Wednesday evening, October 11, brought one of those rare treats in life as “something special” surfaced, totally unexpectedly. When the General (Jim Stephens), back in the spring, invited Rosie and me to join him and Elizabeth in attending a Beatles tribute concert at Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre in October, I had no idea what was in store.
Upon arrival, anticipating the concert by a cover band appropriately named “The Mersey Beatles,” little did I anticipate spending time with John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, and reminiscing about John’s youth and the Fab Four.
Julia’s book, “Imagine This,” was available for signing as she described growing up with her famous brother. I asked her if either she or John realized, when they were kids, how much enormous talent he possessed. “Neither of us did,” she said. “It was something that just evolved over time.”
I then asked her who her favorite Beatle was (excluding John, of course). Because of our locale, I should have anticipated the politically correct answer when she replied “Elvis.”
All in all, the night was a 10 in every respect. If you closed your eyes and simply listened, you would have thought the Beatles were back on stage. The group was that good! The first set was devoted to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the most famous album in world history.
Following intermission, the band changed into their “early Beatles” outfits and pleased the audience with great hits such as “She Loves You,” Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Hey Jude,” and countless others. It was déjà vu all over again.
The information projected onto the screen behind the Mersey Beatles was most informative, as this Beatles admirer learned some new trivia. Did you know that, when John Lennon appeared at Madison Square Garden in 1972 (following the Beatles breakup), he performed only one song by the Fab Four? And it was? “Come Together,” of course.
The original Beatles performed 294 concerts at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, perfecting their skills. And did they ever!
Sometimes as we go through life, we just have to stop for a few hours and “smell the roses”—or, in this case, the special fragrances of Strawberry Fields. And living life is easy with eyes closed (even at 64); misunderstanding all you see even has its advantages.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.