Thursday, January 30, 2014

Getting Ready for TV

Our first appearance on national television is this weekend.

We know it's official because they've sent us our plane tickets to New York and back. 

We've never been to New York before - not as a group. Each of us has walked, lived or worked there as individuals, but this is our first time as The WannaBeatles. We're excited.

This Saturday, Feb. 1, we will tape a segment for Huckabee, on Fox, which will be aired that night at 8 pm. 

We have been told that our musical segment is four minutes. We've also been told there will be a "playoff" opportunity - maybe ten seconds, maybe two minutes - where we play as they fade to a commercial break. 


We have assembled a medley of Beatles songs that lasts approximately 3:52. We have spent the last two weeks trying out different versions of this medley, and rehearsing it. 

We've also prepared our song "Because They Were Fab" to use in that "playoff" slot.

The songs we've settled on are "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "I Feel Fine," "Help!", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and a small concluding piece of "She Loves You." 

Gov. Huckabee is our host for the show, and also our bass player, so we've written a chart for him. We're honored to designate him "the Fifth WannaBeatle" for this weekend. 

Nathan, our resident orchestrator, has made up a professional chart of the medley that contains all the actual bass notes from the original Beatles songs, along with lyrical cues and tempo markings. I have taken that information and condensed it into a simplified chart that has only the notes for the chord that a bassist would need to know. 

Nathan's chart is three pages long; my version is a page and a half. We'll give the Governor both options, and let him decide.

Here's the beautifully scored first page of Nathan's chart:

And here's the first page of my more casual version:

Knowing that we're on television has intensified our attention to the details of our instrumental and vocal parts. For example, we've been playing "I Want To Hold Your Hand" several years without any idea that we were missing something. But WannaBeatle Dave, our resident musical sleuth, has brought to our attention certain notes in the guitar parts of the Beatles recording, which now make our version sound a lot better.


In addition to working on details of the music, we've been using Dennis's home studio as a larger rehearsal space, moving some of his furniture out of the way to set up in a more realistic stage arrangement. And Dennis put his camera on a music stand and filmed our performance, so we could see what we look like. It's a primitive way to do it, but it's very helpful. 

Here's what Dennis's camera caught, as displayed on his computer. (David is hidden behind Dennis, but that won't be the case on Huckabee.)

We've heard from lots of friends congratulating us and promising to watch or record the show this weekend. We're really looking forward to this opportunity.

You can check this blog for more updates as we arrive in the Big Apple and have our adventure. 

Bloggin' Bryan 30Jan2014

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