This weekend, Beatles tribute Yesterday and Today comes to the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and I got a chance to talk to the group’s Billy McGuigan for a story that runs later this week.
I’m concurrently reading volume one of Mark Lewisohn’s projected trilogy, "All These Years." It’s a bit of a commitment, because it clocks in at darn near 1,000 pages. But, that’s OK, I’ve been a Beatles fan longer than I’ve been a fan of anything else (except the Mets), so it’s a subject I’m keen on.
I haven’t seen many of the Beatles tributes, though I was lucky enough to see the original cast of Beatlemania on Broadway when I was 10 (thanks Mom!) and to spend some time with Milwaukee’s Reed Kailing, who was the understudy when I saw the show and later stepped into the full-time McCartney role.
I took one of my kids to see the new Beatlemania (with my mom, of course, to keep the streak alive) a few years ago, too.
What sets Yesterday and Today apart is that they don’t bother with wigs and costumes and fake Liverpudlian accents. And, they take requests. In fact, audience requests are the sole source for the group’s set lists.
That got me thinking about which songs I’d request, when I go. Here’s my not-so-shortlist. I stopped myself at a dozen (in alphabetical order), or I’d just keep going. Post yours using the talkback feature below...
- "All Together Now," because I can remember dancing around like a crazy kid to it for my grandfather.
- "And Your Bird Can Sing," because, well, the guitars, right?
- "Anna (Go To Him)," if covers are on tap, because it’s such a brilliant Lennon vocal.
- "Devil in Her Heart," again, a cover, this time because of George’s double-tracked vocal performance and the sound of the guitars.
- "Hey Bulldog," because.
- "I’m Only Sleeping," one of the best songs from my favorite era ("Rubber Soul" and "Revolver")
- "I Need You," for its great melody, the volume-controlled guitar, the cowbell, the strumming acoustic and the stellar middle eight.
- "She Said She Said," because, really, I would list most of "Revolver."
- "Strawberry Fields Forever," which tore open a new hole; the Mellotron, the fantastic drumming and and and...
- "There’s a Place," which has a fabulous melody and a nice group vocal, showcasing the Beatles’ harmony skills.
- "Things We Said Today," because, well, have you heard it? I mean, yes.
- "The Word," as a representative of "Rubber Soul," which like "Revolver" is full of worthy tunes.
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