Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beat Valley! (Again)

Moments ago, the good folks at Saved By The Bell: Now! post this on their Twitter page:

It's the cover of the August 10th issue of "People" magazine, featuring an amazing picture (and apparently story inside) about the show that remains a classic today, two decades after its NBC premiere: "Saved By The Bell." Two things struck me just now when I saw this pic: I can't wait to read the accompanying story; and where's "Screech" Powers himself, Dustin Diamond? For months now, I've been monitoring the efforts of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" to get the ol' Bayside gang back together, most notably (and recently) when Mark-Paul Gosselaar reprised the role that
made him famous.

Adding to today's "SBTB" hoopla, that cutie Tiffani Thiessen (yes, Kelly Kapowski herself) tweeted about this video earlier in the morning, explaining why she's yet to take up Jimmy's cause.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sir Paul was un-Beat(le)-able

Just got back from history: We saw a Beatle!!!

How often do you get a chance to see Sir Paul McCartney play the second concert ever at the New York Mets' new stadium, Citi Field, right?! Sure, he christened the new ballpark Friday night as part of his three-show "First Play at Citi Field" stint, but we figured if we went to Saturday night's show, we could make a day of it in Flushing. It was soooo worth it! An avid fan of the Fab Four, my GF made sure we got tix as when they went on sale to Sir Paul's fans first, and I was happy to go. (If for no reason than — ironically, as a sports reporter — I'd yet to go the Mets' new ballpark.) Considering the Mets' 2009 season, it was the best night anyone will spend in Citi Field's inaugural year.

Admittedly not as big a fan as my GF, I was still aware of the Beatles' greatness and all their hits, hence my excitement about the show. Even for a novice like myself, Sir Paul didn't disappoint.

While playing almost two-and-a-half hour nonstop — not bad for a 67-year-old guy! — Sir Paul mixed Beatles hits along with songs from his Wings tenure and his solo stuff. He also added a tribute to former Beatles John Lennon ("Here Today") and George Harrison ("Something") as well as to his first wife, Linda ("My Love"). From the time he hit the stage and kicked off the show with "Drive My Car" til his second encore finished with "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," it was like stepping into a time machine and watching music history.

For the uninitiated, the Beatles' played Shea Stadium in August of 1965, which was pretty much their biggest American show to that point. Some 44 years later, Sir Paul often reminisced about that show during tonight's dig, calling Citi Field "the new Shea."Even when Sir Paul played songs I'd never heard of (like "Here Today" which someone posted on YouTube), it was still cool 'cause A.) I got to see my GF have the time of her life bobbing around to the music; and B.) I was just sittin' there thinking, That's a frickin' Beatle up there!!!

Then when he did sing songs like "Hey Jude" and "Yesterday" and "Let It Be," I pretty much lost my (stuff)!

Again, we were seeing a member of the most amazing band ever (and only two who are still with us) playing some of the most iconic, not to mention influential, songs ever performed . When do you get a chance to see/hear that?! Not to mention that for all intents and purposes, we were watching him do that on the same spot when he, Paul, John and Ringo first played those songs almost a half-century earlier. Wow!

Even hours before Sir Paul took the stage, we heard hints that we were in for an amazing evening.
Just minutes after we arrived at Citi Field in the afternoon — some four or five hours before Sir Paul started his set — we could hear part of the headliner's soundcheck from inside the ballpark. That's when it hit me: There's a Beatle in there!

The day only got better from there.

In short, Sir Paul's show was history in the making: the first time (OK, technically, the second time) he returned to the place (OK, technically, right next to the place) where he and his bandmates played an iconic concert more than four decades ago. He was nothing short of brilliant, especially for a first-timer like me who never thought he'd get such an amazing shot to see him. Not every day does an opportunity like that come along, especially at such a reasonable price! (It would have cost us more to watch a Mets game from the same seats we had for the former Beatle's concert. Weird, huh?!) It was an amazing night I and likely the thousands of others inside Citi Field won't forget.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This event might Bowl you over

Long-time "Sean's Space" reader Lisa asked me to pass along an announcement about a fund-raiser this weekend that will help a local lil' guy and might nab you some sweet swag!
Want to win one of "American Idol" champ Taylor Hicks' harmonicas, like the one he's using in this video from his Poughkeepsie show in 2007? What about some more autographed prizes, all to benefit a 6-year-old boy in need?

Then stop bythe Holiday Bowl on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls this Saturday for a bowl-a-thon and raffle to help Frankie Flora, who sustained severe facial injuries in a recent pitbull attack. (Check out more about Frankie and his progress at the "Frankie's Fund" Web site.) The fund-raiser will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Two hours of bowling, pizza and soda will be just $13, with proceeds going to Frankie's fund.

More than just bowling, the event will also host a raffle to win a slew of prizes, including a drum skin signed by 3 Doors Down lead singer Brad Arnold (seen here) and the rest of the band. Also up for grabs will be an original photograph by "America's Next Top Model" judge/photog Nigel Barker; an autographed poster from Alice Cooper; and an signed CD from Stephanie Powers of the '80s TV show "Hart to Hart."

And because I know that Taylor Hicks' fans frequent "Sean's Space," I saved the best for last: There will be two of Taylor's harmonicas and photos signed by the "Idol" Season 5 champ raffled off to benefit Frankie!

Lisa says more prizes, including local gift cards, are coming in daily. Raffle tickets will cost just 50¢, and you can buy as many as you want.

For even more information, you can e-mail Lisa and as always, tell her Sean sent ya!