Todd Rundgren and Christopher Cross lead Beatles tribute at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on March 12
From a press release:
Todd Rundgren and Christopher Cross are leading the charge in an all-star tour of live performances of The Beatles’ beloved “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul” albums, along with their own hits – songs that, for Cross, soundtracked the age of yacht rock and, for Rundgren, led him to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Classics like “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind,” “No Matter What,” “Go Now,” and more will be performed alongside the music of the Fab Four in “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to The Beatles.” “Revolver” contains such hits as “Yellow Submarine,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Got to Get You Into My Life,” and “Rubber Soul” has “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” “You Won’t See Me,” and “Drive My Car.”
The band lineup includes Jason Scheff (lead singer of Chicago from 1985-2016), Jay DeMarcus (formerly of Rascal Flatts), Badfinger featuring guitarist Joey Molland, and Denny Laine (formerly of The Moody Blues and Wings).
“It’s always a pleasure playing these classic songs with great artists and friends. Please come join us,” Cross commented.
“The Moody Blues met The Beatles in the early ’60s and were invited to join them on their second British tour. The thought of performing some of their classic songs with such a revered cast on this tour will bring back not only those moments in time but also fond memories as a member of Wings. I trust that we will pay due credit to their timeless legacy by bringing back that music to everyone who joins us for this special ride,” Laine added.
The tour stops at Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe) on Saturday, March 12. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets, which are $48 for regular reserved seating and $55 for premium reserved seating, go on sale this Friday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. via ticketmaster.com, the Penn’s Peak box office, and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.
“Flower Power Concerts has been doing Beatles tributes featuring some of the greatest voices and musicians available for over 20 years now, creating a unique experience that can be shared by all. The songbook of these albums should be our best one yet,” tour producer Toby Ludwig said.
“A Wizard, a True Star” – the title of Todd Rundgren’s 1973 solo album – aptly sums up the contributions of this multifaceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, and interactive artist (as TR-i), Rundgren has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rundgren began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and front The Nazz, the quintessential ’60s cult group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut offering, the legendary “Runt.” But it was 1972’s seminal “Something/Anything?,” on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer, that catapulted him into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to unanimously dub him “rock’s new wunderkind.” It was followed by such landmark LPs as “Hermit of Mink Hollow” and the aforementioned “A Wizard, a True Star,” as well as such hit singles as “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” “Can We Still Be Friends,” and “Bang the Drum All Day.”
In 1974, he formed Utopia, an entirely new approach to the concept of interactive musicianship, and embarked on an extensive round of touring and recording. Standout Utopia offerings include “Oops! Wrong Planet,” “Adventures in Utopia,” and “Oblivion.” Along the way, Utopia combined technical virtuosity and creative passion to create music that, for millions, defined the term “progressive rock.”
Rundgren’s myriad production projects include albums by Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, Meatloaf, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, and Hall and Oates. Rounding out his reputation as rock’s Renaissance man, he composed all the music and lyrics for Joe Papp’s 1989 off-Broadway production of Joe Orton’s “Up Against It” (the screenplay commissioned by The Beatles for what was meant to have been their third motion picture). He also has composed the music for a number of television series, including “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “Crime Story.”
In 2012, Rundgren performed his iconic 1973 album “A Wizard, a True Star” in concert in its entirety for the first time ever and, last year, he did the same with a double bill: Todd & Healing. His most recent studio album, “White Knight,” was released on May 12, The record, which debuted in the Top 5 of both iTunes and Amazon’s rock charts, features an illustrious cast of guest stars that spans genres and generations, including Robyn, Trent Reznor, Daryl Hall, Donald Fagen, Dam-Funk, Joe Walsh, and Bettye LaVette. He continues to tour with Ringo Starr as an erstwhile member of the All-Starr Band and to perform with symphony orchestras both domestically and internationally.
In 1998, he debuted his PatroNet technology which, for the first time, allowed fans of a musical artist to subscribe directly to the artist’s musical output via the Internet. This caps a long history of groundbreaking early multimedia “firsts.”
Christopher Cross burst onto the scene and made musical history in 1980 when his self-titled debut album earned him five Grammy Awards, including – for the first time ever – the four most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also for “Sailing”), and Best New Artist.
In addition to “Sailing,” Cross’ debut album also included three other Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 hits: “Ride Like the Wind,” “Never Be the Same,” and “Say You’ll Be Mine.”
Cross’ second studio album, “Another Page,” included his biggest and most recognizable hit – “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do).” Written as the main theme for the 1981 film “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli, the song spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned Cross an Academy Award for Best Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
Released in November of 2017, “Take Me as I Am” is a unique offering from Cross, a hybrid of sorts – the songs are instrumentals with choruses to create the lyrical landscape. This is not quite a “guitar” album, but it leaves the listener with no question about his expertise on the subject. Two very special songs are “Roberta,” dedicated to his mentor, Joni Mitchell, and “Truth” with a lyric by Rob Meurer, one of the last songs Meurer wrote before his tragic passing. This song is sung as a duet with Gigi Worth, a name that will be familiar to Cross’ fans. Worth and Meurer were also very close, which makes her performance on this track all the more meaningful. The album closes with a song in memory of Meurer called “Alvah” (his middle name), which features beautiful string arrangements by Chris Walden.
In Cross’ words, “It was a blessing to work with all these talented folks in the making of this album, which holds so many bittersweet emotions for me. I didn’t expect to make another one but, as Rob reminded me once, it’s what we do.”