X To The Zero Power Debuts in Hoboken for SB's birthday. Wow, what fun. A surprise jam session crashed the party at Cafe Elysian Friday night to the great thrill and pleasure of The BardMan, with JP, CP and RB all breaking out their instruments to play songs from the upcoming album along with several of Joe's tunes and a reading of "Friend Of The Devil" for good measure.
Here's the set as it went:
The Last Hot Water
There Will Be A Time
For Eddie Ray Howard
Scrubbin' Balls Blues
Happy Birthday
Cheese And Punch
My Dear Uncle John
Friend Of The Devil
Bound To Love
One Of A Kind
Wow, another decade gone.
Bard's Album Of The Year, 2009: Prince's fabulous double album Lotus Flow3r/MPLSound.
Bard's Record Of The Year, 2009: Jay-Z/Alicia Keys' "Empire State Of Mind."
Bard's Song Of The Year, 2009: Pearl Jam's "Amongst The Waves."
BardTodd in Nyack.
The first ever BardTodd performance of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" and Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" highlighted an evening of pure Funky TC magic. We don't play that much these days, but when we do, the people all sit there or stand there dancing, with a look in their eyes like they understand how great music is and how special the bond between two brothers can be.
Faze 4 Rocking. There's nothing like playing upbeat music with great musicians and great vocalists, and the highlights are many as F4 continues to afford me the opportunity to have great fun while sharing the greatest thing in the world with all these happy people in tuxedos and gowns. The food is really good too.
Wow, Is This Fun. It was one of those crowds Sunday afternoon, and the solo set was received with uproarious applause for Roy Orbison's "Crying" and "Oh! Pretty Woman" and a version of Johnny Cougar's "Jack and Diane" which had the whole place singing to the raftors. This was a wedding, mind you, but it felt like a rock concert.
Five in a Row in Arizona. BML did five SRO shows in a row, and there was not a bad one in the bunch. Every night was a very fun experience with highly enthusiastic crowds, and highlights included our very first performance of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," the '65 and '67 medleys, "It Won't Be Long," "And I Love Her," and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You." A great week and a splendid time for all involved.

Good Friends in Hoboken and More in Pamona. As if it isn't fun enough to play all those songs for the better part of four hours straight, I was visited by three of my best buddies at The Cafe as Tuna Frisch, Jeff D and Nursey showed up with Jeff's lovely Ingrid in tow as well. Tuna aptly described the proceedings and the non-stop torrent of post-Beatles pop music as "bizarre" and he was right. Also in attendance was the lovely Cynthia, for whom most of Bruce Springsteen's best songs have been written. How good to have good friends.
And speaking of which, the next day, I brought the wife and kids to summer camp to watch my old buddies play their hearts out against boys half their age on Ramaquois Softball Field #1. They were alas outplayed, but not outclassed. And Tuna hit one deep, far over the right field barrier and into the tennis court, so all was not in vain.
To Jordy and Sugar, Brownie and Tuna, Nursey and Dorn, Grossie and Fuhrman, and the steadfast HoJo and J Gelb, I say it's been far too long, gentlemen, and thank you for reminding me of something I have been missing for the last twenty years. Here's to a future in which we are a bit more involved and in contact.
Some Things Do Change. I never imagined singing "Heaven" by Bryan Adams could be so fun, but that's what it was Sunday night. We also did U2's "Sweetest Thing." The bride danced close to the band all night, she liked the energy, I think.
Oh Hoboken!
Man what a night. It was like four hours in a row with no break. Highlights included (in no particular order, and hardly any were played in their entirety - got to fit in as many as possible these days...that's what keeps em smilin in their seats...)
Your Love by The Outfield
Manic Monday by The Bangles
Kiss by Prince into SexyBack by Justin Timberlake (first time ever)
Don't Stop Believin by Journey
The Kids Are Alright and Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
Lithium by Nirvana
Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper
Faith, I Want Your Sex and Father Figure by George Michael
Atlantic City and I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
Blackbird by The Beatles
Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
Man, it went on and on and on.
And all the while, I was keenly aware of how GREAT music is.
Three More. The highlight was "Crazy Love" on Sunday night with Brent, Charysse and Kelli on incredible background vocals. The BardMan channeled Van The Man and we were off to the races. They asked for it again at the end of the night too.

Another One Of Those Weekends. BeatleMania Live! in Mass.
Two great shows, one in Plymouth and one in Worcester, where the sell out crowd sang louder and better than most crowds ever do. To be standing inside the awesome sound of 1400 or so people singing along to "Hello Goodbye" and "Come Together" so loudly, it eclipsed the sound of the band, was as good as this job can get.
One Of Those Weekends.
A great one in Hoboken on Friday night, with Howi and Ali Vinni in attendance along with the lovely Cynthia C. as well, featured some of the most intense versions of Springsteen The BardMan has ever done, most notably "No Surrender," "She's The One," "Candy's Room," and "Darkness On The Edge Of Town." CherieLynn added the moment of the night when she joined in on the mic for an inspired reading of "Closer To Fine." The other moment for me was standing on a chair in the middle of the room, playing the solo to "Kiss" and looking at The Righteous Reverend Vinni with that look of knowing acknowledgment in his eyes that we were both witness to something genuinely special. I love you, Brotherman.
This was followed by a super fun evening on Saturday at the bottom most tip of Manhattan with the Faze 4 band, featuring Brent doing perhaps the best version of Stevie Wonder's "You and I" that I've ever heard. Looking out the window of the restaurant at The Statue Of Liberty reminded me of how lucky I am to get to play music for people at all, ever. My solo set included "Night Moves," "Jack and Diane," "Ants Marching," "Blackbird," and what might be the most beloved song of them all, the monumental "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard." It just gets em going no matter where it is or what's goin on. Amazing. Still great after all these years. The medicine that is Paul Simon.
On Sunday, I played for Adam and Lisa's grandma's 100 year birthday, an amazing thing on any day. Adam is a big appreciator of my Ocean Waves song "Baby Girl Ocean Blue," so we did it no less than three times and of course, I choked up each time. It's about daughters after all. His mom stood by and watched, which is what I think choked me up the most. It was intense. A great weekend of love and music.
I Joined This Great Band, It's Called Faze4. That's what all those Private Parties are on the SHOWS page. I get to sing, play The Flower Telecaster and stand inbetween the great Brent Carter on vocals (formally of Tower Of Power) and the equally-as-impressive Bob Forman on tenor and alto saxophones (formally of Gary's Gang). It's a trip and a half. Solo and BardTodd gigs will continue as always, whenever we can squeeze them in.
BardTodd in Nyack. The Funky TC and The BardMan returned to the town of some our favorite evenings. Highlights included an absurd medley of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'/You Should Be Dancing" and an equally ridiculous mash up of Jeff Buckley's "Mojo Pin/Last Goodbye" with Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir/Ten Years Gone."
Rufus In Tarrytown. The Funky TC took The BardMan and The BardWoman to see the fantastic Mr. Wainwright in Tarrytown Saturday night and it was a wonderful evening all around. Rufus was in tremendous voice at the piano and on the acoustic guitar and played an, intimate dramatic solo set comprised from all five of his brilliant albums, highlights including "Going To A Town," "California," "Poses," and "The Art Teacher." But thanks to the great Matty J, The BardMan got to go backstage and meet his hero face to face. Rufus, who must be six feet tall if he's a foot, was gorgeous and gracious, as he received the highest praise I could give, namely that he alone in popular music right now is occupying the hallowed territory once inhabited by Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder circa 1972-1976. It was a thrill to shake his hand and lock his eye, to say the least.
Two Great Minds Meet At Last. Dave Marsh, the most significant writer of my youth is finally blessed by deep conversation with HowiVinni, the most significant writer of my life. Sparks, of course, fly. Bard is even thanked at the end. 
At Sea, Again. The voice has returned at long last, thank The Maker, and The BardMan actually made it through all four shows without feeling like a total wanker. The standing ovations we received were probably the loudest and longest of any this year so far. Like The Edge has said, it is strapping on the guitar and waiting for lightning to strike. I wish it struck a little more often, but we must be grateful, I suppose, that it ever strikes at all.
BML in the Beatiful South. No voice until the second half, when thank goodness, halfway through "Strawberry Fields Forever," there was a break in the bronchial struggle and some sound decided to show up. Feeling as though we had not given them their money's worth and finally having a JL who could kind of sing, the encore lasted twenty minutes, featuring "Hey Jude," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Johnny B Goode/Rock and Roll Music," and "Twist and Shout (Again)."
BeatleMania Live! at Sea. It was a tough one across the Atlantic for The BardMan, having come down with acute bronchitis for most of the trip, and singing with no voice for the second round of shows, but the English passengers enjoyed it nonetheless, as the band had the pleasure of being joined by top-notch substitute and fab singer/songwriter Glen Burtnick in place of our dear old Mac, who had to stay home with his ailing father.
BML in Arizona. Wow, five sellouts in a row in the desert. It was dry and very hot outside, but inside the showroom, it was all Rock and Roll Liverpool Style. Highlights included rare appearances of "All I've Got To Do" and "I Saw Her Standing There," plus of course emotional takes on "This Boy" and "In My Life." But most importantly was the addition, at long last after many requests, of "Let It Be" in an encore medley with "Hey Jude."

Paulie P and The Potpourri, featuring the combined talents of Paul Plemenos, Bob Mount, Troy Rusnack, Larry Cecio and Steve Shefferman, reunited for the first time since 1989 last Saturday evening, for a rousing concert on the lawn of ScottWorld in Sparta, NJ. The set featured impassioned renditions of "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)," "Go Your Own Way," "Carry On Wayward Son," "Sometimes A Fantasy," "Your Love," "Remedy," "Honky Tonk Woman/Brown Sugar," and an emotional "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." Drummer Paulie P took the mic and the MVP award for "Takin' Care Of Business" and "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" to the pure pleasure of the faithful throng gathered in front of the stage. An incredible evening captured for posterity by DC Weber, the DVD should be available some time in the next decade.  
Posted on Beatlefan.com. In Defense Of Sgt. Pepper has been posted in the BeatlefanPlus section of Beatlefan.com. Thanks to Bill King and Howi Vinni.  
BardTodd in Manhattan. Brownie threw a shindig if there ever was one and the big cheese from Canada stayed the entire evening, thrilling and singing along to prime choices like "No Surrender," "Tiny Dancer," "Levon," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "If You Could Read My Mind," "Summer Of '69," and "Pink Houses." Thanks Steve, long time brother and partner in chaos.  
Alison, His Aim Is True.
HowiVinni married his lovely Ali at a beautiful ceremony in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, on Saturday. The BardMan sang McCartney's "Calico Skies" with the bride's best friend, Averil, as the wedding party proceeded down the aisle to the tree where guest reverend Mo ran the show with dignity and aplomb. The vows were the highlight, especially Alison's, and the groom sang a Dennis Wilson song to her at the altar. Rings were exchanged to the joyous strains of The Ronettes' "Baby I Love You." Covering the event for posterity was the incredible Dr. Jimmy, aka Danny Rothenberg, whose effervescence and excitement for life was, to say the least, contagious. To quote the coolest of all, sporting white sneakers and black shades, dressed to the 9's in a white leisure suit with an Hawaiian shirt open to reveal his dazzling chest hair, "Manhood is the battle against and the conquering of selfishness."
I love you, Howi and Ali Vinni.

Bard and Syvarth in Morristown. It was the first time Bobby and I ever jammed together and it was a lot of fun. Brownie and VJ were there and Syvarth was in deep groove mode as we tore into "Blackbird," "Eleanor Rigby/Superstition," "Sugar," "Fire In Brooklyn," "Traffic Jam," and a medley of "The River," "Atlantic City," and Pearl Jam's "Daughter." Also performed solo were "Irony," "14," "Sadomasokissed," and "Pretty Much Great."
Oh The Sea! BeatleMania Live! played another four standing room only shows that all ended in standing ovations on the Liberty of The Seas this week. The big moment surely came with the new segue from "Yesterday" right into "She Loves You."
BML in The Midwest. Several thousand people turned out to watch BeatleMania Live! in St. Louis and Cleveland over the Memorial Day Weekend. The Cleveland show was received especially enthusiastically, which is always a good way to be received. There was such a reaction, we encored with "Rock and Roll Music" and "Long Tall Sally." In St. Louis, we were followed by the legendary Buddy Guy, and from the first note of his electrifyingly great set to when he walked off the stage and into the van that whisked him away as his great backing band played on, there was no doubt why this guy is a legend. Think Clapton, only funkier and funnier; think Hendrix, only dirtier and earthier; think Stevie Ray, only blacker and older. Unbelievable. A true master. It was a good weekend. 
Cover 2 Cover in Boonton. Ricky G was letting it loose on "Pride and Joy," "Comfortably Numb," "Blue Sky," and "I'd Like To Change The World" as Paulie P unleashed some of his most vicious thunder ever on a medley of "Elevation/Vertigo" and a galvanizing "Whole Lotta Love." Dan The Man provided the glue downstairs as The BardMan just did his best to hold on to the speeding train of rock rolling underneath him. The few and the proud who witnessed it will surely never be the same. And who would want to be?
Sweet Virginia. In the gorgeous Virginia countryside, BeatleMania Live! played a show in a giant outdoor space usually meant for horse shows. The Virginians came out in droves to sing and dance along to the glory of Northern songs and it was quite a night. It was also a reminder of how very beautiful this great country can be.

Rain, I don't mind. BeatleMania Live! was rained out by a huge storm that centered itself right over Atlanta Saturday afternoon and evening. We were supposed to headline the Dogwood Music Festival, but it was not to be. So we all went back to the hotel, got the guitars out and jammed all night in my room. 
BardTodd in NYC. Steve Brown of Congers, NY was there at BB's as The Funky TC and The Bard Man tore through a set that included "The River," "Don't You Forget About Me," "Boogie On Reggae Woman," "Heart Of Glass," "Squeezebox," "Irresistible B," "Sugar," and a medley of "She's The One/Desire." Brownie said "Sugar" is so good, it sounds like a cover. He's biased.
Hasbrouck Heights is alive with The Sound Of Music. It was another one of those special evenings where many present were true music lovers. I sang and played dozens of songs for nearly four hours straight and they sat and ate and sang along, smiling and contented. It's good.
BardTodd in The Penthouse. The Funky TC and The Bard Man played a private party on the 15th floor of a posh building in Manhattan with a 360degree view of the greatest city in the world. Most interesting was the surprising number of guests who knew every word to The Grateful Dead's "Ripple."
BeatleMania Live! in Arizona. A sold out, four night stand at the Casino Arizona in Scottsdale had each show topping the one before it. The band seems in a groove, and that's a fun thing to be part of. Most notable additions to the setlists were "No Reply," "Drive My Car," "Paperback Writer," and "All I've Got To Do."
BeatleMania Live! At Sea. After all these years on the ships, we played the best show we've ever done at sea in the midst of four excellent ones. It was pandemonium from the opening notes of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and the final standing ovation lasted several minutes. Sometimes you get lucky, it all lines up and there's a crowd of people who really get it.
BeatleMania Live! in Mass. We played a good show for an excellent crowd who braved a very windy snow storm in Quincy, Massachusetts to come out and sing and dance to the glory of Northern Songs. Before "Imagine," I paid homage to one of my favorite singers, the great Brad Delp, with a verse and a chorus of Boston's "Hitch A Ride" at the piano. I don't know what ailed him, but I do know there isn't much music in this world that makes me happier to be alive than that first Boston album. And Don't Look Back was pretty great too. God rest him. 
BardTodd in Nyack. To celebrate JeffHead's birthday, The Funky TC and The BardMan laid it down hard and the good people of Nyack came out and helped. Highlights included: "Tea In The Sahara," "Kiss," "Beautiful Day," "Late In The Evening," and "Elevation." Also played were "Irony," "I Choose You," "Sugar," and "For Eddie Ray Howard."
The Joshua Tree in Hoboken. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of U2's first bonafide masterpiece, I played a medley of "With Or Without You," "Running To Stand Still," and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." One guy in the back said, "Man, we're old." I said, "Yeah, but I'm glad, because I was there when it came out."
Filmmaker Michael Frank has posted raw edit footage of me, Joe, Chris, Ryan and TC playing together in a Nyack church. Check it out.
For Joe's One Of A Kind click here:
For Stephen's For Eddie Ray Howard click here:
For Joe's Raven and The Princess click here:

Bard in Hoboken. I played Irony, Our Own Thing, Hair Hanging Down, Sugar, Don't Worry About It, Pretty Much Great, 14 and I Think I've Seen Enough. My friend Amy sang some great harmony. Fun, Fun, Fun.
BardTodd in New York. Among the esteemed guests at BB's Wednesday night were Howi & Ali Vinni, VJ and Brownie, and ex-Exodus keyboard player Neil Seigel, all people I've known for at least twenty-two years. And that includes The Funky TC on drums, who asked me to be in his first band on top of Kakiat Hill in 1982. Highlights included:
You Better You Bet and Imagine A Man by Pete Townshend.
Every Night, I Will and Let Me Roll It/That Would Be Something by Paul McCartney.
Irony, Beautiful, Again and I Choose You by BardTodd.
Over The Hills and Far Away and The Ocean by Led Zeppelin.
I'm On Fire and No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen.
Me and Julio Down By The Shoolyard and Late In The Evening by Paul Simon.
Sir Duke/I Wish by Stevie Wonder.
Something Fun Happened. In a church in Nyack, NY, with the cameras of Michael Frank rolling, myself, Joe and Chris Pascarell, Todd Cohen and RyanBall played five songs for the first time ever together. I played piano, Joe played guitar, Todd and Chris both played drums, and Ryan played bass. It was a great night. Here's what we played:
One Of A Kind
For Eddie Ray Howard
Raven and The Princess
When Nothing Happens
Happy V Day. BeatleMania Live! played four more shows at sea to standing ovations and lots of singalong to Northern Songs. It's a good job and fun to be a part of something that seems to make so many people happy and have a good time. Now we're set to play in Aspen, Colorado. What a change from the Caribbean sun and sea where the islands are filled with thick green vegetation and banana trees to the glorious snow tipped evergreens of the Rocky Mountain Highlands. And I say to myself, what a wonderful world. It's a good job.
Prince at HalfTime. Wow, in the pouring rain, he played and sang like no other, and the legend he so rightfully is. I can't believe I could be so moved and excited this far along in my life by someone making music, but it happened again. And note should be made about the strange choice of covers sprinkled in amongst the three gems from Purple Rain: CCR's "Proud Mary," fellow Minnesotan Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," and weirdest of all, Foo Fighters' "The Best Of You." Coming out of the Mississippi strains of John Fogerty's classic river song into the cryptic warning call of Dylan by way of Hendrix, hearing the man sing over and over again, "Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?" I got the feeling this was an unspoken indictment through song of the US governments' seemingly negligent behaviour concerning Hurricane Katrina and the devestated people of the Gulf Coast area. Or maybe it was just one of the greatest African-American artists ever deciding that he can cover white Rock and Roll just like white rock and rollers have always covered black Rock and Roll. Under the radar social commentary at the Super Bowl? A grand, funky call to Unity of All People? Either way, an amazing, triumphant set, lended even more gravity and drama by the torrential downpour it was pulled off so effortlessly in. Amazing. And don't even get me started on his guitar playing. Or how handsome and seemingly ageless he has become. Wow, in the pouring rain. 

Another One In Hoboken. Some songs that were touched on Friday night:
In My Life, I'll Follow The Sun, Here Comes The Sun, Something, Blackbird, Late In The Evening, Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Let My Love Open The Door, You Better You Bet, Bad, Last Goodbye, Hallelujah, Unchained Melody, Over The Hills And Far Away, Going To California, That's The Way, Kiss, Sugar.
I Love You, Howi and Ali Vinni. Congratulations.
Bard in Hoboken. Here are some of the songs played Saturday night:
With Or Without You, In Your Eyes, One, Litte Red Corvette, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Manic Monday, Cinammon Girl, D'yer Mak'er/Wild World, A Long December, In Candy's Room, Cecilia/Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Fast Car/Blackbird, Closer To Fine, Power Of Two, Ziggy Stardust, Tangled Up In Blue/Romeo and Juliet, A Guy Like Me.
Cover 2 Cover in Succasunna. Lead guitarists Ricky and Joey G were both in peak form, especially on "Rhiannon" and "Blue Sky" respectively. Drummer extraordinaire Paulie P brought his A game as well, especially impressive coming off of major shoulder surgery a month ago. Dan The Man provided the bottom, the harp and the harmony in expert fashion and Stevie B was having a good time from the word go. The word for the show would be "fluid."
BeatleMania Live! at Sea. Another four fun shows at sea to what seemed to be some very happy people who stood, danced and sang to the wonder of Northern Songs.
BeatleMania Live! in Arizona. It was unseasonably cool in Scottsdale but the five standing room only shows were fun and energetic enough to warm it up. Highlights included the '65 Medley featuring "In My Life" and "We Can Work It Out" and the '67 Medley featuring "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "A Day In The Life," and "I Am The Walrus."
Bard in Hoboken. A fun night featuring big medleys of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. To fit in with the Christmas spirit and all, I played Joni's "River" for the first time. Don't know why I waited so long. Wow, what a song.
A Very Good Year. These records, all good, came out this year:
Modern Times-Bob Dylan
Surprise-Paul Simon
Stadium Arcadium-The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Endless Wire-The Who
The Captain And The Kid-Elton John
Dusk And Summer-Dashboard Confessional
Morph The Cat-Donald Fagen
Love-The Beatles
Despite Our Differences-Indigo Girls
The River In Reverse-Elvis Costello/Allen Touissant
My Flame Burns Blue-Elvis Costello
The Eraser-Thom Yorke
Pearl Jam-Pearl Jam
The Seeger Sessions-Bruce Springsteen
Black and White in Hoboken. A good one at the Cafe Elysian featuring some soul brothers lending their voices to "O-o-o-h Child," "My Girl," and a stirring acapella version of "Love's In Need Of Love Today."
Also remembering Our Dear Uncle John, taken this day, December 8th, 1980.
One To Remember. In a beautiful house in northern New Jersey, I started on the grand piano at 7:30PM, picked up my acoustic guitar around 9:45, and around 12:25AM, got back on the piano for one of mine called "I Love You Still" and one of JL's called "Imagine." That's five hours straight. And it went by rather quickly actually. Time does fly when you're having fun. Thanks to Andy and Alison for one hell of a night.

Carolyn Steinberg is born, 1945.
The Beatles White Album is Released, 1968.
I Love You, Mom.
BardTodd in NYC and Bard in Hoboken. Two nice shows, one with The Funky TC on Wednesday night and one without on Friday. Highlights included a Stevie Wonder medley in NYC and "Wild Horses" into "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?" in Hoboken.
Cover 2 Cover in Boonton. Lots of fun as many pretties danced it up to our downhome Rock and Roll Music. Highlights included Joey G's blistering solo on "Rhiannon," Paulie P and The Bard Man duetting on "Can't You See" and both versions of "Vertigo," a song especially fun with a twin guitar rock band behind you.
BeatleMania Live! in Mass. They packed Plymouth Memorial Hall and we rocked 'em all night. Especially fun was the '65 medley featuring an emotional "In My Life."
BardTodd in NYC. Howi Vinni and Mo were in attendance as we blasted through "This Grass" and a bunch of Who and Zep tunes tailor made for a fun evening of FreeFolk.
Cover 2 Cover in Succasunna. Bard joined with friends in Cover 2 Cover for an evening of barn-burning Rock and Roll featuring The Goryeb Brothers on twin lead guitars, Dan The Man on bass and background vocals, and the incredible Paulie P. on drums and lead vocals. Highlights included "Whole Lotta Love," "Melissa," "Plush," "American Woman," and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

BeatleMania Live! in Arizona. We did what may have been our best ever week in Scottsdale at the Casino Arizona to five standing room only audiences of happy Northern Song lovers. The highlight of the week must surely have been an impromptu version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" at the behest of a heckler who actually knew better. Imagine JL belting out MJ in full lime Pepper regalia to a room of screaming Beatle/Stones people and you've got a good picture of the inspired madness. A great week.
BardTodd in New York. The Funky TC laying it down and The Bard Man just happy to be along for the festivities. Highlights included "Kashmir," "Whole Lotta Love," "Immigrant Song," "Over The Hills And Far Away," "Dancing Days," the fastest "Irresistible B" we've ever played, "Hallelujah/Unchained Melody," "Miss You," "Kiss," Sir Duke/I Wish," and "Desire".
The Motor City Madman. BeatleMania Live! opened for Ted Nugent in Indianapolis on Labor Day, playing Northern Songs to thousands of Indianans on a beautiful day in the glorious midwest. Nugent was out of control and played one hell of a star spangled electric guitar. At 58, he still rocks harder than most people half his age.
Three in a row. I did one with The Funky TC and two on my own, and all three were lots of fun. Highlights included a long Zeppelin set on Friday and a long Beatles set on Saturday. Throw in plenty of Ocean Waves stuff and it was a nice weekend.
BardTodd in NYC. Damn, we're having fun lately! The Funky TC is literally better than ever and The Bard Man is just holding on for the ride. Highlights included four in a row by Prince, "Sugar," "I Choose You," and "This Grass," a burning "Miss You," a medley of Elvis Costello's "Beyond Belief" and The Who's "Baba O'Riley," and Paul Simon's "How Can You Live In The Northeast?" complete with a full "Star Spangled Banner" at the end.
Hot Fun in St. Paul. BeatleMania Live! did two full hours of Northern Songs while several hundred smiling Minnesota residents sang and danced in the hot summer sun. There were several moments when it seemed being in a Beach Boys tribute show would have made more sense. But these songs work even in a hundred and five degrees. The highlight surely was a sweaty "Get Back" into an even sweatier "Revolution." We were followed by David John's favorite band, progressive rock perennial, Kansas.
BardTodd in Nyack. The Funky TC and me, pumping it out all night for a group of people ready to shake it. Todd was especially good, hitting hard, grooving harder.
Magic in Morristown. Bard, Matarazzo and guest drummer Ned Stroh got together for the first time at Cafe Arabica Wednesday night and sparks flew. Highlights included many Matarazzo tunes and an amazing "Rosalinda's Eyes."
Two Milestones Celebrated. 7 years ago, two wonderful things happened in my life: David Cone of The New York Yankees pitched a Perfect Game and I got married to my love.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #27. With the mixing of "When Nothing Happens," we have finished the album exactly one year from the first session. Now it's on to mastering and putting it out, hopefully in September.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #26. JP, SB and RB at Checkmate Studios mixing "When Nothing Happens."
Bard/Matarazzo in New Brunswick. Here are some of the tunes we played:
"Me and Julio Down By The Shoolyard/Bye Bye Love," "Riders On The Storm/No Quarter," "One," "How Can You Live In The Northeast?/Fake Plastic Trees," "Faithfully," "Sugar," "Kiss," "Hallelujah," and "Freedom Of The Road."
Bard/Matarazzo in Morristown. Oh yeah! Highlights including "Superwoman," "The River," "Who's Crying Now," "Sugar," "Kiss," "Creep," "Faith," "Buried In Blue," "Caught Up In You," "Crazy Game," and "Connected." 
BeatleMania Live! at Sea. The crowds were big and enthusiastic as BML took the stage on the Navigator of The Seas for four standing room only shows. Another bunch of standing ovations greeted us and they never get old.

Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #25. JP, SB and RB mixing "Stepping Stone" and "Dog and Dog II."
Round 4 in Morristown. Another great night with Robert as we tore through a bunch of originals including "Sugar," "Buried In Blue," and "Too Little Too Late" and an especially fun medley of Journey's "Lights" and "Stay Awhile." The "Sugar / 7 / Creep" medley keeps getting better and better. Fun fun fun.
Round 3 in Morristown. Robert and I had our best night yet with renditions of "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "High and Dry," "Faithfully," "Who's Cryin' Now," "Girl," "Norwegian Wood," his "Buried In Blue" and "Forever Is Gone," and my "Too Weird For Words" and a brand new one called "Baby Be Strong." Especially fun was an off-the-cuff, never before rehearsed or performed version of Paul Simon's incredible new song "How Can You Live In The Northeast?" in which Robert let his E-Bow run wild as Our National Anthem found its way in at the end of the tune on a cool synth sound I found in the Kurzweil.
BeatleMania Live! in Minneapolis. From what I could tell, there were about three hundred people in the big Country Club room. They danced, sang and hollered. Back in my hotel room, I wrote another song for my daughter. I figured if Paul Simon could write one for his, I could write two or three for mine.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #24. JP, SB and RB mixing "Stepping Stone."
BardTodd in NYC. Another long one with The Funky TC with many old friends in the house, including HowiVinni, who brought along a bag of boots one would be hard pressed to equal or find anywhere else. Highlights of the show included "Tea In The Sahara," "Since I've Been Loving You," and "Arthur's Theme." RyanBall was also along for the ride and guested on acoustic guitar on "Thank You," "Don't Let Me Down" and "Night Moves."
The Machine Live in Danbury. In a fit of delicious absurdity and friendship, I subbed for The Funky TC and played drums for The Machine at an outdoor festival show in Danbury, CT. Highlights included "Have A Cigar," "Pigs," "Wish You Were Here," and "Young Lust." It rained the entire show and the crowd stood there and sang along the whole time. One of the great nights of my professional career. Many thanks to a great band for being so gracious and welcoming.
Bard/Matarazzo Round 2 in Morristown. Robert and I traded tunes all night, highlights including Robert's amazing take of "Hallelujah," and the "Sugar / 7 / Creep" medley. For the first time, I performed Radiohead's "Knives Out."
Good Spirit in St. Louis. BML took the stage in front of Eddie Money and celebrated the splendour of a beautiful summer day in St. Louis in front of several thousand people singing along to the glory of Northern Songs. Not a bad way to spend a Monday afternoon.
Chagrin Falls. BeatleMania Live! played to a few thousand people in Chagrin Falls, Ohio on Saturday night. It was one of the best crowds of the year so far. Especially fun was "Tell Me Why" and "Twist And Shout."
Bard/Matarazzo in Morristown. A great night with Robert as we did everything from "Kiss" and "7" to "How Deep Is Your Love" and "If." Robert's highly creative use of loops combined with his fantastic vocalising is a real fun musical place for me to fit my electric piano, acoustic guitar and vocal harmony into.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #23. JP, SB and RB doing mixes of "Blue" and "Raven And The Princess."
The Wall Live In Harrisburg. The Machine played The Wall in its entirety, Animals in its entirety and a set of Floyd chestnuts including "Fearless," "Wish You Were Here," "Free Four," "The Fletcher Memorial Home" and "Have A Cigar," and SB was there on 12 String and tambourine.
Pearl and Bono. EmilyClaire and Raya Pearl's great-grandma is 90 years old today. I love you Pearl. Also happy 46th to Paul Hewson, my favorite Rock Star.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #22. JP, SB and RyanBall at Checkmate Sound mixing "Blue."
Cinqo de Mayo in Morristown. A real fun one hour set at the Cafe Arabica went as follows:
"Late In The Evening/Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard"
"Baby Girl Ocean Blue"
"Born To Run"
"Hey Ya"
"Jackie + Jill"
"Purple Rain/Faithfully"
"Bye Bye Love (w/Robert on vocals)"

April 2006:
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #21. "Happy Birthday" mixed at Checkmate Sound.
A Long Short One. BeatleMania Live! played consecutive nights in Key West, Florida and Albequerque, New Mexico to over five thousand people. It took several flights and lots of praying and deep breathing to make it happen, but both shows went off well, especially the Key West show, which featured an impromptu "Let It Be" with the entire crowd taking the lead vocal. It's fun to witness the purity and power of Northern Songs up close and personal with some three thousand friends. 
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #20. JP, SB and RB doing mixing on "Happy Birthday."
5 For 5 in Arizona. BeatleMania Live! played five sold out shows in a row at Casino Arizona from April 5th-9th. Highlights included a nightly "In My Life," a powerful "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the '67 medley ("Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "Getting Better," "A Day In The Life," "I Am The Walrus," and "Hello Goodbye"), and the Hard Day's Night set featuring the title track, "Tell Me Why," "If I Fell," "I Call Your Name," "You Can't Do That," and "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You." And lest we forget "Can't Buy Me Love" which got 'em nice and screamin'. Good fun.

March 2006:
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #19. Mixing began at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall handling the knobs and faders, yielding a finished mix of Joe's beautiful "One Of A Kind."
BardTodd in NYC. BB King's was the place and we played the better part of four hours straight. Highlights included "Kiss" twice, "I Choose You," "And The World Goes Round," and "Sugar." That one got lots of laughs. Also featured: "Black Friday," "Life In The Fast Lane," and "Misty Mountain Hop."
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #18. It's a wrap. It took 17 sessions and after listening to all seven songs, JP, SB and RyanBall are ready to begin mixing the album. Each song feels complete. Mixing begins Thursday at Checkmate Sound.
Six Hours In Hoboken. I started at 8:30pm at the Cafe Elysian and finished at 2:30am. But when Dean, Danny H. and Keith A. are there, you tend to play long. Highlights included "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," "Boogie On Reggae Woman," and a couple of my own including "There Will Be A Time," "Irony," and a new one called "Everybody Comes Of Age."
BardTodd in Nyack. The Funky TC and his buddy from Kakiat Hill '82 returned to Natraz for a night of funky Free Folk and the good-looking crowd was out and ready to dance. Highlights included "Late In The Evening," "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," "Creep," and "Sugar." Fun, fun, fun. Johnny Maverick taped and broadcasted the show on his Pirate Radio 102.5 FM station for posterity and the true pursuit of freedom. Amen.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #17. SB with RyanBall at Checkmate Sound doing overdubs on "One Of A Kind," "Raven And The Princess," "Stepping Stone," and "When Nothing Happens."
London, Ontario. BeatleMania Live! played to a small but enthusiastic crowd at a private fundraiser in Canada this weekend to help people with brain injuries. The highlight was sharing the mic for the first time with Mac on "Ticket To Ride" Shea Stadium style.
Raya Pearl. StephenBard, CherieLynn and EmilyClaire have a brand new baby girl, born this day, March 14th, 2006.
Another week at Sea. Some of the best crowds we've ever had joined us this week as BeatleMania Live! played four standing-room-only shows on the Radiance of The Sea.

3/5/05   Friends Of Jon Cohen at Rockwood Music Hall. For the first time in nine years, Joe, Chris and I played together in public. Rare and beautiful in life when a dream comes true. Dressed in full turban regalia, JeffHead put two pictures of Jon behind us and we played in honor of his memory and out of love for each other and our friends. Liz was there filming, along with CherieLynn, Heidi and Erin serving as sister-mirrors to the three brothers on stage. A lot of love and a lot of fun. Here's the set and here's to more like it: 


"There Will Be A Time"

"Bound To Love"

"Raven And The Princess" 

"All The Patience In The World"

"One Of A Kind"

"For Eddie Ray Howard"

3/3/06     Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #16. JP and SB at Checkmate Sound doing overdubs on "Blue." Adding sunshine as is her wont, CherieLynn made a guest appearance on background vocals, giving Joe's beautiful song the golden hook it's all about.

Cafe Elysian. A nice little show in Hoboken yielded a chance to play a bunch of FOJC songs including "One Of A Kind," "Raven And The Princess," "Happy Birthday," "Thanksgiving Day," "There Will Be A Time," and "Everybody Comes Of Age," and a set of U2unes featuring "Vertigo," "Bullet The Blue Sky," "Running To Stand Still," "Even Better Than The Real Thing," and an especially fun "So Cruel."

3/1/06  Matarazzo and Bard in Morristown. Robert and I played a show together at Cafe Arabica Wednesday night. Highlights included "Melancholy Boy," "Still Crazy After All These Years," Robert's beautiful take of "The Best Deceptions," and a fun duet on "Rikki Don't Lose That Number."

February 2006:
Happy Birthday to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and StephenBard;
two great Americans and one grateful just to be one.
Hoboken. A fun time at the Cafe Elysian as Becker, Dean and company turned out to sing along. Highlights included "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," a mini-Bruce set featuring "Darkness On The Edge Of Town," "She's The One" and "Atlantic City," an inspired medley of "Street Fighting Man" and "It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)," and a bunch of originals including "I Didn't Think I Could Love You More" and "There Will Be A Time."
Stuck Inside Of Providence With The Tulsa Cold Again. When a week-long cold finally settles like a brick wall in the chest, it's lights out for a singer and that's just what happened to our humble narrator as BeatleMania Live! took the stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center Friday night in front of well over two thousand paying customers. From the first cough to the last croak and every sorry note inbetween, the sound emitted from the hapless boob playing "the clever one" was not unlike something you'd expect a frog drowning in a muddy swamp to make. I'm not sure one pleasing musical note was manufactured the entire night. Thank goodness Mac and DJ were still on it and thus the show was not a complete embarrassment, at least not to the rest of the band. And to prove that most people are basically caring and decent, everybody after the show said there was "no need to apologize...it was great...even with the frog." A wonderful night, to be sure.
Happy Birthday SB. With the wrinkles of a 36 year old and the maturity of a 16 year old, StephenBard averages out to about 26 today. Happy birthday Stephen!
Tulsa. Whether it was something in the water or just a crowd of rock and rollers hungry for some good music, the good people of Tulsa, Oklahoma provided BeatleMania Live! with another fantastic audience at the Brady Theatre Saturday night. "You Can't Do That" and "Don't Let Me Down" found their way into the set again and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" brought them to their feet for the second time running. Who'd have thought George's '68 masterwork would be the one to break the second half of the show wide open on a regular basis, but that's just what it does. Bless him.  
Indigo Girls in Morristown. We saw our all-time favorites Thursday night at the Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ and they did not disappoint. It was just the two of them, switching guitars between every song, alternating Amy Ray and Emily Saliers tunes the entire night, and the intimacy of the theatre amplified the purity of their music and collective synergy. Highlights included a beautifully gentle take of Emily's "She's Saving Me," the hallmark "Closer To Fine," an inspired "Chickenman" which included most of Amy's "Bitterroot" thrown in, and of course, "Galileo," which brought the relatively reserved sell-out crowd to their feet, confirming it as Emily's most universally beloved song. My baby (named for the humbling artist in question, by the way) was asleep on my lap or else I would have been standing too.

January 2006:
A very happy new year to all.
Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05) is available here now.
The album with Joe and Chris Pascarell is nearly finished and will hopefully be released in the spring.
A Great Night Follows. BML played the showroom of Casino Arizona Monday night after our great time on the roof earlier in the day and while it's only January, might have turned in the show of the year. From the first note, it was a special night and a special crowd. Highlights included the '65 Medley ("Michelle," "Yesterday," "In My Life," "We Can Work It Out" and "Ticket To Ride"), three from the rooftop for the encore ("Get Back," "Don't Let Me Down" and "One After 909") and a staggering version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which brought the crowd to its feet. Thanks again to the Casino Arizona and the good people of Scottsdale and Phoenix for making it one to remember.
BeatleMania Live! On The Roof in AZ. We did it. It was awesome, surreal and a lot of fun. 37 years after the event, BML took to the roof of Casino Arizona and recreated the fabled Apple Rooftop Concert, with Mac's beard, two mink coats, George's dark wood Telecaster and a nice guy named Levar filling in as Billy Preston. A good thousand or so people filled the casino parking lot in the warm Phoenix sun as we launched into "Get Back" and rolled on from there. Here's the complete setlist:
Get Back
Don't Let Me Down
I've Got A Feeling
One After 909
Dig A Pony
Two Of Us
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Back In The USSR
Come Together
Day Tripper
You Can't Do That
The Ballad Of John and Yoko
Get Back (reprise)
Of course, for anyone who knows the Rooftop concert, more than half our show was culled from other albums, but we were asked to do fifty minutes, and the Rooftop set only lasted about a half an hour and included repeat performances of some of the songs. So we fleshed the set out with White Album and Abbey Road cuts along with a couple of earlier things we thought might be fun in minks and facial hair! It was a great day for us and lots of fun recreating a seminal moment in Rock and Roll history. Thanks to the Casino Arizona, Fender Guitars and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arizona for inviting us out and letting us let our hair down. If you'd like to see how it looked, go to: www.scottsdale.azcentral.com and check it out.    
BardTodd Tops The Nyack Social Scene Readers' Poll. The first ever "Nyack Social Scene" Readers' Poll has been conducted in a mass email poll and BardTodd has been voted "Best Band to go see in Nyack!" 371 members voted and The Funky TC and his Guitar Player/Singer buddy from 1982 came out on top! We are, needless to say, thrilled and flattered.
The Poetry of S. Campbell. The Grab Bag welcomes the inspired poetry of Sean Campbell. Check it out. It's great.
Friends Of Jon Cohen Session #15. (Note: From this point forth, JP, CP and SB will be referred to here as Friends Of Jon Cohen because that's what we are and always will be. Jon is in the next room listening, dancing and working.) Joe and I at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall did further overdubbing on Joe's "Blue." Hoping to begin mixing the album in February.
Beatlemania Live! will be recreating the January '69 Rooftop Concert, immortalized in the Let It Be film, this weekend in Phoenix on the roof of Casino Arizona.
Another Week At Sea. BeatleMania Live! did four standing room only shows and received four standing ovations on the Mariner of The Seas this week. But then again, it's hard to resist or argue with the joyous power of Northern Songs.  
Dear Friends in Ridgewood. Joe Berry Sr. turned 60 and we were there with his beautiful wife and family to celebrate a huge and important life with Rock and Roll, some Cole Porter and lots of love and joy. Thanks to Evelyn, Joe Jr., Todd and Kim for putting and keeping it together. To quote Sweet Baby James, shower the people you love with love.

December 2005:
A very happy holiday season to all.
Merry and Happy (insert your holiday of choice here) to everyone.
Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05) is done and is available here now.
The album with Joe and Chris Pascarell is nearly finished and will hopefully be released in the spring.
Johnny Damon is a Yankee.

Madness. JeffHead! has submitted more madness. See it for yourself on The Grab Bag page.
BardTodd In Nyack. BardTodd was back in the funky saddle Thursday night at Natraz as the Nyack crew was out and primed to dance all night. Highlights included a rousing "And The World Goes Round" from the new album and a crazy medley of "Kiss" and "Sex Machine."
JP, SB and CP Session #14. We finally reached and finished Joe's beautiful "One Of A Kind."
What A Year. Gems from 1967 displayed proudly on the CLUES page.
JP, SB and CP Session #13. Further work done on "When Nothing Happens" and "Stepping Stone" as the Pascarell/Bard sessions continue at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall.

JP, SB and CP Session #12. Back with JP at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall at the board to do more overdubbing on Joe's incredible "When Nothing Happens."
The Lemon Lounge. A fun show in Basking Ridge, NJ was highlighted by performances of many songs from the new album (including "Too Weird For Words," "Seaside Town," and "Cozumel") and a rendition of Tears For Fears' "Woman In Chains," a beautiful song I have not performed in years.
Ocean Waves is here. Check out the complete lyrics on the OCEAN WAVES page and stay tuned for select MP3s from the album to be posted.
Revival. Celebrated Sloan's birthday in style at Revival in NYC and was pleased to see many brothers from back in the day, including Frisch, George and Lowell T. George joined me on George Michael's "Freedom 90" and an amazing take of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." The ladies were forced to get up and shake it, so funky was George's approach.
Back to the Garage. Back at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall working on tracks for a new album of guitar rock songs, tentatively titled Euphoria Garage.
Bard & Matarazzo. Super fun with good friend Robert Matarazzo at the Cafe Arabica Wednesday night. We traded off songs, played and sang on each other's stuff and had a great time. Highlights included Robert's amazing version of "Hallelujah," and a funky duet on "Sugar."
Brand New Clues. Pearls from '65-'66 unearthed on the CLUES page.
Hoboken. Lots of old friends gathered at Cafe Elysian in Hoboken to watch and listen as we revisited all the old favorites. Dean turned 30, many of his Pikes were there (including Becker, Danny, Cliff and Pud) and everyone had a great time.
Spirit Of St. Louis. BeatleMania Live! played St. Louis Friday night to a private corporate function featuring literally 34 people in a beautiful old fashioned country club. The crowd was small but mighty. And they all danced. But as someone once said, "There are no small crowds, only small Beatle impersonators." Wisdom, indeed.
Nixon Now. D. Nixon's brilliant Sky Rights Of The Middle Man is done (maybe). Wonder at it at THE GRAB BAG.
JP, SB and CP Sessions #10 & 11. JP was back at Checkmate Sound this week with RyanBall. Mixes were done on "Happy Birthday," "Dog and Dog II," and "Raven and The Princess."

November 2005:
Ocean Waves is finished, release date: December 5th. 
The Machine in Germany. Bard on the road and at sea.
JP CP SB to reconvene in December with RB.
That's All They Wrote. Another week of shows at sea is done and now it's off to St. Louis for the weekend. Jackson Monk's A Monk At Sea is finally complete. Thanks to Jackson for hanging in there and finishing it. Should be more from D. Nixon in the coming weeks as well. His Skyrights Of The Middle Man has raised many a literary eyebrow with its dark surreal charm. Stay tuned.
The View From Here. At sea again with BeatleMania Live! performing to happy people coming in from their days in the sun. Two standing ovations and lots of joyous singalong. Couldn't be nicer, really. Except for missing everyone I love. The sea is big. Listen to Queen's A Night At The Opera if you have the time, especially Brian May's exquisite "'39". A great soul healer.
U2 in NYC. The greatest Rock and Roll band in the world played Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, November 22nd, and I was fortunate enough to be there with my best friend Paul. A great show.
By The Time We Left Pheonix. BeatleMania Live! played five sellout shows at Casino Arizona in Pheonix. Highlights included performances of "No Reply," "In My Life," "I'll Be Back" and the '67 Medley. The audiences were exuberant and we had a great time as always. Thanks to Wayne and the crew for another terrific run.
Deep In The Heart Of Texas. BeatleMania Live! performed in Dallas for The Texas Business Hall Of Fame dinner. The inductees present included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and some other very wealthy men. We played late into the evening until everyone left was good and satisified. Highlights included an impromptu "I Will" and a raucous "Rock And Roll Music."
On The Road Again. BeatleMania Live! performed in a giant airplane museum hangar for several thousand people in Denver, CO on Saturday the 12th. We were surrounded by vintage war planes of many eras, including the B1B stealth bomber, which was gigantic and must have dropped many a bomb in its day. Kind of weird to walk right under it and proceed to play Northern songs of peace and love.
Dylan. Brand new piece on the man who tells it to you straight and makes you glad he did.
Still You. Resident card Neil Siegel joins The Grab Bag with a great short story about fame and (mis)fortune called Still You.
Ocean Waves Stephen Bard 05 will be available here December 5th.
October 2005:
Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. Rain, rain, rain.
And happy birthday and many thanks to John Lennon,
who would be 65 on the 9th.
Sean Lennon turns 30 on the same day.
There's no place like home. Enjoying some time off at home with the ones I love most, awaiting the delivery of Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05). It will be available here at the website in December and whatever shows I perform from here on in. Hope everyone is enjoying autumn (and all the rain!) How appropriate for the release of Ocean Waves that the world seems to be in a time of Water. But as the man said, "Rain...I don't mind...Shine...The weather's fine."
Plymouth Rock. Beatlemania Live! performed at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth, Mass on October 15th to a thousand and a half singing Beatle people. New England is beautiful, even in the rain. "Here Comes The Sun" took on an even deeper meaning, given the week of downpour the Northeast has endured. By the end of the show, the night sky over Plymouth Rock had cleared to reveal the moon and the stars in all their celestial glory. (Cue Louis Armstrong.)
The Funky TC at Carnegie Hall. My dear friend Todd Cohen (of BardTodd fame) played Carnegie Hall with Antony and The Johnsons on Thursday, October 13th. If you haven't heard Antony, check out his amazing music and talent at his website via the LINKS page. He's a brand new rising star and The Funky TC is laying it down on the astral climb.  
Ocean Waves is Done. Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05) was mastered by RyanBall at Checkmate Sound in Paramus, NJ. Hoping to have it out by November. Thanks to Ryan for effort and friendship above and beyond as usual.
Macca At The Garden. Had the pleasure of seeing Paul McCartney at Madison Square Garden with HowiVinni. Fun show, chock full of plenty of Beatles and Wings hits, the highpoints for me being "Maybe I'm Amazed" and a rousing version of "Band On The Run." His band is tight and polished and the 63 year old, as charming as ever, looks great and still rocks.
Ocean Waves The Lonely Moon Goodbye. The final session for the Ocean Waves album took place at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall at the board. "For Eddie Ray Howard" and "Accepting The Indifference" were mixed and the entire collection of songs was prepared for mastering.
BeatleMania Live! in Atlanta. We played one of the best venues we've ever had the privilege of playing as BML took the stage at Chastaine Park in Atlanta for The Piedmont Hospital Benefit concert. Many great artists have performed there and it was easy to see and hear why. The several thousand people there (including the four of us) enjoyed the acoustics, the weather and the glory of MacLen.

September 2005:
The first winds of Autumn and pennant races rage all over the major leagues, just the way baseball people like it.
BML in Kentucky. It was Small Town Americana in Maysville, Kentucky as BeatleMania Live! played to several thousand people on Main street for the seventh annual Rosemary Clooney Festival. Just across the Ohio River from Cincinatti, it's a quaint little town with quaint little shops, fountains, churches, rows of street houses, lots of trees and hills. In the perfect autumn afternoon as we soundchecked, it was very much America The Beautiful. I thought of John Mellencamp.
JP, SB and CP Session #9. An amazing day at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall at the board engineering all kinds of production. "OverSea," the overture of Ocean Waves was completed and mixed, a brand new version of JP's incredible "When Nothing Happens" was tracked in one take, a terrific band version of SB's "For Eddie Ray Howard" was learned on the spot and tracked in one take (with Ryan on bass), and several new overdubs were laid down on JP's "Dog and Dog II," "Raven and The Princess," "Faith," and "When Nothing Happens."
And The World Goes Round, Again. Final mix of "And The World Goes Round" completed at Checkmate Sound.
The Machine, Live In Long Island. I had the pleasure of seeing The Machine at The Northfork Theatre in Westbury, New York. See the full review on the REVIEWS page.
JP, SB and CP Session #8. Further overdubbing by JP and SB on "Dog And Dog II" and "Raven and The Princess"  at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall engineering. Also tracked was a "guitar orchestra" by JP which will serve as the instrumental overture to Ocean Waves.
BardTodd at Natraz. Freefolk returned to Nyack, NY for an evening of funky folk music with The Funky TC in prime form on the drumkit and The Bard Man calling everyone out to get on the floor and shake it one time. Lots of sexy dancing was enjoyed from our vantage point and it was a fun night. Highlights included raucous versions of "I Choose You" and "Sugar," and some real out there Jeff Buckley stuff, including "Last Goodbye" and "Mojo Pin." Todd and I hope to return to Nyack in November.
BML in New Mexico. Another candidate for show of the year took place in a huge outdoor tent at a casino in northern New Mexico, where BeatleMania Live! played to a thousand screaming New Mexicans. If it wasn't the show of the year, it was the crowd of the year. These people were rocking and rolling. It was quite an experience. The sheer volume of the ovations approached that magical almost deafening level. Sounded like a jet taking off all night. Nothing like it. And for the first time, we played "In My Life." It was a great moment for me and I realize after all this time, it is my favorite Northern Song.

JP, SB and CP Session #7. JP and CP at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall doing vocal and instrumental overdubs on three great Joe songs, "Dog and Dog II," "City Rabbit" and "Stepping Stone."
Where That I Should Be. Another great day at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall as we did the final mix on the opening track of Ocean Waves"Where That I Should Be."
JP, SB and CP Session #6. SB and JP did more overdubbing on "Dog And Dog II" and Joe's beautiful "Raven And The Princess."

BML in The Twin Cities. One show in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul and I don't know which city is nicer. They've got two great northern towns there, and we enjoyed our time in both. Both shows went well with the St. Paul show out on the street in the middle of the day in front of several thousand people. We even met the mayor. I couldn't help thinking of Prince and I can understand why he likes it there and has never left.
BML in the Midwest. The glory of Northern Songs was shining brightly as BeatleMania Live! played shows at a college in Big Rapids, Michigan and a 'rib fest' in Indianapolis on consecutive nights. The Indianapolis show was especially fun as thousands turned out in the gloriously mild weather to sing and dance along to the magic of MacLen. It may have been our best show of the year so far. We shared the bill with John Waite, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, and Hootie and The Blowfish.

August 2005:
The Dog Days of Summer When Our Heroes in Pinstripes Fight It Out To See Who Will Still Be Standing In September (and October!). Jeter Forever.
Mixing and finishing Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05); a song-cycle about being separated from the ones you love, at Checkmate Sound in Paramus, NJ with my longtime friend and collaborator RyanBall. Great strides also with good friends Joe and Chris Pascarell on the other album we hope to have completed by year's end. The first session with the three of us went so well that we've decided to make the album a "band" project. This is great news for me, because I love these guys and I love Joe's music. So much, in fact, that I don't even mind that Joe is a diehard Met fan! Hahahaha! Very much a dream we've carried a long time now beginning to come true.
I am traveling a great deal as ever these days with BeatleMania Live! pretending to be one of my heroes. (The clever one.) It seems to make many people very happy as they sing and dance along to the greatest music ever. I'm grateful I get to do it. I always dreamed of being a Beatle (although in the end, as HowiVinni says, "We are all Beatles really") and it seems I've gotten pretty close now. And if I must sing songs other than my own and CherieLynn's (or JP's), my first choice would always be Northern Songs.

JP, CP and SB #4 and 5. Sessions #4 and 5 at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall engineering saw JP and SB doing instrumental and vocal overdubs on his fabulous "Happy Birthday" and the delightfully trippy "Dog and Dog II."
And The World Goes Round. Sparks were flying as me, RyanBall and HowiVinni convened at Checkmate Sound to co-produce and mix "And The World Goes Round." Lots of creative lava flowing and the end result was well worth the time, effort and at moments, tense discussion. It looks to be the finale of Ocean Waves. Many thanks to Ryan and Howi for bringing their passion and dedication to the session.

The Lemon Lounge. A fun evening in Basking Ridge, NJ with some old friends showing up to make the night. Thanks to Bob, Keith, Sean and Greg for making an appearance. Highlights included some new stuff from Ocean Waves, most of the Night Nude Luge album and an absurd medley of U2's "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen" and Rupert Holmes' "The Pina Colada Song."
BML in Atlanta. Two days' worth of promotion for an upcoming Atlanta show in October. Did morning appearances on two major Atlanta radio stations which included some impromptu singing, playing and joking around on the air and then it was off to a press conference for the upcoming event, which included a question and answer session with a group of fifty or so and a spirited half hour set of Northern Songs. Nice town. Pretty good baseball team, too.

BML in Pheonix. Five sold out nights at Casino Arizona, with Saturday night the 20th turning out to be one of the best shows of the year for us in every way. Many thanks to Wayne at the Casino and the host of wonderful people who made it out for the run. Further proof that God is a master painter can be seen by looking at the sky in Arizona. It's so deeply blue it can blow your mind. Every time a little white cloud shows up on the canvas, it's an artistic event. Not to mention the sunrises and sunsets, which rank with the most surreally beautiful in the world. A wonderful place. The rusty mountains of smoldering auburn, the desert a thing to behold.
BML at Sea. Another successful week at sea and now the boys and I are ready to play five sold out nights in Pheonix at one of our favorite venues, Casino Arizona. The Caribbean was beautiful, but a little rough, so I was a bit seasick. Oh, those Ocean Waves. But what can you do? Just dig in and rock, I guess. Four standing ovations always helps with nausea, I have found. And let us not overlook what the last three letters of nausea spell. Right? It's all in the language, you know.

Sweating To The Oldies in Cambridge. BeatleMania Live! played a sweaty outdoor show in Cambridge, Maryland on August 6th, where the temperature must have peaked out well near 100F! And while this is not like the 110 or more we've seen in Arizona and Nevada, when you're in the sun for an hour, breathlessly belting out the glory of MacLen in a black wool suit jacket, you know what it is to earn your living! Hahahaha! But the good people of Cambridge came to be entertained and were appreciative of our efforts in the heat. I couldn't see for half the show for the stinging sweat in my eyes! Hahaha! My good friend Mac, who appropriately enough plays Macca, nearly fainted while our drummer said he felt the first symptoms of heat stroke coming on by the time we kicked into "Ticket To Ride." Hahahaha! What we won't do for our lifelong obession.
Page One Summer Workshop #2. Another two week workshop with Page One co-founders Cherie Shefferman and Michelle Gioisio concluded Friday, August 5th. It was another success, following the first two week workshop in July, this time with eight exceptional young women learning guitar, piano and creative writing and speaking. I was fortunate enough to help out for some of the sessions, teaching some guitar and helping to direct several of the young women as they spoke and recorded their excellent short stories. We got to work with some gifted young people, and it was an empowering experience for all involved. 
Mixing Ocean Waves. Another terrific day with RyanBall at Checkmate mixing more of Ocean Waves. Mixes were completed for "Baby Girl Ocean Blue" and "Vanishing" (which features background vocals by CherieLynn and JP.)
JP, CP and SB #3. Session three with Joe Pascarell at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall engineering was further phenomenal fun as Joe and I finished instrumental and vocal overdubs on the basic track of his terrific song, "Blue." (Chris Pascarell didn't need to be there, having done all his drum tracks in two days!)
JP, CP and SB #2. Session two with Joe and Chris Pascarell at Checkmate Sound with RyanBall engineering was another resounding success, yielding completed basic tracks for the entire reunited "band" project. It was more of the same telepathy between the three of us, and I can only say how grateful I am to be able to make music with these guys again, after a long time of not doing so. I can't help but think of (and thank) the great Jon Cohen, who loved this music the most of anyone in the world. As we play it together, his indomitable spirit is apparent, he is dancing in the room as we play, and I am invigorated by his presence as always, and by being able to create something wonderful with these three special people. Thanks to Joe, Chris and Ryan for letting me get somewhere I've always wanted to be.

July 2005:
Happy Birthday Greatest Country In History of the World. (For Baseball and Rock and Roll alone, it would rate number one all-time, but then you throw in things like  the Founding Fathers, Democracy and the Saving Private Ryan generation and we're tough to beat.)
Hard at work on the new album, Ocean Waves (StephenBard 05.) It's a song-cycle about being separated from the ones you love. The album is being recorded at Checkmate Sound in Paramus, NJ with my longtime friend and collaborator RyanBall who among other things, knows his Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars inside and out, which is always good in a serious collaborator.
The album I'm doing with my good friend Joe Pascarell is also almost finished. This one is basically me and Joe sitting together in a room with our acoustic guitars and singing our songs together. It's one of the most satisfying things I've ever done and I appreciate that Joe sat down with me and Ryan to do it. There is no title for it yet, but we are hoping to have it out by the end of the year as well. (There is also talk of getting together with Joe's brother Chris so the three of us can lay down some tracks as well with Chris on drums. That should be real fun. We'll see what happens.) 
BardTodd will be playing only a couple of shows this summer, as The Funky TC and I are both quite busy these days doing other things. We always try to play at least once a month together, as it is one of the most fun things to do for both of us. When Todd is rolling, it's something to behold, as you may well know if you've seen us.
I am traveling a great deal as ever these days with Beatlemania Live! pretending to be one of my heroes. (The clever one.) It seems to make many people very happy as they sing and dance along to the greatest music ever. I'm grateful I get to do it. I always secretly dreamed of being a Beatle (although in the end, as HowiVinni says, "We are all Beatles really") and it seems I've gotten pretty close now. As a kid, before I learned to play, I used to walk around with a baseball bat, pretending it was a Hofner bass guitar. (I wanted to be Paul then...who knew?) I guess that old adage, "Be careful what you wish for," really is true. That's why it's an adage. But if I must ever sing songs other than my own and Cherie's, my first choice would always be Northern Songs. So there you go. Merrily we roll along.

The Lemon Lounge. The best show of July appropriately came at the end of the month. I played solo in Basking Ridge and many of my friends came out, for which I am grateful. It was a terrific evening and was made for me when everybody was singing along with my songs. The chorus in "Hair Hanging Down" was especially wonderful. I'm not sure there's anything more gratifying for a performer than people singing along to a song you wrote. There's nothing like it. And it always sounds a lot better than when you're just singing it by yourself. Infinitely better, in my case! 
BML in Canada. Another balloon fest, what is it with us and balloon fests? Northern Songs must go well with big hot air balloons in the middle of a giant field. It was a nice show in London, Ontario, Canada, as a thousand or so Canadians gathered under that beautiful northern sky they've got up there to sing and dance along to the endless magic of Maclen. The Little River Band went on after us and they sounded great. Remember "Lonesome Loser" and "Reminiscing"? I did. Great songs. Fun evening. 
Another Successful Week At Sea With BML. Four standing-room-only shows on a cruiseship is not a bad way to go, especially when they go well, the band plays well, and the five or so thousand people who witness them seem happy from all those fantastic Northern Songs. The Caribbean sea and sky are beautiful as always, but being away so long is hard. Especially when there are two beautiful blondes waiting for you at home. So hard in fact, I wrote an entire album about it. You know, Ocean Waves. The other hard thing about being away so long is that you can't do all the other exciting stuff you want to do. It seems there's always a trade-off of some kind. You gotta work to be able to afford to do all those great things you like to do, but work takes time away from being able to actually do them. Oh, the irony. I don't mind though. I've seen the horizon line wrap around my eyes and it is clear God is a major artist. No one else could have made that thing so perfectly straight. That's why all those people in Columbus' day were sure the world was flat. When you see this thing from a ship at sea, you understand completely why they thought that way. There can't possibly be anything out beyond it, it's so perfect. There is, of course, you just have to dream a little further, like Columbus, or Copernicus, or that good old King of Night Vision, Galileo. Or Bono, even. Hahaha. He dreams real far.
Page One Arts Workshop #1. I just completed a two-week musical workshop for teens with Page One Arts co-creators Cherie Shefferman and Michelle Gioioso at Rockaway Valley School in Boonton Township. The workshop was ten days with five talented teenagers and my good friend Ryan Ball sharing the teaching duties with me. We covered music theory, guitar, bass and drum instruction, vocal instruction, collaborative lyric and music writing and the ultimately fun process of putting it all together in a "band" setting with Ryan recording the whole thing! We all had a great time of it and a terrific little rock band was born. Much thanks to Scott W., Marke D., Spencer W., Russ G., and Larry LaRock for showing up and getting down. EGAD! Dig a hole and trip on a rock! Can't be in my womb without the door locked. Let's turn on a movie and not watch it again 'cause that's the way that I liked it. Also much thanks to The Page One girls group for letting me, Scott and Spencer take part in the birth of their wonderful song "Faith." So much bigger than everything. They could be real, they could be there, it's possible. I'm on my way to Never, Neverwhere. 

JP, CP and SB #1.
A happy reunion of sorts at Checkmate Sound in Paramus, NJ with Ryan Ball at the controls: For the first time in many years, I got to play and record with two of my favorite people, guitarist Joe Pascarell and his brother Chris on drums. The three of us used to play together in Joe and Chris' basement back in the mid-90's where many a night was spent together running through Joe's fantastic catalog of songs. It was in that basement I learned the most about playing with other people, and I consider Joe and Chris the two musicians I've learned the most from. So after many months of trying to get it together, we actually did and it was a great night. The connection has not faded at all, and we were right there together from the first note. In fact, we were closer and more in tune with each other than ever before. It was humbling and inspiring; a blessed experience. Ryan caught it all and the results will definitely be featured on the upcoming album with Joe. As the three of us smiled at each other and sailed along the breeze of playing together, it was clear that the spirit of the great Jon Cohen filled the room and I was reminded again of how nice it is to be alive. Much thanks to the amazing Ryan Ball as ever, and Joe and Chris, for letting me experience once again the ultimate feeling of making real music with good friends.
BML in Texas. Beatlemania Live! played this great outdoor balloon fest in east Texas on July 9th. The show was out in the middle of this giant piece of land with all kinds of vendors selling cotton candy, funnel cakes and lemonade. Real down home fun. There were many giant hot air balloons and they all lit up their fires and made a surreal, beautiful image in the middle of the field. Then we went on. There must have been ten thousand people there. Nothing like Northern Songs in the great state of Texas. And all theseTexans of all kinds of race and makeup singing along at the top of their lungs. The power of MacLen lives on and on. Bigger than ever, it seems. And that's a comforting thought.
July 7th at BB King's. Had a marvelous evening with many good friends, old and new. Todd was in peak form, as usual, and I just sailed along his fantastic breeze. HowiVinni was in attendance, along with Master Neil Seigel of Exodus fame, and some of the fabled brothers Pike (including Becker, Steve G. and Danny H.) It was great to see everyone. My Dad was there as well, which is always nice to see. The party from Chicago was an especially funky one, and we were glad to meet them, as they provided much laughter, support and applause. Highlights included a rousing "Miss You" by The Stones and a fresh medley of my own "I Don't Got You (I Don't Feel Good)" into James' "I Got You (I Feel Good)". And then there was Todd's monumental take on Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" which Becker said they'll be talking about "for some time..." Also, a nice lady from Florida commented that my more mellow stuff, most notably "Temporary," had a unique sound and was reminiscent of a young James Taylor, which while I don't believe I measure up to, I was quite flattered to hear all the same. High praise, indeed.

I don't know how he does it, I turned around and another month was gone.