The WannaBeatles have played plenty of shows, concerts, dances, festivals and birthday parties, but we had never played for someone's marriage proposal before.
This is a story about Kyle and June.
Kyle called us a few weeks ago, wanting to surprise his fiancé with a live band playing her favorite song, which he said was "Yellow Submarine." He had a plan, which was to "pop the question" on the balcony of their house, at exactly 9:00 am, just as we played our live version of the song. The date was Saturday June 13.
He gave us the address in east Nashville, and he worked out the details with WannaBeatle Dennis.
One problem we had was WannaBeatle David being in Chicago that day, for his son's graduation from college. Under most conditions, The WannaBeatles perform only with all four band members, but this was a unique request, and we figured it was possible to do "Yellow Submarine" as a three piece group. Dennis and Kyle discussed how it would be done.
Dennis suggested that we play another song in addition to "Yellow Submarine," something that would fit the occasion (a love song, plenty to choose from) which would also sound good with only three of us playing. After several suggestions back and forth, Dennis and Kyle agreed on "Do You Want To Know A Secret," which was appropriate in more ways than one.
We spent some time thinking about the setup - whether to use Nathan's keyboard or bass (there are plenty of keyboard sounds on "Yellow Submarine",) how elaborate our PA system should be, where to set up our cardboard yellow submarine prop, whether to play electric or acoustic guitars, etc. We rehearsed our "Threeatles" version of the song, covering for the lack of drums by my banging on the acoustic guitar to simulate the kick drum part in the first verse.
When the day came, our main challenge was getting all set up for a 9:00 am performance, while being quiet enough to keep the secret from the person in the house who was being surprised.
Dennis and Bryan ham it up by the Yellow Sub
Nathan and Dennis ready to play
Our Yellow Sub, in position, with tree art looking on
We were actually set up by 8:25 am, and were being very quiet in Kyle's back yard. Dennis suggested we go out and have coffee. We tried nearby Ugly Mugs, but there was a line of about a dozen customers waiting, so we drove a few blocks over to Bongo East, where we got quicker service, and enjoyed some wacky artwork on the wall.
Virgin Mobile - a nicely conceived joke for only $2,200
We were safely back at Kyle's backyard by 8:50. At approximately 8:55, we saw Kyle step outside his back door to give us a signal. He raised both hands with all fingers extended, to indicate "ten minutes," i.e. a slight delay in the exact start time.
Preparing for the downbeat
We knew we had to be flexible, with something like a marriage proposal being orchestrated while the recipient of the proposal remained unaware of the event.
And so, with the final go-ahead, we started "Yellow Submarine" at 9:05, and out walked Kyle and June, the lovely lady dressed in a filmy pink dress and high heels - looking pretty sharp for a Saturday morning. She had a look of shock on her face, as we went through the entire song, the two of them watching from the top of the stairs.
View from behind band, with Kyle and June on landing
(Taken by Zev, their friend of a friend photographer)
Then, Kyle did his thing: got down on one knee, holding her hand, and asked the big question.
June expresses her surprise to Kyle, wearing her new ring,
as Nathan grins on the sidelines
She said yes. We didn't get that official news until we'd finished "Do You Want To Know A Secret," and met Kyle and June for the first time. It turns out they both live in Chicago, and were only in east Nashville temporarily. Kyle has been working in the advertising business, so staging an event like this was right up his alley.
Kyle, Zev, and a happy June
We were very impressed with Kyle's creativity, and his obvious love for his lovely bride-to-be.
The WannaBeatles were very happy to be involved with such a personal, romantic, and unique event, celebrating a moment of a lifetime, accompanied by a couple of well-chosen Beatles songs to bring delight to an east Nashville backyard on a Saturday morning.
Bloggin' Bryan 18June2015