Okay, the Grammys came and went, but the festivities ended last Monday night with a bang with The Recording Academy’s taping of “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles,” at LA’s Convention center. It featured some of the top performers past and present performing Beatle’s hits in front of the two surviving members of the band Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean, and George Harrison’s widow Olivia.
The crowd was small by concert standards — invite only, about 2000 people at most. The telecast will air on CBS on Feb. 9, 50 years to the day the Fab Four made their first appearance in front of an American television audience on the famed, “Ed Sullivan Show.” (CBS affiliates are available online and mobile in some areas via FilmOn. Check here for your region).
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To say that that moment was historic is an understatement. More than 73 million Americans tuned in and changed pop culture forever. The stars that performed Monday were simply impressive: Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons, Pharrell Williams, Dave Grohl, Katy Perry, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, John Legend and Alicia Keys, Keith Urban and John Mayer, Ed Sheeran and the Cirque Beatle Performers did their aerial stunts as well.
A very funny Eric Idle, Jeff Bridges, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Kate Beckinsale and Anna Kendrick did some of the intros, and Paul and his wife Nancy’s best pals, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson rocked along with the rest of the VIP crowd. Peter Frampton himself was one of the guitarists throughout the night. Some of the standouts? Lennox singing “The Fool on the Hill,” Grohl and Lynne rocking, “Hey Bulldog,” and Harrison’s look-a-like son Dhani joining Lynne and Joe Walsh on a stirring rendition of George’s “Something.”
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Legendary Producer and Rock Musician Don Was and Producer Ken Ehrlich did a fantastic job, integrating live shots with heralded clips from Beatles yore. The vibe was full of rock love and fun, as everyone seemed to be in awe that they were there participating and all were just having the best rock time.
Was and Ehrlich also smartly saved the best for last: Joyous Ringo performed “Matchbox” and “Boys,” and caroused the crowd for a “Yellow Submarine” sing-along. Then Paul told the crowd, “Tonight, we’re remembering our beautiful friends, John and George.” Paul then sang “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” Ringo joined in then “With A Little Help From My Friends.” The last song was “Hey Jude,” with all the performers joining in. Don’t miss this show. DVR it via FilmOn [LINK TO MAIN PAGE} , watch it live, whatever. But don’t miss it. The Grammys, headed by Neil Portnow, Ken Ehrlich and Don Was did a A + job. Congrats!
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