All-star indie pop group to perform Beatles’ entire ‘White Album’
The Wild Honey Orchestra’s latest benefit concert will serve up the Beatles’ “White Album” on Feb. 28 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, with an all-star lineup of pop-minded musicians from L.A. and beyond raising money for Autism Think Tank.
The guests performers for this year’s show include Vicki and Debbie Peterson of the Bangles, XTC’s Dave Gregory, Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, Dramarama’s John Easdale, Fairport Convention’s Iain Matthews, Gary Wright, the Muffs, the Three O’Clock, Keith Allison of Paul Revere & the Raiders, Fountains of Wayne’s Chris Collingwood and several others.
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier edition of this post referred to Wild Honey Orchestra benefit founder Paul Rock as a musician. He is a music fan who started the events in 1994.
They’ll play the Beatles 1968 double album, officially titled “The Beatles” but widely referred to as “The White Album,” from beginning to end at the Alex Theatre, plus what’s being described in the program for the event as “various 1968 bonus songs.”
After abandoning live performance in 1966 to focus on expanding the possibilities of the recording studio, the Fab Four itself never toured with any of the music off albums from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on through the group’s final release, “Let It Be,” in 1970.
Guest soloists will be supported by the ad hoc Wild Honey Orchestra, featuring several members of the Brian Wilson Band and other veteran L.A. musicians, under the direction of Rob Laufer. “Breakfast With the Beatles” radio show host Chris Carter will emcee.
Beach Boys founding member Brian Wilson met the Wondermints, from whose ranks he drew several members of his touring and recording band, at the first Wild Honey show, named for the Beach Boys’ 1967 album and song with that title.
Music fan Paul Rock started the Wild Honey shows in 1994 as a way to celebrate songs and albums that were formative for pop-loving young musicians in Los Angeles. After about a decade, Rock took a break from organizing the shows with event partners David Jenkins and Andrew Sandoval after Rock’s son was born. But he resumed the shows in 2013 in part to help his son, Jake, who is severely nonverbal autistic.
That year, the collective presented the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” albums in their entirety, and last year, the ensemble turned its attention to “Revolver” and “Abbey Road.”
While the musicians attempt to stay true to the spirit of the original arrangements and recordings of the songs they perform, Rock told the Los Angeles Times last year that the overarching goal is “to be faithful, not to copy.
“There are some people in the ensemble who want to duplicate everything on the record, so there’s a little push and pull that goes on with that,” he said.” But since we’re not doing a variety show, where everybody can offer their own take, the singers have to be pretty much on board with generally faithful renditions.”
Tickets are $25 to $100, available at the Alex Theatre’s website.
Follow @RandyLewis2 on Twitter for pop music coverage.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter, sent twice a week, for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.