BEATLES FANS REJOICE WITH THE WHITE ALBUM TRIBUTE

Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

 

Beatles fans gathered at the Wind Creek Event Center Saturday night for a celebration of The White Album performed by a unique pairing of veteran rockers.

Almost representing each decade of rock were Micky Dolenz, of sixties Monkees’ fame, Joey Molland, the surviving member of the classic line-up of Badfinger, Todd Rundgren, of Nazz, and Utopia, and achieved a successful solo career, Jason Scheff, of Chicago, and Grammy winner, Christopher Cross.

Beatles fans gathered at the Wind Creek Event Center Saturday night for a celebration of The White Album performed by a unique pairing of veteran rockers.

Almost representing each decade of rock were Micky Dolenz, of sixties Monkees’ fame, Joey Molland, the surviving member of the classic line-up of Badfinger, Todd Rundgren, of Nazz, and Utopia, and achieved a successful solo career, Jason Scheff, of Chicago, and Grammy winner, Christopher Cross.

“It was 50 years ago today” tour is actually off a year, it was 51 years ago the White Album was released, but we won’t hold that against them. It’s predecessor, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, has been named as the most successful album by Rolling Stone Magazine, and the contrast between these two albums, and behind the scenes is as different as night and day.

The White Album, a double album release, as a whole showed great diversification. For many Beatles fans back in the day, each album release was a must have. The lyrics, and musical experimentations were a sign that the times were changing not only with the world, but also within the lives of these four lads.

Historically, The White Album indicated the beginning of the end of The Beatles. They no longer toured, and the Lennon-McCartney songwriting sessions became more isolated, as each songwriter emerged individually. Each of The Beatles began to discover their individual musical paths. As this album was recorded, it became common that each Beatle had individual studio time to complete the album.

The crowd was excited for the show to begin as they clapped and cheered until the lights dimmed. A portion of “Revolution 9” was played as the band took the stage. “Back in the USSR”, kicked off the first set, followed by “Dear Prudence”, with Scheff as lead vocalist, then “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”, Rundgren carried the vocals.

A portion of the set highlighted each musician’s best loved hits, and Dolenz brought “I’m a Believer”, and “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. Molland performed “Baby Blue” and “No Matter What”. Scheff’s picks were “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “25 or 6 to 4”, which featured razor sharp guitar riffs which produced the first standing ovation. Rundgren followed with “I Saw the Light”, and “Think of Me”, which brought the second standing ovation. Cross added “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind.” Cross joked with the audience as he segwayed, “In all fairness, The Beatles had some good songs too.”

Back on The Beatles track, the first set was winding down with “Honey Pie” with Cross alone on stage on acoustic guitar. Dolenz’s vocals were strong with “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”, and Rundgren closed the set on lead vocals with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

After a brief intermission, the second set contained 14 more White Album tracks, which featured “Blackbird”, “Julia”, “Mother Nature’s Son”, “Rocky Raccoon”, “Revolution1”, “Sexy Sadie”, “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, and “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”. The crowd rose to their feet for “Helter Skelter” and the set closed with “Birthday”.

The band returned for an encore and played “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, and the audience sang and clapped along.

Each of these musicians gave a performance that did this tribute great justice. Interestingly, several had direct relationships with one or all of The Beatles. Molland, of Badfinger, was one of the first bands signed with Apple Records, Rundgren has toured with Ringo Starr’s All Star Band, and Dolenz, appeared on Sgt. Pepper, and spent time with The Beatles.