PHIL BROWN

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - INSIDE -

The day I bought Beatles al­bum Sgt. Pep­per’s Lonely

Hearts Club Band was one of the sem­i­nal ex­pe­ri­ences of my child­hood. I was a pop-mad 10-year-old who spent all his pocket money on records and mu­sic mag­a­zines. We lived in Hong Kong at the time and in the sum­mer of 1967 I took my­self to my favourite record store in Kowloon. I had been wait­ing for the ar­rival of the record for weeks and, fi­nally, there it was, mul­ti­ple copies lin­ing a wall. I re­mem­ber that new vinyl smell and the ex­cite­ment of that mo­ment. I went straight home and played it over and over on the lit­tle record player in my room.

So I’m pen­cilling in Au­gust 25 when I can re­live that child­hood ex­pe­ri­ence. That’s the night when the Beatles Back­2Back na­tional tour hits QPAC’s Lyric The­atre in Bris­bane. This show, fea­tur­ing Rus­sell Mor­ris, Kav Tem­per­ley, Jack Jones and Jon Allen (a new Fab Four), sees them per­form ev­ery song from two clas­sic Beatles al­bums – Sgt. Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road.

Both are sig­nif­i­cant. Sgt. Pep­per’s was the apex of 1960s pop mu­sic, an al­bum full of po­etry with songs cov­er­ing mul­ti­ple gen­res and that amaz­ing cover fea­tur­ing the Beatles in colour­ful Ed­war­dian-style band uni­forms with card­board cutouts of them­selves and a small crowd of fa­mous faces. There were also those mar­i­juana plants in the pic­ture but, hey, it was the 1960s.

Sgt. Pep­per’s was the al­bum of the cen­tury. Abbey Road is spe­cial, too, for its own rea­sons. It was the penul­ti­mate Beatles al­bum and the last on which all four Beatles par­tic­i­pated, recorded mostly at the same place as Sgt. Pep

per’s, the tit­u­lar Abbey Road Stu­dios in St John’s Wood, Lon­don. The cover of Abbey Road is sim­pler than Sgt. Pep

per’s and fea­tures the four band mem­bers walk­ing across the ze­bra cross­ing out­side the stu­dios. Like me, many of you will have done the touristy thing and gone and walked across that cross­ing, too. You have to if you’re in Lon­don. Go on, ad­mit it, you’ve done it, right? It’s a must. The songs on both al­bums are won­der­fully var­ied. On Sgt. Pep­per’s you have Lucy in the Sky with Di­a­monds and A

Day in the Life, one of the most in­trigu­ing pop songs ever writ­ten, and She’s Leav­ing Home, one of the most poignant. Abbey Road high­lights in­clude two beau­ti­ful Ge­orge Har­ri­son songs – Some­thing and Here Comes the Sun. There are so many great songs on both al­bums, but Sgt.

Pep­per’s is the mas­ter­piece. It ush­ered in the Sum­mer of Love, if you were liv­ing in the north­ern hemi­sphere, and it was spe­cial. It still is and we get to hear it again soon. Joy. Don’t miss Phil Brown’s arts cov­er­age week­days on The Courier-Mail web­site

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