As a multiple-award winning entertainment writer for three decades, Bob Makin has interviewed many legendary musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Wynton Marsalis, and Garth Brooks. But as much as writing about famous musicians in his Makin Waves column, Bob Makin enjoys making their music actually happen by organizing concerts. And that is what exactly is happening on Thursday, June 1, 2017, 6 p.m. at Pino’s, 13th North Avenue, Highland Park
As part of Makin Waves’ 30th Anniversary Concert Series, Bob Makin has organized a “Sgt. Pepper” 50th Anniversary Celebration with a little help from his friends, including Anthony Carrera, Penny Road, and members of Fun While You Wait and The Paper Jets.
The all-ages show, free to ages 18 and younger, will feature sets by each of those acts, who then will come together with several other fine musicians as the Sgt. Pepper Jersey All Star Band to recreate the iconic rock album live in its entirety, something The Beatles never did.
“The Beatles are my favorite band, so I wanted to recognize the lasting genius of their masterpiece on the day it was released 50 years ago,” said Mr. Makin, the Makin Waves columnist for NJArts.net, NewJerseyStage.com, and www.njstagemag.com, and the entertainment/business reporter for MyCentralJersey.com, Home News Tribune and Courier News.
All of those media outlets are sponsoring the show and the entire Makin Waves concert series.
Other sponsors are Danny Coleman’s “Rock on Radio,” Carousel Arts, Volume IV and Trax East recording studios, Dynacoustics, and Red Pants Productions, the production company of Paper Jets front man Brian Erickson, music director for the evening.
“No album captured the zeitgeist of the late ’60s like ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ ” Mr. Erickson said. “It’s been tasked with the responsibility of having been called the greatest album of all time, a responsibility that The Beatles we’re ready to own at the time. My favorite thing about ‘Sgt. Pepper’ is that The Beatles weren’t afraid to try anything in order to succeed….”
Based in the Princeton area, Mr. Erickson has dedicated his leadership of the Sgt. Pepper Jersey All Star Band to his late friend Tim Ryan, who introduced him to The Beatles in high school.
Beatles fans shouldn’t miss this show that continues Mr. Makin’s tradition of fun special events loaded with local music, he said.
“The Beatles tribute set is what most people may come for, and that’s great because everyone loves The Beatles,” Mr. Erickson said. “But don’t let that be the only reason. Enjoy local talent playing their own original music. The Beatles were once a local band and people paid them that courtesy. Anthony, Kate and Fun While You Wait all deserve that same kindness.”
An eclectic world-music artist from Morris County, Mr. Carrera said he was honored to honor The Beatles with such a strong lineup of New Jersey musicians, all of whom have released more than one independent record and toured a large part of the country.
When it comes to a conversation about highly influential music, it’s nearly impossible for The Beatles not to be brought up, especially the work on ‘”Sgt. Pepper,” said Mr. Carrera, whose sitar skills will be featured prominently on “Within You Without You” by George Harrison.
Ser Xerri, who leads Penny Road, said “The Beatles opened the doorway and brought new ideas and concepts for how to approach music in all of its facets from the musician, the producer, and to the listener as well….The Beatles were true creators. They didn’t limit themselves to traditional ideas, and they experimented wildly with techniques and sounds. So much of the music we all love today stems from their ideas. Penny Road displays the scope of The Beatles’ influence, as the age range of our members spans about 30 years. We are really happy to celebrate the band that has been so important to all of us and to help continue to spread their music to new listeners and musicians alike.
“I also particularly loved how this album helped spread Eastern music, culture, and spirituality. While the (1965) track ‘Norwegian Wood’ did feature a little sitar work … ‘Within You Without You,’ while it’s not by any means an Indian raga, is a much better combination of Indian and western music. It actually features Indian musicians and uses a few musical ideas and lyrics that are much more reminiscent of Indian music. By being a part of the 50th anniversary show, we are essentially bringing the fictional Sgt. Peppers band to life, and that I think is the greatest honor in of itself,” he said.
You can catch members of the Sgt. Pepper Jersey All Star Band performing and chatting on the following radio shows:
Penny Road, 7 p.m. May 21, “Rock on Radio,” www.PANJRadio.com;
Fun While Wait, 8 p.m. May 29, Live from the Dining Room
Erickson, 10 p.m. May 29, “Beatles Tonight,” Home Grown Radio NJ.
The Sgt. Pepper concert isn’t the first time Mr. Makin has paid tribute to The Beatles. Earlier this year, the Makin Waves concert series included an anniversary celebration of the album combined with a 50th birthday salute to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. The Black Clouds, Experiment 34, Wicked Hollow and Yorkshire Tenth played their own music and that of The Beatles and/or Nirvana on April 29 at The Saint in Asbury Park.
“The Beatles are the most influential rock band of all time,” Mr. Makin said. “Nearly 60 years after their formation, they’re still inspiring young musicians to pick up instruments and play. That’s astounding and something that should be encouraged for generations to come. The Pepper party is a step in that direction.”
In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Makin produced a total of 10 Beatles tribute concerts across the state as the All You Need Is Love Fest. Each festival included a children’s enrichment event that turned a total of more than 100 youngsters onto The Beatles.
The Sgt. Pepper concert will take a similar approach as an all-ages show in which parents are encouraged to bring their children age 18 and younger free of charge as a means to turn them onto The Beatles, hear the album live and celebrate its anniversary together. For 19 and up, admission is $10. All younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent.
The Makin Waves concert series will continue with the following events (all are co-presented by MyCentralJersey.com, NJArts.net, New Jersey Stage, Rock on Radio, Carousel Arts, the participating venue and additional sponsors indicated):
June 16, Makin Waves Rock Circus III with Will Wood and the Tapeworms, Experiment 34, Ser Xerri, Pixel Face, and aerial act Vertical Fixation, 8 p.m., Roxy & Dukes, 745 Bound Brook Road (Route 28), Dunellen. 18-and-up
July 21, Makin Waves Jam n Groove Fest to benefit Russell Perry Memorial Scholarship with CC Coletti Band, Danielle Illario Band feat. Anthony Krizan, Garden State Line, Waiting on Mongo, Mike Montrey Band, Alan Grant Band, Joe Stuby & Rocking Horse, Karl Dietel 5, and Midnight Moonlight All Star Jam feat. members of The 90 Proof Band and Bones Weedsley, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., American Spirits Roadhouse, 1090 Route 173, Asbury (Hunterdon County). All-ages show. Co-presented by Sonic Boom Studios
Aug. 4, Planned Parenthood Benefit with Secret Mountain, dollys, EVL MOMMZ, Teenage Halloween, Curtis Cooper and Nine of Swords, The Lakehouse, 621 Lake Ave., Asbury Park. $10, also to benefit Asbury Park Music Foundation
Sept. 23, Makin Waves Film Feastival with William DeVizia, Olivia Baptista, Lamar Mackson, Zack Morrison and Kather Sei, 6-10 p.m., Ria Mar Restaurant and Bar, 25 Whitehead Ave., South River. Invitation only
Oct. 21, Makin Waves Rock Circus (Roots n Spooks Showcase) with Coach ’N Commando, Mass Folk Commons, Anthony Carrera & Marielle Cannon, burlesque dancer Vivi Noir, Vertical Fixation, sword swallower Dean Formica, artist-photographer Tiffany Harned and more to be announced, 8 p.m. Roxy & Dukes. 18+
Nov. 18, Makin Waves Roots Fest to benefit Community Food Bank of New Jersey with Lowlight, Accidental Seabirds, Jackson Pines, The Porchistas, Coach ’N Commando, Jeff Linden and the Black Spot Society on two stages, plus VIP seats with special incentives, catered Thanksgiving treats, cash bar, and food drive, 5 p.m. Union County Performing Arts Center Hamilton Stage, 360 Hamilton St., Rahway. All-ages show.
Makin Waves also will co-sponsor the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival 2017 presented by Hi-Tide from Aug. 24 to 27 throughout Asbury Park with Los Straitjackets, Black Flamingos and much more.
Also, Mr. Makin and several music media colleagues have helped New Brunswick Cultural Center and its annual Hub City Sounds summer concert series expand the ROCK New Brunswick festival dedicated to the local music scene to three days of special events. With the help of Smugbug Productions and coLAB Arts, ROCK New Brunswick will take place Sept. 8 to 10 throughout Hub City. Several new and exciting attractions will be announced in late June along with the lineups of the festival’s four concerts at www.newbrunswickarts.org.
Makin Waves has covered the local music scene like a blanket since 1988. Along the way, Mr. Makin discovered and helped rise to national prominence several NJ bands, including Monster Magnet, Nudeswirl, Godspeed, Buzzkill, The Bouncing Souls, Mr. Reality, and From Good Homes. He gave them all their first-ever magazine covers, along with Phish, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, White Zombie, and Cop Shoot Cop.
Throughout 36 years as an entertainment writer, Mr. Makin has raised more than $128,000 for charities, including Jersey Jams Fund, which he co-founded in 2001 and voluntarily ran through 2005. Jersey Jams raised money for Little Kids Rock, the Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation, music programs in the Camden, Paterson, Neptune and South Toms River school districts, and several of its own music enrichment programs for children, including an arts carnival, the Beatles Bash, and a Count Basie 100th Birthday Bash.
Read Makin Waves every Thursday at www.njstagemag.com, www.NewJerseyStage.com and www.NJArts.net. You also can LIKE Makin Waves at www.facebook.com/makinwavescolumn. For more information about Makin Waves and its 30th Anniversary Concert Series, contact Makin at 732-998-9339 and firstname.lastname@example.org