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Arts and Entertainment

It Was 40 Years Ago Today

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In the springtime when the Hollywood Bowl announced their schedule, a friend of mine made sure to secure tickets to the “Sgt. Pepper’s at 40...a Beatles Celebration featuring Cheap Trick”. For some reason he agreed to go camping at Catalina Island for the weekend with friends, so I ended up with tickets for Saturday night's performance.

Looking around the audience in our Section R1 seats, the audience was what was expected for a bunch of people who grew up with Beatles’ posters tacked to their walls while imagining being devirginized by John.

Surprisingly I got no response and a couple of glares when I asked where the pot and acid were.

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The show was broken up in two acts, the first being a bunch of Beatles’ numbers and the second being Sgt/ Pepper’s in its entirety.

Let's just say the first act was mostly devoid of emotion. Rick Nielson Robin Zander (as you can tell I'm a huge Cheap trick fan) singing "Magical Mystery Tour" was great and all, but Joan Osbourne's rendition of "Long and Winding Road" nearly put me to sleep. Even when Ian Ball of Gomez sang "Strawberry Fields Forever", I was ruing the fact I didn't bring a pillow.

The highlight of the show was near the end of the first act when Al Jourgensen of Ministry came out to horribly sing "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". He came out taunting the audience calling them old and rich. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see Al performing on the Hollywood Bowl stage, and from the laughs and gasps of the audience no one else did either.

During intermission there were people mumbling, "Who are Ministry?" I couldn't help but laugh recalling the show they did in 1996 at the Palladium on the SphincTour. Ah those were the days.

The reminiscing continued in the second act for me during the recreation of Sgt. Pepper's complete with sitars, tablas, double violins and tanpuras for "Within You Without You". Back in my senior year of high school, my friend Arshad and I would ditch school every Monday. A lot of the time Sgt. Pepper's would be in the tape deck as we went to Oceanside for a hamburger, Santa Barbara to see the campus and Temecula just because.

And that was what made this show great despite the stiffness of the performers or the horrible mixing. This show gave us an hour to recall what it was like in our hey day smoking our pot, dropping our acid, drinking until our brains corroded.

Yeah I know that I'm becoming an old fat fuck, but after seeing Al Jourgensen on stage I realize I'm not the only one.

Set list thanks to Mr. Andy Sternberg:

Act I
1. Orchestra Medley
2. Magical Mystery Tour (Cheap Trick)
3. Strawberry Fields (Ian Ball of Gomez)
4. Lady Madonna (Joan Osbourne)
5. Long and Winding Road (Joan Osbourne)
6. Norwegian Wood (Rob Laufer)
7. Blackbird (Rob Laufer)
8. Eleanor Rigby (Orchestra only)
9. I Want You (She's So Heavy) (Al Jourgensen)
10. Carry that Weight (Cheap Trick)

Act II - Sgt. Pepper's Recreation

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Encore - All You Need Is Love

BTW, I'm a little upset Cheap Trick didn't sneak in "He's a Whore" or "Surrender".

Image courtesy PoconoPCDoctor via flickr