour of this life. Our kids will never view it, nor comprehend it, the same way we did. Nor could we see it the way our parents did.
Our parents had grown up in the 1930's with Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington, Louie Armstrong and George Gershwin, and that was all well and good and they did their thing.
That greatest generation--who then grew up to fight the Nazis back into their holes back in the 1940's--that generation came back from the Big War, started generating us boomers like there's no tomorrow. And at some point in the '60's, there was indeed some serious question about whether there would BE a tomorrow, because Khruschev and Kennedy almost blew the whole damn world up over those alternative-fact nukes down in Cuba.
When we boomers came along, the old War--the one they call WWII--was so intense, and still fresh in our parents' memory and experience. But it was just history-book stuff for us. As John had sung:
"I read the news today, oh boy, the English army had just won the war.
A crowd of people turned away, but I just had to look,
having read the book."
If you don't know what I'm talking about, read a newspaper, or a book, or hazard a listen.