Monday night, I got to see Ringo Starr perform in Charleston.  It’s something I never thought I’d be able to do. I had my doubts that I’d ever see a Beatle perform live. The show was fantastic, and I will be talking about it for years. Tuesday morning, riding this musical high, it was my job to assemble the one-hundredth episode of Beatles Blast.

Serendipity and Euphoria.

I invite you to tune in Wednesday afternoon, as The AIR brings you a very special episode of Beatles Blast.  You can tune in at the website, or just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

At 2 PM (EDT) Beatles Blast brings you an hour that celebrates the euphoria that the music of The Beatles instills in the folks who choose to listen. I didn’t set out to do a huge milestone theme show, instead preferring to bring you a collection of solo tracks by The Beatles and a selection of other artists covering their tunes. In fact, this episode of the show doesn’t include any music by The Beatles as a group.

We do have one live track from each Beatle, performing a group song, but we also have some of the most upbeat solo tracks that they released. We also have a set of female vocalists singing Beatle songs, and a set of diverse and eclectic covers in a variety of styles.

Check out the playlist:

Beatles Blast 100

Ringo Starr and The All-Starr Band “With A Little Help From My Friends”
Paul McCartney “Hello Goodbye”
John Lennon “Come Together”
George Harrison “If I Needed Someone”
Tina Turner “Get Back”
Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet “And Your Bird Can Sing”
Lulu “Day Tripper”
Alison Moorer “Here Comes The Sun”
Mick Kolassa & Mark Telesca “You Can’t Do That”
Nellie McKay “If I Needed Someone”
The String Quartet “Penny Lane”
The Pixies “Wild Honey Pie”
John Lennon “Whatever Gets You Through The Night”
George Harrison “My Sweet Lord”
Paul McCartney “Coming Up”
Ringo Starr “It Don’t Come Easy”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 11 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday afternoon.

Back to Ringo and his All-Starr Band: The show Monday night was awesome. An incredible collection of top-notch musicians from around the world came together and just had fun delivering hit songs to a loving audience.

I’m almost at a loss for words myself. As a life-long Beatles fan living in a state where no member of the band had ever performed, I’m still finding it hard to believe that I really got see Ringo perform.  And having fourth-row seats meant that I was probably just thirty or forty feet away from the musical legend. The night was nearly perfect. We got there early. The seat in front of me was empty so I could sit down and enjoy the show without wearing out my ailing knee. The performances were just amazing.

I had made the decision weeks ago that I was not going to spend the evening with my phone in my hand trying to take photos. With my Myasthenia Gravis and phones not being terribly ergnomically-shaped, most of my phone photos suck. So I snapped a few blurry shots, took about a minute of video, and stuck the camera in my pocket for the rest of the night. I can’t explain how happy I am that I did that. I actually got to enjoy the music.

At some point they’ll probably release a Blu ray of one of the dates on this tour, and I’ll get that when it comes out.

The only blight on the evening was the horrible woman in seat nine, row three, who despite the repeated announcements, insisted on vaping throughout the first half of the show. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was extremely drunk and thought she was at a performance of Beetlejuice. I don’t know if she was making out with her date, because I wasn’t looking her way most of the night. I can avert my eyes, but not my nose.

Ringo’s band, all of whom are stars in their own right, were charming and hilarious when they took the mic for intros.  Edgar Winter, in particular was part carnival barker, part Rick Wakeman on a bender, and helped make the show tons of fun. Ringo, being Ringo, had no problems sharing the spotlight, and every member of the band had their chance to shine, whether they were singing one of their big hits, or just showing off an incredible level of virtuosity.

Edgar Winter handled lead vocals on a couple of songs, and treated the crowd to an epic rendition of “Frankenstein,” in which he not only played synthesizer, saxophone and drums, but also stepped aside to let Greg Bissonette fire off a nuclear drum solo.  Steve Lukather steered the band and sang lead on three hits by Toto.  He also ripped loose with a guitar solo so hot that a guitar tech ran out on stage right after and carried the guitar offstage, probably to dunk it in a tank of water to cool it off.

Hamish Stuart played bass most of the night (trading off with Lukather a couple of times) and sang lead on a couple of AWB songs, plus an Isley Brothers classic. Colin Hay delivered three classic Men At Work numbers.  Special note has to be made of Warren Ham, the utility man who handled vocals, percussion, harmonica, saxophone, English horn, keyboards and whatever other instruments he had tucked away on his riser. I think he might’ve had a cello and a slow cooker up there.

It was a night that I will remember the rest of my life. This show was pretty much Mel’s birthday gift to me (my birthday was back in August, but that’s when she got the tickets), and this was obstensibly a “Rudy thing,” but…after it ended, Mel looked at me, beaming, and said, “I want to see them again!”

I hope we get the chance.