Saturday, August 8, 2009

'You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..'

In 1965, Eric Paulin saw The Beatles play at Shea Stadium and it changed his life.

Today he runs the best Beatles tribute band in the Subway.

The Meetles have been together about six months, with the group's name being chosen by a poll on the New York Beatles' fans Meetup page.

Along with subway veteran Eric on drums and his wife Naomi on authentic Hofner bass, the band is completed by Thom on rhythm and vocals, one of apparently two Robs - neither of whom made it tonight - on guitar, and Danny on vocals.

Steve Baldwin, who handles photgraphy, security and publicity - he'd be the fifth Meetle if there wasn't already five of them - told me all the musicians are "students" of the Beatles, and it's clear they've done their homework. Danny's inflection is perfectly Northern, even down to the "bath" in 'Norwegian Wood'.

The band plays regularly at the main MUNY spots at 34th and 42nd Street - a better gig than playing in clubs, they say - and occasionally on the surface. Saturday night is their "big show", usually culminating with the crowd joining in a communal 'Hey Jude'. But they're playing tomorrow (Sunday) at Strawberry Fields, weather permitting, at about 1pm. Try and catch them, they're very good.


Today, Saturday, was also the 40th anniversary of "the walk" across the Abbey Road zebra crossing. A schoolfriend of mine, who I'd played in a band with when I was a kid, worked for a while as a technician at Abbey Road, so I was lucky enough to be able to get into the studios with him late one night and see round.

I count myself very lucky to have been able to stand at the center of such creative brilliance both there and in the Motown Studios in Detroit - worlds apart, but connected in the soul.

Another friend of mine is a proud Liverpudlian, who at one point helped run the Beatles' official fan club. I'm sure he must die a little inside every time another autographed item sets a new auction record these days, but for him it was always about the music.


In keeping with today's theme, I played at 72nd Street, the stop nearest the Dakota Building and Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial garden in Central Park. It's hard to believe that next year will be thirty years since John's death.

As you might expect it was a pretty mellow crowd; quite a few people wanted to chat; the guitar players especially about how good the little Martin was sounding. I was at the bottom of a stairway down to the A/C line, but I started off at the wrong end before moving down to where people were coming onto the platform, rather than leaving.

My original plan was to play one set here, and one set at Spring Street, the nearest station to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, which is having a John Lennon exhibit at the moment. But as it turned out, I did two sets at 72nd, played quite a few songs two or even three times, and it felt good.

In all, I played for just under two hours, really enjoyed it, and broke the psychological barrier! I collected $5.86 today, making the running total $103.24.

Today's songist:

Here Comes The Sun - Beatles
Let It Be - Beatles
Imagine - John Lennon
Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live - Bruce Springsteen
People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
Johnny Come Lately - Steve Earle
Forever Young - Bob Dylan
Peace Love And Understanding - Elvis Costello
You're Still Standing There - Steve Earle
Passionate Kisses - Lucinda Williams
Already Home - Marc Cohn
The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen
May You Never - John Martyn
The Waiting - Tom Petty
1952 Vincent Black Lightning - Richard Thompson
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin - Colin Hay
New York, New York - Ryan Adams
Rosalita - Bruce Springsteen

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for posting that wonderful article. It was nice to meet you and I wish you all the best in your underground endeavors!

    best, -steve baldwin