Every great city has its legendary music venues. Every great city has its history of legendary musical events. And every once in awhile a city, a venue and a collection of talented artists come together to make certain words like ‘legend’ keep their value in the lexicon of musical lore. These are often ‘one-offs’, spontaneous meetings in a studio or on a stage, that are seldom publicized and thus very often missed. So when the event comes with a bit of warning that it is about to go down – you want to jump on that opportunity.
This Friday August 3rd, McCabe’s Guitar Shop (and one of my favorite live music venues in the world) is presenting ‘A Hard Day’s Night of Storytelling’. Organized by The Rock Godz Must Be Crazy and benefitting The GRAMMY Music Education Coalition, the evening will include a terrific group of guests in a discussion sharing reminiscences of their own interactions with John, Paul, George and Ringo. The GRAMMY Music Education Coalition partners with institutions and organizations such as Berklee School of Music, NAMM, and VH-1 Save the Music to build universal music education programs in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. It is a terrific program with a great cause – and in a time when support for art and music is more and more on the defensive, this evening of serious and not so serious recollections of one of the most important and loved groups of all time affords the opportunity to hear new, possibly even never told stories, and to help grow the next generation of musical talent.
The evening will be moderated by UCLA adjunct professor David Leaf (writer / producer of “You Can’t Do That: The Making of A Hard Day’s Night”, co-writer, director and producer of “The US vs. John Lennon” and director of “Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile“). Guests for the discussion will include –
- Los Angeles television and radio legend Bob Eubanks who promoted the Fab Four’s Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium shows. The Dodger Stadium concert (August 26, 1966) was the next to last live public appearance the band would play and Eubanks will talk about an experience to which no other promoter can lay claim: negotiating with both Dodger owner Walter O’Malley and Beatles manager Brian Epstein. He will also share his memories of the band’s near disastrous escape after their performance.
- Guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber who in addition to a stellar solo career as a composer, performer, studio musician and film scorer was an early member of Wings, played with McCartney on much of his solo work and also appeared as the mis-credited Lawrence Tuber on Ringo’s ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’
- El Camino College’s own Chris Montez who’s 1962 hit ‘Let’s Dance’ led to a tour with The Beatles opening shows for him in NY, London and Northampton. Montez later worked with Herb Alpert at A&M Records. Can’t wait to hear his memories about The Beatles and the early days of rock and roll in the City of Angels.
- H.B. Barnum. Who happened to also be making music in Hamburg in 1961! One look at his body of work as a musician, composer, arranger, performer, producer and philanthropist on behalf of the homeless in Los Angeles and I know I want hear what he has to share. Anyone whose arranging credits run from Lamont Dozier to Gladys Knight, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations and Sean Combs is a legend already.
- Ken Fritz – The Smothers Brothers manager who saw John Lennon and Harry Nilsson tossed from Doug Weston’s Troubadour one fateful evening during Lennon’s infamous ‘lost weekend’ of 1974 for their disruptions of his clients’ show.
There will be other surprise ‘sharers’ and even a musical performance or two by guests who will be revealed as the evening progresses. In addition Rockaway Records, one of the world’s premier purveyors of Beatles memorabilia, has donated some very cool items to a charity auction, which will be held at the event.
The Rock Godz Must Be Crazy is a philanthropic organization co-founded by Richard Foos (co-founder of Rhino Records and Shout! Factory) and Jerry Leichtling (co writer of “Peggy Sue Got Married Last Night” and one of my and Roger Ebert’s favorite films of 1994 “Blue Sky”). Their charity events are classy and classic. This offering is being produced by Mitch Koulouris Founder / former CEO of Digital Music Group, former member of the GRAMMY Executive Board and a current GRAMMY voting member. It is going to be a great evening, for a great cause. Come out and hear some stories about one of the greatest bands ever to take a stage that have never told in public before. And help some kids get exposed to what could be life changing experiences through music.
For those out of town or otherwise unable to attend – the event will be streamed. You can access the link to stream by clicking the ‘Like’ button at the Facebook page for The Rock Godz Must Be Crazy.
For tickets or other information abut the show or the venue contact McCabe’s at: (310) 828 – 4497 or through their website: https://www1.mccabes.com