Meet & Greet

Gretsch presents: Live coverage of Abbey Road on the Potomac

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A+ Dropouts

These kids (and I DO mean "kids," not the 20- or 30-somethings we rockers emeritus might also consider "kids") were playing on an outdoor stage as Kim, Jason, Phil Short, and I headed for supper at Cadillac Ranch.

I couldn't resist the photo ops.

They were doing a mix of youth-metalized Beatles and originals. The first clip catches the very end of a song, with the young lady tearing up lead on a Daisy Rock. Unfortunately, there were mix problems on "Daytripper," which they played pretty straightforwardly. Then you catch an original, and the end of "Helter Skelter," which is actually flattered by the approach.

These kids today, huh?

Audio
Shredded End
A+ Dropouts 2
Helter Skelter Fragment


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During the walk to supper...


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Brit Beat in their Pepper finery:


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This bird has not yet flown.


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Skin-deep Beatles.

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Ms Falcon insists on self-held and/or huggy portraiture...

one at a time, that's Jason the Herndon, Phil Short, and your correspondent, waiting for supper at the Cadillac Ranch bar.

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Traipsing around the grounds with Kim.

No pro portraiture...just opportune moments on the way back to the hall from supper.


Kim on the rocks.


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Join the Yellow Submariners...see the world.


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Stonewall Falcon.


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Ms Falcon at the Piano


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Video: Étude Falconi

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Who brain no work what huh?

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OK, My breathing is coming back.... but I cant stop sweating..... As always.... thanks for the hard work in bringing us all this Tim. Especially..well.. ya know.... Kim.

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Brain still no work. She purty!

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Ah yes. Kim is always a treat!


So, after the Kim pictation, night views from inside the atrium.

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Sunset over the Potomac.


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And our Lucian Sky friends – and a large crowd of their friends – on the Lawn Stage, directing a mass Heyjudean singalong as the all-jamming, all-wailing climax of their Saturday night outdoor set.

Audio of LSD's Hey Jude Singalong


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There was a curfew on music after 10:00 PM at the outside venues; after that, all crowds converged on the Prince George room and Gretsch Stage. Which made the 10:00 performance in that room something like the headline event for each day. (With a midnight jam always following.)

Saturday night, Hal Bruce and the Hard Dazed Knights' in/famous 214-song medley would be the feature event.

But before that, I wanted to catch at least part of The Newbee's set on the Lawn Stage (which followed LSD's set, above).

But before THAT, after the Newbs had finished setting up and as the lawn crowd waited, festival organizer Gary Jacob, Fred Gretsch, and Joe Carducci gathered onstage to present a Gretsch 5122 to the guy who'd suggested the DC location and venue to Gary.

And THAT guy was happy.

Gary Jacob and Gretsch give away yet another Gretsch.


The Gretsch crew (Joe, Dinah, Fred, Jason) waits to gift...


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Gary Jacob.


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Giving one away.


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Perhaps it's a good time to mention that another Gretsch was advertised by the festival's DC-area radio sponsor, and given away via drawing as part of the run-up promotion to the event. The guy who won THAT one stopped by the booth, and was plenty excited as well.

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The Newbees on the Lawn Stage.

It's not fair to say the Cincinnati-based retro popsters "feature" any one member: all are fully participating singers and songwriters, and each contributes crucial instrumental parts. Drummer Tim Seiwert frequently sings lead vocals; bassist Alex Lusht is a "frontman" kind of guy, engaging and charismatic, besides nailing the low end and carrying his share of vocals. Keyboardist Jesse Jordan bears a lot of instrumental burden – then there's lead guitarist Jeff Perholz and the mesmerizing Misty Perholz (his wife, second guitarist, and sometimes lead vocalist).

That's before we get to the fully-integrated all-rocking string section, including Vince Scacchetti on Viola, Greg Noland on Viola, Ellen Nettleton on Cello, and Carl Larson, violin.

Together, they're fresh, bright, dynamic, and energetic – and all worthy of full-time attention, creating an onstage atmosphere of musical carnival.

They tell me they work with the string section at all their gigs – club, bar, festival, coffee house, concert. I don't know how those economics work out (though I can guess), but how cool is that? If I had a string section, I'd drop the guitar synth.

Audio
Eleanor Rigby - I Am the Walrus
Lady Madonna

VIDEO: The Newbees - I'm Down (with bee-dancers...)


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Itchycoo Meanies Redux

The Blue Meanies and Itchycoo Park must really like joining forces; they were at it again Saturday night on the Gretsch Stage.

And I MISSED a great lead in the old Irish chestnut, "Sunshine o'your Love," played on the neck pickup of the Dyna-equipped Roundup. Sweet singing, soaring tone. They were playing it as I came in the room, and I tried to get the recorder out of my pocket and turned on in time.

You'll just have to take my word for it – the playing was sweet, the tone sublime.

And check out the triple-G lineup!

Audio
Sunshine of Your Love (last rays only)
Cruel to Be Kind
I'm Down


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Hal Bruce & The Hard Dazed Knights

Yes, the medley. 214 Beatles songs, pretty much in order (with some resquencing for artistic effect), straight through. 150 minutes or so, a feat of musical mastery (not to mention endurance).

The room was packed, front to back, and dancers lined the space between my front-row seat and the stage. Having heard and enjoyed the medley in Louisville, my purpose in life here was to stream the entire thing. That entailed planting myself on the corner seat, laptop in my lap, holding the webcam above my head on a rickety portable tripod, trying to keep the ethernet connector on the MacBook from coming loose, monitoring audio and video – and text-chatting as possible with the 30-some viewers on the streaming page.

And recording audio and snapping pics.

Needless to say, I had no expectations of perfect success in all endeavors.

Halfway through – or so – Fred observed that my arm must be falling off, and he came over to relieve me. (Which means, if you watch the archived stream – here – that when the picture steadies up halfway through, it's compliments of Fred Gretsch himself.

Which is what I call commitment!

The performance was tight and punchy – but since it's all streamed, I've opted not to post all the audio here. The Knights were without their keyboard player (a last-minute development), and while the cavernous acoustic signature of the room made it sound BIG, I know Hal and the band won't consider this a definitive performance.

But just as an audio taste, here's the very beginning, the very middle (by actual math!), and the very end...

Audio
214-Song Beatle Medley (5-song version)


Fred introduces the Medley.


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A few ragged snapshots of the festivities...

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And after all the music Saturday night (regrettably, while All You Need is Love led the midnight swim on the Gretsch Stage in the Prince George Hall...with late 60s hard rock and psychedelia), the entire Gretsch crew had a late night meal in the sports bar at the convention center.

That was Fred, Dinah, Joe, Jason, Phil, Kim, and me – plus Jimmy Pou and Ed Sullivan's nephew at an adjacent table. Jason had pre-ordered a prodigious feast including pretty much everything on the menu, and we chowed down.

There would be pics, but we wuz hongry and the table looked like ... like that ZZ Top album cover with the remains of a Mexican meal. (Except not all Mexican.)

During the feast, I talked a great deal with Dinah Gretsch about her experiences in the early 60s, catching all the great Brit Invasion acts before they went international, when she was an Air Force brat schoolgirl in England. Fascinating perspective, and a clear explanation of how she became such a great fan of the music. Little could she have known then that she would one day carry a name so linked in history with that music!

I did get one good pic of Kim in her red dress...

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And then it was Sunday, Sept 5, and the Abbey Road faithful were ready for more riverly Beatling.

(Yes, I'm still posting on this event. I swear I will finish.


Music began around 11 on stages around the grounds. I confess to sleeping (and processing content), so that the first thing I caught was the...

Gretsch Guitar Experience with Fred Gretsch & Joe Carducci (better known to us as the Fred & Joe Show – but with a significant Harrisonian addition for Abbey Road).

If you haven't seen the F&J show, you'll want to watch this archived video of the live stream.

And if you have seen it, you'll still want to watch this short segment.

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After which, off to a great Chinese lunch in a great Chinese restaurant just across the street from the Gaylord National Harbor Convention Center.

Perhaps I should insert a reminder here that the convention center – and the entire compact shopping/dining district around it – are all very new, developed on formerly wooded Prince Georges County riverfront land within the last couple of years.

It all comprises a vacation-and-event destination conveniently adjacent to Alexandria and the federal attractions of Washington – as well as the suburbs of Maryland – but self-contained and self-sufficient unto itself. It was perfect for an event like this.

So lunch...was a GDP gathering, with Joe, FrequentFlyer909, Wenzel, and me. The restaurant was stunning.

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And then a leisurely stroll down toward the harbor itself, marina, and riverfront back to the Gaylord's grounds.


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Where amateur Beatle-oke shone on and on and on at the Flagpole Stage. (This suggests the format of the "They're Gonna Make A Big Star Out of Me" singing contest at the Louisville Abbey Road – but whether there was an actually a contest at this event I don't know.)


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Sunday's weather was gorgeous – warm but not too hot, sunny but not merciless, unusually non-humid for Washington, and with an occasional breeze down the river. All of which (along with the music) helps explain a hillside panorama of happy people.


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Another peerless pierview.


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And what would a 60s music festival be without...


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Audio of the Sunday Afternoon walkabout , from the perimeter of the grounds into Prince George's Hall.

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Mario DaSilva

... is a classical and fingerstyle guitarist, originally from Brazil, who has located in Nashville for some years and teaches guitar both at Belmont University in Nashville, and at IU Southeast in Indiana (right in my neck of the woods, small world, who knew, etc).

He brings all that experience to bear on his solo (and, with son James, duo) arrangements of Beatle classics. Hearing the familiar music transcribed into this format concentrates the attention on the musical details of its melody, harmony, counterpoints, and motio. It's also relaxing and invigorating at the same time – something it shares with all great fingerstyle guitar.

Mario is a quiet, warm, and engaging performer, and his relaxed concentration on (and joy in) the music are infectious.

Audio clips here include two songs from his Saturday performance, along with most of his Sunday afternoon set. In both, he was joined by his son James for several songs. James seems an equally accomplished player, carrying the familial groove, and the slow burn bursts into flames with his spark.

Sounded like
Strawberry Fields
Come Together
And I Love Her
Julia
Mother Nature's Son
Dear Prudence
Come Together - Strawberry Fields
In My Life (with James)
Two of Us (w/James)
What Is Life (w/James)
Blackbird (w/James)
Martha My Dear (w/James)

Looked like
Archived video stream (40:58)


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The booth was busy most of the time through Saturday and Sunday – lots of people taking interest in the guitars, meeting Joe and Fred, getting Kim-o-graphed posters, and trying guitars through Electromatic amps.


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Desolation behind the booth...


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Phil, Dinah, Jason


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Fred and BritBeaters jameslynch and Chris Getsla


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And then there was a silent auction for the three Gretsch guitars with which George Harrison is closely associated: the black Jet, the '62 Country Gent, and the Tennessee Rose with HiLoTrons. (Doesn't that make George the only Gretsch player of renown giving equal time to all three classic Gretsch pickups?)

Each guitar had a starting bid, set by ARotR organizer Gary Jacob; anyone could then bid their price on the sign-up sheet displayed with each guitar throughout the festival.

Late Sunday night, the current high bidder had bought himself a Gretsch. (I regret I don't have information about who those high bidders were.)

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Candlestick Park

These Scots (three of whom come from the band Get Back) take their name from the San Francisco stadium where The Beatles played their last live tour concert.

Their Sunday afternoon set on the Gretsch Stage was a highlight of the day: suberb playing, high energy, crisp execution. Alas, I didn't catch the whole set – but I look forward to hearing more of the band in the future.

(And, it must be noted, Abbey Roaders never tire of swaying side to side, waving their hands in the air, singing the anthemic end of "Hey Jude.")

Candlestick Audio
Get Back
Twenty Flight Rock
Can't Buy Me Love
I Saw Her Standing There
Hey Jude

Candlestick Video
Archived video stream (25:28)



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Always love a volunteer ladies auxiliary...


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And dancers!

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Apple Core, the band.

These dedicated DC-based Beatle-ers didn't have far to travel.

I caught part of their set on the pier Sunday night. The band dresses sharp and looked great under the lights against the backdrop of the Potomac and the city lights beyond – and they sounded fine too. I'm not sure my recording does them justice; when I was able to wiggle into the crowd to a location with a good view of the stage, it was out of the beam of the mains, and the mix is not representative of what I heard.

I enjoyed the band, and would love to have heard more – but duties at the Gretsch Stage called.

(And I'm sorry to appear to short-shrift some of the ARotR performers. All deserved attention, but some are underrepresented in my coverage (as some may appear to be overexposed); some aren't here at ALL. That's all a function of the sprawling vastness and simultaneity of the event, divided by my limited resources, multiplied by my focus on live streaming in the Prince George hall (the only place I had internet access)...with my need for sleep and eats subtracted from the product.

My apologies to those bands: you were not slighted by plan or agenda.)

Anyway! Apple Core has a tight, cohesive sound – and you gotta love a Gent-wielding guitarist who doubles on keyboards. I understand that role very well.

Apple Core Audio
Getting Better
Lady Madonna
If I Needed Someone

Apple Core Video Snip


Down the pier at night...


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Shine on brightly...

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Very comprehensive work here...It's going to take me a bit to get through it all. Thanks for sharing and taking the time...I got to watch some of the performances on Ustream since I'm all the way in Cali...

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Thanks, jetblack. It just takes time to process all the pics, audio, and video.

I have two more bands to post from Sunday – The Cryers and The Norwegian Beatles – and that will be all I have. Should be done by sometime tomorrow.

Note that all the streaming video is archived at ustream, and I've gone through and retitled the clips so they make sense.

I'm also merging links to those archived streams into this thread, so when new readers come along, they'll find all a band's links along with their coverage.

I know there's interest in the Abbey Road community for this material, and I'm doing it as much for them as for the GDP. I'll try to get the word out to them when it's all done.

Several of the bands mentioned the streaming audio from the stage, and I know their families and fans were back home watching.


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