Hard Day’s Night
Rooster and I traveled to Foster park to listen to a Beatles cover band play Hard Day’s Night during Oktoberfest sponsored by the City of First VW Club. #City of First VW Club # 2019 Oktoberfest #Performing Arts Pavilion #Hard Day’s Night band #Kokomo #Indiana
Rooster and I took a stroll through the 1950s at the Back to the Fifties Festival a couple of weeks ago, so it seemed fitting for us to take a magic carpet ride through the 1960s when we got the chance. We heard rumors The City of First VW Club was sponsoring a Beatles cover band at the 2019 Oktoberfest. It sounded like a good idea for us to make a return trip to Kokomo’s Performing Arts Pavilion to watch the show. It would be interesting to compare the Hard Day’s Night band to The Rigby’s. If you will remember, The Rigby’s were the Beatles cover band we listened to at The Back to the Fifties Festival.
Didn’t catch the name of the first band
A band was already performing on the stage when we showed up at Foster Park. We set up our lawn chairs and relaxed, waiting to enjoy the show. The performers were dressed in period sixties clothing. The standard bell-bottom pants and tie-died t-shirts caught our eye. The female singer could really belt out the old sixty’s tunes. This band performed music from the 1960s, which including everything from the Mamas and the Papas to Steppenwolf.
I thought the group played it safe when it came to their Janis Joplin song. They did Me and Bobby Mcgee instead of something more vocally challenging, such as Piece of my Heart or Cry Baby. Nobody can belt out those songs like Joplin, so it was probably a good choice. We never learned the name of the group, but I would like to see their show from the start. Maybe I will next time around. I’m sure they will be performing at other festivals.
We looked at the VWs while we waited for Hard Day’s Night
While we waited for The Beatles cover band to get set up, I took a stroll to look at the Volkswagens. They were arranged in tidy rows near the back of Foster Park. ‘The people’s car’ was popular among hippies back in the 1960s. Their engines were in the back, and the trunk was in the front, which made them an oddity in America.
My mother thought they were death machines and forbid me to ride in them. Her warning convinced me I wanted to take a spin in one if for no other reason than to prove her wrong. I remember six of us piling into a VW Bug to take a cruise down Markland street. I manage to survive the experience. Another friend owned a VW van. The heater never worked. I remember scraping ice off the inside of the window for him as we drove down the street in winter.
City of First VW Club
We are in the midst of the car show season here in Indiana. The City of First VW Club had an impressive display of Volkswagens to look at. There were vans and what we used to refer to as Beatles or Bugs. The Bug that impressed me the most was the Marvel Comic themed Beatle. It was so cute I wanted to climb behind the wheel and drive it away.
The sun was starting to set when Hard Day’s Night took the stage. The group stepped out onto the platform, wearing replicas of the dark black suits and Beatle haircuts the group wore at the height of Beatlemania. I was only eight years old in 1964 when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan show. The memory of the performance is buried somewhere in the back of my mind.
Hard Day’s Night to the British Invasion
The British invasion wasn’t a big deal for me, but it was to my babysitter. I remember being in the bedroom of her house as she and a group of her friends danced the twist and figured out which Beatle they were in love with. I was told I needed to pledge my eternal love to George Harrison until the day I died. He was the quiet one no one else wanted. Hard Day’s Night played an assortment of 1960s Beatles tunes, never stepping out of character. The audience was treated to renditions of everything from Twist and Shout to Help. Hard Day’s night played for an hour. I thought that would be the end of the show, but I was wrong.
The band took a fifteen-minute break. Hard Day’s Night came back, looking like they stepped off of the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The concept was to play music from three different stages of the Beatles music history. I was eleven when music from this album started being played on the radio. It was the music that followed me into my early teen years. It was when I first became a Beatles fan. The blend of rock-n-roll with psychedelic art music mixed with a big band sound was the beat I marched to during junior high school. The sound exposed this small-town girl to a variety of sounds and broadened my musical tastes.
Intermission before the next level of Hard Day’s Night
The final stage of the show reflected the last couple albums of the Beatles union as a group. We took a musical journey through the Abby Road and White Album years. I was about to enter high school when this stage of Beatles music first caught my attention. The first time I listened to The White Album, I was at a friend’s house when she unwrapped the large black record and placed it on her turntable. A group of us ditched school to attend the unveiling. She lowered the needle onto the album. There was a tense silence as we waited for the first note. By the time we played the last song, we knew we would be Beatles fans for life.
On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney announced the Beatles breakup. My generation was rocked by the news. The band members went their separate ways. There was a part of us that couldn’t believe it was true. John Lennon made music with Yoko Ono. Paul McCartney had a group called Wings. George Harrison sang My Sweet Lord. Nobody was sure about what Ringo was doing. Rumors circulated in the media of a possible Beatles reunion periodically. On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon in the archway of the Dakota in New York City. His death ended any possibility of the Beatles ever making music together again.
A mixture of delicate unique ingredients creates powerful group dynamics. A creative songwriting force like the Beatles is hard to replicate. The chemistry which made the Beatles a musical classic may never happen again. Their unique sound crossed generations. It touched the hearts of people from all walks of life. Everywhere I go, I run into their music thirty years after the songs were first written and recorded. They have become as classic as Mozart or Tchaikovsky. It appears Beethoven rolled over to make way for rock-n-roll and The Beatles.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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