Last night I was privileged to see Rock Albums Live at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando and had the most un-enhanced drug trip of my life. Sgt. Pepper's was not made with concert type songs. It was a studio produced album that changed the way music would be produced for the rest of our lifetimes.
I'm not exactly sure how many musicians it took to create this masterpiece in 1967, but it took 14 to recreate it live. Besides the normal lead, rhythm, bass (right handed last night) and drums, the stage was filled with violin, viola, cello, trumpets, glockenspiel, tambourine, and sound effects to name a few. By the time "She's Leaving Home" came up I was speechless and consumed with the sound. Not because of the musicians last night, but because I couldn't believe 4 men (but mostly 2 of them) were able to write this library of music in the 60's and every song is better than the last. I was born listening to the Beatles. My dad used to rock me to sleep as a baby to Abbey Road. The first song I ever learned to play on guitar was Rocky raccoon. I sang "Michelle" as an audition song when I was 12. And I'm pretty sure my future song will be able to say the exact same thing.
The stage lit up and the guitar solo began and I became aware of the audience members around me. To my right was two fathers in their late 40's and their two sons around the ages of 10 and 12. All four of them sang along to With A Little Help From my Friends. A younger couple stood to my far right with their 4 year old daughter who danced as freely as she could to Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. Behind us was three generations of a family all yelling at different times to their favorite song. The man in front of me closed his eyes throughout the hour long recreation and tapped his foot and mouthed the words. He let his head sway to the beat and crunched up his forehead and eyes when the music moved him more. I figured he was my dad's age and assumed when this album came out in '67, he was in college, protesting the war and doing more than drugs than all of us in this generation can get our hands on. Then up the aisle came a 70 year old woman bopping to the tune of Lovely Rita. Through the gray hairs and artificial hip, I saw a girl free from all the medicare and social security problems. Most likely going to call her grandchildren tomorrow and tell them while they were playing Rockband and texting their friends at home, grandma was out living a REAL Rock life and dancing with kids younger than them!
Shockingly, during "A Day in the Life", I thought to myself This could be the future of music. This is where music has the chance to go. Does anybody else realize how ridiculous this statement is?? This music broke all barriers 45 years ago and set the standard for all musicians. After the concert we went out to the bars and dance clubs and it is not humanly possible to listen to 2.5 hours of Beatles music and then listen to "Call Me Maybe" and "I'm Sexy and I know it" without putting your head in a wall. I was talking to a buddy and we were talking about classic rock and I said that I feel that music is out there somewhere, but without MTV (the way I remember it), radio stations, and record and cd sales we can only listen to what the popular culture wants us to listen to and sadly that will continue to be shit that I just don't have any respect for.
Long live Rock n Roll.