Dec. 28 marathon concert helps feed Beatle-mania

Joe Peppercorn attributes his annual Beatles Marathon show to a quote from Ernest Hemingway -- "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk."

A few years back, the local musician was sharing a drink with some friends and discussing an upcoming show at which he planned to play the Beatles' White Album in its entirety, and made an offhand comment that he would do the band's entire catalog.

Which he did.

This year will mark the fourth such Beatles Marathon, an event which Peppercorn expects will be a 12-hour love-fest for one of rock 'n' roll's greatest bands. He and a collection of his bandmates from The Whiles, along with friends and special guests, will play every song from the Beatles' catalog, in chronological order.

"That first time, it was very informal. We just kind of worked our way through everything," Peppercorn told The Beat.

"But it triggered how much fun it is to play and sing these songs."

So Peppercorn decided to make the marathon an annual adventure, dedicating more practice time to the catalog and bringing along more friends. The lineup for 2013 includes Peppercorn, Chris Bolognese, Matt Peppercorn, Jake Remley and Paul Headley from The Whiles, plus Jesse Cooper (The Receiverer), Phil Cogley (Saturday Giant), Tommy Young (Low Men) and likely some additional folks from the local music scene.

"The group is great and I love having these insane musicians willing to do this with me," Peppercorn said.

"Some songs -- you want to replicate the original as much as possible, and some you just can't, so you have to approach those very carefully," Peppercorn explained.

But the real point, he was quick to add, is hearing the song, whether you're a "super-fan" of the Beatles or just a casual fan who knows many of the songs.

The audience will come and go throughout the show, Peppercorn said. There will be unscripted participatory elements and, by the end, it will feel more like performance art than a standard concert performance. The hook is that they're doing every song.

As far as Peppercorn can tell, no one else is doing a show like this.

"I'm a little proud that Columbus has this weird kind of thing," he said.

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