Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Peter Asher: The 60's and Beyond

I saw the Peter Asher show 'The 60's and Beyond' at the Razz Room in San Francisco the other night.

Great show. It's mostly Peter talking and some film clips, but he also performs the Peter and Gordon hits and has a super tight;/very good band. The keyboard player was one of the later members of Badfinger, and he sang a great version of 'Day After Day'. I talked to him briefly after the show, and he was friendly enough. But he had that arrogant keyboard player vibe. I talked to the bass player, too, and he was cool.

Anyway, the show is super fun for a Beatles' nut like me. Asher is a major 'inner circle' Beatles' guy. His sister was Paul's main squeeze during most of the 60's, he was an Apple producer, and he even lived with Paul for years on the upper floor of his parent's house.

He more or less 'discovered' James Taylor and makes a funny remark about the song 'Something in the Way She Moves'...'George Harrison liked it so much he used the title for the first line of a song'.

That 'pinch' by George, as well as 'Taxman'/'Batman' similarities always made me question his denial of the 'He's So Fine' business.

If Asher comes to your town, check it out! I'm sure it'll be on cable or DVD at some point, too.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cable Killed The Telethon

Sorry to see Jerry Lewis no longer hosting the Telethon. But for me, one of the biggest Jerry fans on the planet and someone who made watching the Telethon a ritual, I don't really care.

The Telethon lost it's appeal when cable TV took over and local TV lost its identity.

You see, the Telethon, with Jerry or no Jerry, was really a local show. It's about the firemen and kids in your town talking about money they raised during the 'cut aways' from Las Vegas. It was about seeing your name on the 'Wall of Stars' if you gave $20 and the local news and weather people telling you to call in.

The local channel (in my case, KPTV in Portland) was part of Jerry's 'Love Network', and there was a lot of hype and interest in the show as Labor day approached.

And during Labor Day, local kids and teenagers would have impromtu car washes or go door-to-door of their neighbors and bring the money to the local station. That kind of thing seems impossible now. But when there was only five TV channels, and everybody was home for Labor Day...not so impossible.

It was about the only time of the year (at least for us from 'smaller' markets) that TV was on between the hours of 2AM and 6AM.

I don't mourn the loss of the local TV. It's neither a good or a bad thing. But it did kill the Telethon. And that happened about 20 years ago.