Thursday, June 1, 2017

It was 50 years ago today!

50 years ago today the greatest record album ever made was released.  I was 15 and a year or so from driving.  So, I managed to get my Dad to take me the the foremost record store in Tucson (the name now escapes me) so I could buy my copy.  I purchased the Mono version because it was less expensive than a stereo copy (plus my record player had only one speaker anyway).

I gingerly took the record from its sleeve and began to play the first song.  It was like nothing I'd ever heard.  The crowd noise, the strings warming up and then Paul McCartney's guitar introduction leading to: "It was 20 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play..."  I sat in awe through side one and I thought to myself, "Side two can't possibly be as good."  And, of course, I was wrong. And when the final note of "A Day in the Life" (with each Beatle on a piano) was played, I was gobsmacked.  The Beatles had produced a masterpiece.

50 years on and nothing has changed.  I purchased the newly remastered stereo version of Pepper last week.  It was like hearing it for the first time all over again (Does that sound like something Yogi Berra would say).  Giles Martin (son of Pepper producer, George Martin) took 21st century technology and brought the album alive.  It's like seeing something in black and white and then seeing the same thing again in brilliant color.

A couple of years ago some seminary friends and their wives and Sherri and I met in Branson, Missouri for a reunion.  The highlight of the trip for me was enjoying the performance of the Liverpool Legends.  They are a Beatles tribute band headed up by Louise Harrison, the older sister of George Harrison.  The Legends were amazing! The music was spot on - every guitar lick, every drum fill was perfect! The Pepper logo was painted on the front of the stage and I couldn't resist having my picture taken with it.  As we made our way home following the concert, I had to conclude: "A splendid time was had by all!"