Monday, September 1, 2014

Strawberry Fields For Evan

We played at Puckett's in Columbia in May, and met a listener at the front table, there with his wife and son. Like many people who come to see us, he was a Beatles fan, but unlike most, he was also an author, who had written an unusual novel about a Beatles fan.

He gave us each a copy of his recently published book, which is called "Strawberry Fields for Evan."

                                  the book cover

His name is Wilson Quick. He introduced us to his wife, Mary Lou, and his son, Derek. We learned that he was born in England, but moved to the U.S. as a teenager, which gives him the perfect background for writing about an American who visits Liverpool.

Wilson was enough of a good sport that night to appear onstage with us during our "commercial" for Richard Courtney. He read the text from a sheet of paper as if he were a professional radio announcer.

I started reading my copy of his book the next day, and couldn't put it down. 

Here's how it starts:
"Madison Heights, Michigan, January 2012:…With his Honda Civic parked strategically near the rear entrance of the bar, Evan Fritz maneuvered the last of his drumkit into the cramped confines of his well-worn but heretofore roadworthy vehicle."

Immediately, we have a real life view of a real musician, loading his gear into his car after a gig. Evan wears Beatles tee shirts, and plays in a cover band, but also writes songs and wants to become known for his original music - which is exactly the motivation that got John Lennon and Paul McCartney launched on the path that led to the global phenomenon that continues to inspire musicians, and writers.

Since the WannaBeatles have started, we've become acquainted with many books and authors. Our friend Richard Courtney is the most visible local example, with his book "Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles." 

And mostly through Richard's Fab Four Festival, we've also read Bruce Spizer's detailed accounts of the Beatles' daily schedules during their hectic early years, and personal accounts from Tony Bramwell, Ken Mansfield, Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott, all of whom worked directly with The Beatles during the 60's.

But we've never come across a fictional piece before. 

And so, here was this hardback book taking me on an adventure that came from one writer's imagination - a writer who understood from first hand experience what it's like to be in a band, to write songs, to face that momentous challenge of finding one's original creative voice without getting lost in disappointment and frustration. 

And Wilson, by writing this book, is doing what Evan, his protagonist, does in the book, and what we, as The WannaBeatles continue to do. It's what The Beatles themselves unintentionally placed before us all as an inspiring example - finding our own unique creativity, fun, and fulfillment.

        Here's Wilson Quick at Strawberry Field, in Liverpool, the place which inspired John Lennon to write "Strawberry Fields Forever.'

"Strawberry Fields For Evan" is the story of one musician's most unlikely adventure. It's time travel. He goes from Michigan in 2012 to Liverpool in 1962. It happens to be July, when The Beatles, already highly  popular at the Cavern Club, were about to replace their drummer Pete Best.

Evan, as a drummer from the future, with his (and our) knowledge of The Beatles, manages to get an audition with the group. The descriptions of a gig at the Cavern Club become the centerpiece of this totally engaging story.

I won't spoil your experience by telling you more of the story, but I will say you'll have no problem imagining it as a movie. It could become a modern mixture of The Wizard of Oz, Back To The Future and That Thing You Do - a lovable classic just waiting for its moment to arrive. 

Wilson has set up a website for the book, where you can check it out and buy a copy if you want. Here's the link:

Here's a testimonial from the website: I didn't say this, but I feel the way this reader does:

This book is wonderfully written and draws you in. You will NOT want to put this down until the last page. Even after I first thought was "Gee, I hope there is a sequel." Loved the story...loved the characters. For an avid reader like me, this was a very enjoyable read. 

And if you're a screenwriter, feel free to contact Wilson to work with him on a screenplay. 

The WannaBeatles hope and believe it's going to happen.

Bloggin' Bryan 1September2014

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