Sunday, August 17, 2008


A few things I learned from the "It Was Forty Years Ago Today" concert, which paid tribute to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album:

1. Those who say that rock and roll music can't scare or offend anyone is a jaded industry person. I attended this show - not the most rock and roll night of my life or even of my week - and people were leaving because it was "too loud."

2. Christopher Cross is still alive. For real! He performed "Theme From 'Arthur,'" "Sailing" and "Ride Like The Wind" as well as a few Beatles songs.

3. A good way to make Foreginer songs sound rocking is to have their lead singer perform right after Christopher Cross. But, man, Lou Gramm ain't looking so great. But he still sings pretty well. I'm not sure about his math skills though. At one point during the show, he said: "There's a lot of you out there. A lot of you!" It wasn't that crowded.

4. Bo Bice is a singer who was once on American Idol.

5. OK, I knew that, I'm just being a contrarian. No Expiration readers know I'm rarely negative, so you've got to indulge me when I hate just a little bit.

6. The Beatles music is incredibly enduring. My wife (who dubbed the show "a soft rock nightmare," hence the title of this post) watched this show with my cousin's kids (age 13 and 10) and both of them knew almost all of Sgt. Pepper's. Why? The film Across The Universe.

7. The music of Foreigner, Christopher Cross, et al, doesn't hold up quite so well. Although Todd Rundgren's solo songs, notably "I Saw The Light" and "Bang On The Drum All Day" entertained my young relatives.

Yes, my wife and I caught this so-unhip-it's-camp show. I didn't care: the tour hit the summe resort where my family spent a few days, and it sounded like it would be fun. I was hoping that my little cousins would enjoy The Beatles' music, and I was delighted that they did. Rundgren stole the show every time he hit the stage (he was the only guy with any sense of self-awareness) but overall, it was good, in a high-school musical production kind of way. You really can't miss with those songs unless you're really bad, and say what you want about the "cool" factor of the lineup, these guys are all pros. But now I'm looking forward to seeing Paul McCartney tour in the fall - or at least The Fab Faux.

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