Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fourth of July pt. 3

The third day of our July Fourth weekend was Sunday, July 5.

It made sense to have our Sunday show in a church. And it was an exciting show, a room packed full of enthsiastic fans who who got in for free, and got free ice cream as well.

It was an exciting show, and an energetic church, largely because of the adventurous personality of their pastor, Charlie Barnard. 

To give you an idea of Charlie's sense of adventure, here's the photo we got of him and his wife Teresa on their Yamaha motorcyle:

Charlie and Teresa on their Yamaha

So, how did we wind up playing in a Baptist church in a Smokey Mountains retirement community?

The WannaBeatles don't do anything like anybody else. This particular gig started as a conversation between WannaBeatle Dennis and his wife's Uncle Jim and Aunt Pam. They live in Tellico Village, a senior community near Loudon, TN. in eastern Tennessee.  They had wanted us to play in their area, and we wanted to play there.

In the months before this weekend, with Jonesborough booked on July 4, Loudon was a convenient stop on our way back to Nashville. A discussion began about where we could play. The Yacht Club hosted occasional parties, so it seemed like an good possibility, but it didn't work out. 

Next, Dennis spoke with Jim and Pam's Pastor Charlie at First Baptist Church, and soon the event took shape. It was to be an outdoor picnic in the church parking lot, open to the entire community, with lots of grilling, camping chairs, watermelon, ice cream, and Beatles music live onstage by The WannaBeatles.

That was the plan. So, having left Jonesborough that morning, (as described in previous blog) we pulled up in front of First Baptist Church of Tellico Village around noon.
Our first view of the church, through raindrops on the window

It was an impressive structure, but no one was there. All the doors were locked. And it was looking like rain. 
Another view of the church

We didn't know what to do. But we called Charlie on his cell phone, and everything started falling into place. He invited us to the nearby Yacht Club for lunch.
Pastor Charlie and wife at lunch

It was a warm summer day, but clouds filled the sky, and the nearby lake shimmered with occasional raindrops. We sat on the porch overlooking the lake, ordering lunch and getting to know Charlie and Teresa better. 
WannaBeatle David and a view of the lake from Yacht Club

Charlie told us his dilemma: he anticipated around 700 people in the church parking lot. If it rained, the picnic would have to move inside. 

We could see this was not an easy choice, since the congregation had been anticipating this event for several weeks, and the fellowship hall only had room for 400. The grill out feature would have to be reduced to ice cream only. We could see that Charlie didn't want to disappoint any of his flock, but the weather was forcing his hand.

But the rain showed no signs of lifting, so we agreed with Charlie to set up in the fellowship hall.

We found a spacious room, with wall to ceiling windows along two sides, for a view of the woods. It was part of recent renovation for what is clearly a growing church.
Checking out the space in the fellowship hall

We weren't convinced the acoustics were ideal for a live band.
Dennis and David holding their ears anticipating 
reflecting sounds bouncing off the wall

Our sound man Alan arrived from Franklin with his sound system, and everything was under control. 
Dennis and Allan install speaker as Nathan contemplates 
the Baptist church where he grew up in Bristol, Vermont

Charlie at set up

We had several hours to set up, and to meet church members who helped out. We got to know Charlie and Teresa better. We discovered their passion for traveling by motorcycle, all across the country.

David digging Charlie's motorcycle

We had plenty of volunteers to help out with the merch table. 
Louise and Suzanne at merch table
Joy wearing a WannaBeatles tee shirt
Joy practicing being Betty

For dressing rooms, we were given the room where an elaborate set of hand bells were stored. 
WannaBeatles among hand bells

David and Nathan in dressing room

The fellowship hall gradually began to fill up, and the energy of anticipation increased as the minutes grew closer to showtime.
Our sponsors, Uncle Jim and Aunt Pam, 
with Nathan and Dennis before the show
Bryan and Dennis greet the crowd
A panoramic view of the crowd just before showtime

Charlie introduced us, and we were off and running.

Our record of the day is augmented by photos taken by church members.

Here are some:
Dennis and David onstage

Nathan singing at keyboard
Bryan celebrates hitting the high note in "Penny Lane"

Celebrating ice cream
Busy at the merch table

It was a most enjoyable visit to First Baptist Church of Tellico Village.
Charlie and Teresa enjoying the show

After packing up, and folding all the chairs, we were assisted by many helping hands, until finally there was no one left but the four WannaBeatles, Allan, and Charlie out in the parking lot. And then the pizza arrived which Charlie had ordered. As we shared the taste of fresh dough, melted cheese, and flavorful spices and sausage, we told Charlie how much we enjoyed being there, and he returned the enthusiasm.

And then we headed back to Nashville, grateful for such an enjoyable day to conclude our brief summer tour. We appreciate Charlie and Teresa and all the generous people at First Baptist for giving us such a wonderful time.

Bloggin' Bryan 1Sept2015

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