the loud bassoon concert scene

The Beatles Reunion Concert @ London, UK
6 March 2003

After years of hype, the dream has come to pass: all four original Beatles, reunited on stage for the first time since 1969! And even better, I got to be part of the band!

Even so, I'm a little disappointed in how the show came out. It was disjointed and frustrating, not at all what I would have expected.

The proceedings took place on an undefined fairground-style area ostensibly in London on a reasonably sunny Saturday afternoon. Before the show, Paul McCartney led a throng of children in an anti-war protest with his song "Ballroom Dancing" blaring over a distorted sound system. He and the children, though, were carrying signs that read "No More Paul," so I'm not sure what the anti-war angle was. I took it as Paul trying to be funny or something.

I was wandering around the stage area while audience members started to gather and spread their blankets out near the stage. Surprisingly, there were only about 80 people or so on hand to watch, most of them elderly couples.

I'm not sure why I was in the band, having never played with the Beatles before, and furthermore, there was no explanation as to why John Lennon and George Harrison were alive – John was more or less in his 1964 incarnation, George in his 1976 incarnation. Paul was current, and Ringo was maybe 1980 vintage.

When the band started playing, I was behind a chain-link fence off stage left, with a good vantage point to see George. There were lots of people trying to crowd through the narrow gap between the fence and the construction trailer immediately behind me. The song they kicked things off with was "I Want to Tell You."

Around that time, I was suddenly wandering on and around the stage, taking care of details like mic stand placement and such. The second song was "Got to Get You Into My Life." The audience did not seem to have much of a reaction to any of the songs played.

Song three was "Piggies," an odd choice. Why such a George-heavy set, I wonder?

At that point, John was wandering off goofing around, and the audience was getting bored, so things had to be kicked up a notch. That was when I was suddenly playing with the band. Except that I kind of wasn't – I was playing, and the rest of them were just goofing around.

I launched into "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (the Beatles song, which I've never played before), which seemed to get a good response, but when I looked back at the band, only Ringo was playing. John, Paul, and George had their arms slung over each other's shoulders, suddenly dressed in hybrid costumes from Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour, swaying back and forth like it was a pub singalong. It occurred to me that most of the music was coming from backing tracks.

The other three wandered away, and Ringo got up to show me a part of his drum set. I can't remember if it was because the thing was broken, or just that he thought it was cool. We chatted for awhile as the audience dissipated. I thought vaguely that there ought to be more to the concert, but no one seemed to really care.

This was an actual dream I had this morning, by the way. Come to think of it, it's kind of an unimaginitive fantasia on George Harrison's Live in Japan album … Do other people dream like this??

Review by Lord Eric Haugen