Happy Anniversary Baby….
Time flies when you are having the time of your life.
In 2009 I read that the album Abbey Road was turning 40 years old. It was hard for me to believe. It was still as fresh. It was still selling. And it had been studied over and over by listeners, critics and musicologists .
The same day I heard a promotion for an orchestral performance of the works of Mozart. I even think I remember it being concerto number 23.
And I had a strange epiphany. Or at least a very strong opinion.
Abbey Road, and many other albums of the time were today’s classical music. These albums were pieces of art that were timeless and would be studied and listened to for years in the same way we still listen to Mozart. I was, and still am sure of it.
And these were albums. Full “pieces” made to be heard like a classical piece.
But who was performing these pieces?
The only thing I could think of were the many “tribute” bands out doing The Beatles. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who and many other classic rock bands.
But….what kind of tribute is that? Trust me I had seen a few and kind of enjoyed them.
But the symphony that was playing Mozart was not wearing powdered wigs and speaking in some fake Austrian accent between songs.
They simply played the piece as close as they could with dignity and honor.
So, why shouldn’t that be done for what is the classical music of our generation?
The light bulb moment.
On May 28th, after a bout of what seemed to be a hundred rehearsals, The Black Jacket Symphony performed Abbey Road at Workplay Theatre.
It sold out. It seems you guys feel the same way about this music.
The black Jacket Symphony wore black jackets, didn’t speak between songs, just like you were listening to the record, and performed the songs as closely to the album in a live setting as possible.
Twelve albums later, and twelve sold out shows later we are more excited about performing these albums than we were that first night.
Every album performed has a different line up in the band. The right player for the right album needs to be found.
These musicians are amazing. This is not about them. There is no real “look at me” moment for them. They have been selfless in making this about the music.
So trust me when I say they do this out of complete love and respect for the artists we are performing. It’s why they picked up their instrument in the first place, and it’s a way of “paying it back”. They cannot be thanked enough. It’s inspiring.
But the biggest thanks has to go to all of you that have come to the shows. You get it. I’m even more inspired by how many people understand this whole concept and have a passion for the greatest music ever recorded.
I love seeing all the age differences at the shows as well. It’s so satisfying to see teenagers who are getting into theses classic albums as well as baby boomers who actually bought the albums the day they came out. It also almost brings tears to the eyes when you see the two intersect. Parents who come with their kids. Both there for the same reason.
So we will be performing three albums in three nights for our third anniversary.
“Abbey Road”. The Beatles swansong.
“Led Zeppelin IV”. One of the most influential rock records in history.
And we will finish off the weekend with “Who’s Next”. Possibly the most epic rock album ever recorded and absolutely tailor-made for what The Black Jacket Symphony is about.
They were our first three records to perform, so it’s only fitting to perform them for the anniversary.
Thank you. This sounds strange, but I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of us. From the musicians, and the audience members.
To me, yes it’s cool, it’s fun, it’s entertainment. But it’s also important stuff. This music will last forever and we all are all doing our part to make sure it’s preserved and honored.