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Edgewood has the edge
Dave Rode & Larry Dennis join the PBB on stage at Club 66

by Timothy Tilghman

The Pete Best Band are an extended family. Pete and the lads are like bowling mates or cousins that you only see on an infrequent basis. But that's cool because they're totally cool. Pete, Roag, Phil, Paul and Tony are a tight musical team that entertain their fans, friends and first time spectators with unrestrained energy that bursts forth on stage.

The PBB staged a triumphant return performance at Club 66 in Edgewood, Maryland, on Saturday, May 10, 2008. The group looked smart in its matching black jackets and blood-orange boots. Dave Rode's Club 66 Band opened for the PBB. By the way, their rhythm section is quite impressive.

Many familiar faces dotted the SRO audience. Dave Rode, the driving force behind the Club 66 Band, announced his pleasure at welcoming the Pete Best Band back for a second appearance. The show kicked off with "Slow Down" sung by the ever-ready Tony Flynn. Pete Best took center stage and pointed out several fans in the audience.

Three talented vocalists each took turns at the mike and sang lead on material that featured prominently in the repertoire of the emerging Beatles. Revising Lennon & McCartney originals is a mainstay in the PBB stage act. "One After 909" spotlighted Melia on lead vocals and "P.S. I Love You" showcased Parry on lead vocals. Almost a half century later, those trusted tunes keep generating new fans year after year.

Another ripe source of songs are drawn from the infamous 1962 Decca sessions afterwhich the Fabs were denied a recording contract. "Besame Mucho", "Three Cool Cats", Till There Was You" and "Money" are perennial fan favorites. Instead of the group requested Tequila shots, the lads were presented with a Southern Comfort toast.

Numbers associated with a 1961 Tony Sheridan album have not been included on recent tours. However, the PBB ignited a fierce jam on the instrumental "Cry For A Shadow" that originated from those Polydor recordings. Parry reintroduced Pete Best who spoke about the Sheridan sessions and asked, "Will you sing along with us?", to encourage audience participation.

Melia's mellow vocal on "My Bonnie" segued into a rocked out romp, courtesy of Roag on percussion. The spirited jam did coax the crowd to join in on the chorus harmony. "Lucille" and "Some Other Guy" were two back to back rockers that fired up the excitement. During the latter tune, Melia's mikestand tipped over and was caught by a handy frember at the front of the Club 66 stage.

The animated audience responded wildly when Parry sang lead on "I Saw Her Standing There". How great is it to witness Pete Best banging away on the skins to this Beatlemania classic? With a C&W riff, the band offered a brief Happy Mother's Day serenade. Flynn energized the party atmosphere with "Twist And Shout". Tony asked, "Are you ready?", and the crowd chimed in on the 'ah' chorus that culminated in a thunderous jam climax.

The PBB's first encore set was extra special in Edgewood. Rode joined the group on stage and sang vocals on "Johnny B. Goode" and Larry Dennis accompanied the PBB on electric guitar for a romp through `50's style R&R. The guest duo remained on stage only Rode sat behind Roag's drumkit for "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" while Roag stood behind a mikestand to harmonize.

The seven musicians arm in arm took a bow together. The PBB headed off stage, and Rode acted as cheerleader for a follow-up encore. Back for a second encore, Parry led the charge with "Hippy Hippy Shake". Fan reaction was frenzied as everybody enjoyed the tight precision of the performance. The entire affair came to an abrupt end as the drawn out coda climaxed with appreciative applause.

Attention Fab fans! The wait is over: Pete Best and the lads have completed recording their premiere Pete Best Band studio album, Haymans Green. Boasting eleven original compositions, the collection of tunes are a biographical suite that is anticipated to announce a bold musical statement from Pete Best. Keep your mouse clicking on www.petebest.net for emerging news updates on its projected release date.

Edgewood setlist: Slow Down * What I'd Say * One After 909 * Please Mister Postman * P.S. I Love You * Roll Over Beethoven * Besame Mucho * Three Cool Cats * You Really Got A Hold On Me * Till There Was You * Long Tall Sally * Money * Rock And Roll Music * Cry For A Shadow * My Bonnie * Lucille * Some Other Guy * I Saw Her Standing There * Twist And Shout * 1st Encore: Johnny B. Goode (Dave Rode vocals & Larry Dennis guitar) * Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (Dave Rode drums & Larry Dennis guitar) * 2nd Encore: Hippy Hippy Shake

Haymans Green

RockonTour   Issue #80
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