Roots Report: December 1 to 15, 2023

Image via The Beatles’ “Now and Then” music video.

Okee dokee folks…I know a lot has already been said about The Beatles’ new song, “Now and Then” but I want to chime in. First of all, there will never be another band like The Beatles. They are and always will be in a league of their own. Sure, many have been compared to them and even back in the late ‘70s the band Klaatu was thought to be The Beatles releasing music under a different name. It wasn’t. There were even rumors that The Beatles were close to performing on “Saturday Night Live.” That all became impossible when John Lennon was murdered in 1980. In the ‘90s, the remaining members did some recording with old tapes of Lennon’s songs. One cut, “Now and Then,” was not usable so it was shelved.


Up until last summer the only Beatle I had ever seen in concert was Ringo. He ALWAYS puts on a great show and it’s a privilege to see a REAL Beatle. Fortunately, I was finally able to attend a Paul McCartney show at Fenway Park. It wasn’t cheap, and I am not a fan of stadium shows, but seeing McCartney was as close to a religious experience as I will ever have. During the 3+ hour show, McCartney sang “I’ve Got A Feeling” with John Lennon. The band played along with Lennon’s recorded voice/ video and McCartney’s live vocals. It was amazing and was as close to seeing The Beatles as I am ever going to get.

Technology is constantly evolving and it ultimately evolved to the point where the vocals of the previously unusable Lennon cassette could be clearly isolated. John’s voice was not created by AI as some may think. That vocal along with some of George’s recorded guitar work from the ‘90s sessions, Ringo and Paul’s recent contributions, an orchestra, and some other production work from Giles Martin – son of the late George Martin – has created a MAGNIFICENT recording from the heartfelt song sketches recorded by John 40 years ago. The arrangement is brilliant, with nods to early Beatles throughout. I was deeply moved and listened to it on repeat for quite a while. It is truly a fitting finale for the best band that ever was. If you are curious as to how all this was accomplished, you can watch a 12-minute documentary on YouTube.

As much as I love this, I sincerely hope they don’t find another cassette somewhere and start releasing more music. It would spoil the specialness, beauty, magnificence, and CLOSURE of “Now and Then.” Now that this has been achieved, will we be hearing new music from Freddie Mercury, Prince, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, or David Bowie? I am sure there are lots of unreleased or unfinished recordings out there of these folks and someone is dying to make a buck off these dead artists. Let’s pray (in a non-religious way) this Beatles’ song is a one-and-done. Probably not. Read on…

I am an animal person so when there is something to benefit animals I want to let you all know about it. The Tenth Annual Rock & Roll Show fundraiser for Westerly’s Stand Up For Animals Shelter will take place at the The Knickerbocker Music Center on December 17. The show’s producers, John Speziale and Keith Cowley have put together a musical lineup headlined by The Friends. The band features local musicians Brad Bensko, Amie Coffey, Sandman Allen, Ken Serio, Dave Allen, and producer Speziale. Opening the show will be Christmas fiddler, Craig Edwards. The Carleans are also part of this event for the third year in a row. Appearances will be made by Dancing Santa and the show’s mascot, stand-up comic Puppet Santa. There will be food, raffles, and the annual hula dancing contest. Show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $15 at the door and online.

For more, woof on over to:

The 16th annual Singing for Shelter concert to benefit Lucy’s Hearth and The McKinney Shelter will be held on Thursday, Dec 7 at Channing Church in Newport. Founded in 2007, Singing for Shelter is a Newport holiday tradition and has raised over $170,000 for these homeless shelters. The concert features many local musicians playing holiday favorites, songs of peace and hope, and original tunes. This year’s line-up includes: Ed McGuirl, Amy Bedard, Jimmy Winters, Newport String Project, Tom Perrotti, Rand Bradbury, and many more.All of the performers generously donate their time and talents. A Yamaha guitar and keyboard will be raffled off at the show. There will be an ASL interpreter for the hearing impaired. This event draws huge crowds and sells out, so get your tickets early. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in person at Lucy’s Hearth, 19 Valley Road in Middletown, or by emailing MarkGorman56@gmail. com.

For more, carol over to: SingingForShelterNewport To donate directly to the shelters: and

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