GET BACK TO SONGS OF THE BEA­TLES

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

IN a per­for­mance ca­reer span­ning 50 years, you would think noth­ing could faze Aus­tralian mu­sic star Rus­sell Mor­ris.

The man who rose to fame after record­ing the sem­i­nal hit The Real Thing back in 1969 has seen and done it all.

But, as part of a new show that in­volves play­ing two clas­sic Bea­tles al­bums back-to-back, there is one mo­ment that has him ter­ri­fied.

“The thing that scares the be­je­sus out of me is singing Within You, With­out You,” Mor­ris told Com­mu­nity News.

“It’s hor­ri­fy­ing; the tim­ing is in­cred­i­bly bizarre, it’s nerve-wrack­ing.”

The si­tar-laden track that kicks off side two of Sgt Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is just one of the songs Mor­ris will have to sing with an all-star band at The Bea­tles Back­2Back show at Crown Theatre Perth on Septem­ber 2.

Also fea­tur­ing Eskimo Joe singer Kav Tem­per­ley, South­ern Sons front­man Jack Jones and English folk singer Jon Allen, the band will play Sgt Pep­per and Abbey Road in their en­tirety.

“It’s a re­ally nice re­pro­duc­tion. It’s prob­a­bly the ul­ti­mate cover band,” Mor­ris said.

As a teenager in sub­ur­ban Melbourne, he was firmly in the Rolling Stones’ camp in pop mu­sic’s great de­bate.

But The Bea­tles be­gan to win him over dur­ing their mid-’60s golden era, as they looked be­yond the sim­ple pop hits of their early years.

“The Bea­tles didn’t grab me with the first cou­ple of al­bums,” he said.

“The first thing I heard that re­ally grabbed me was Rub­ber Soul. I thought ‘wow, this is pretty spe­cial’.

“They re­ally de­vel­oped into some­thing that was in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing. Prior to that they were re­ally a straight, won­der­ful pop band that wrote the most fan­tas­tic com­mer­cial pop records. All of a sud­den they be­came ex­per­i­men­tal.

“Then Re­volver was like ‘where are these guys go­ing?’ And they just kept go­ing.”

Mor­ris said The Bea­tles’ in­flu­ence was all over The Real Thing, at the time one of the more ex­per­i­men­tal sin­gles in Aus­tralian mu­sic.

“When Johnny Young wrote it, he al­most pinched it from a Sta­tus Quo song called Pic­tures of Match­stick Men. It’s very sim­i­lar,” he said.

“Johnny wanted it recorded like that and Ian (‘Molly’ Mel­drum) just said ‘no’.

“Ian is a very un­der­rated record pro­ducer.

“He had no ex­pe­ri­ence; he just waltzed into the stu­dio and he knew in­stinc­tively what was right.”

Aus­tralian mu­sic star Rus­sell Mor­ris comes to­gether with Eskimo Joe and other bands to present The Bea­tles Back­2Back in Septem­ber.

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