GET BACK TO SONGS OF THE BEATLES
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.