Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fab ...

At this very moment I am attending the Television Critics Association July press tour in my day job as an entertainment journalist. I've been attending the TCAs twice a year since January 1997, and even though it can be a very tedious experience a times, such as when you've had chicken for five meals in a row or whenever Shannen Doherty shows up, for the most part it has been a valuable experience, and not just in my wallet. Time and time again I get the chance to meet people whom I would have never gotten close to without my career or the tour, such as Buzz Aldrin and Prince Edward and even Gerald Ford. This time around, only four-plus days in, I've already interviewed the likes of Shirley MacLaine and Elvis Costello, Branch Rickey's grandson and the aforementioned Capt. Aldrin, and I've even been kissed by one of Michael Vick's dogs. And today, presented to us was Sir George Martin, who is part of an upcoming PBS show, On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. The series won't start until the fall of 2010, but the memories of Sir George, literally the fifth Beatle, speaking to us in his sober voice about his work with the Beatles (favorite Fab Four song: In My Life) and his opinions about current musical tastes (yes to Coldplay and Radiohead, no to American Idol), is a pure thrill. Sir George is semiretired and, at 82, dealing with a partial hearing loss - the questions from the press had to be transcribed to a monitor so he could be precise on what was being asked to him - but he's as sharp as ever, a treasure trove of knowledge - and very, very polite. I fought the temptation to ask Sir George where the hell the Beatles' songs are on iTunes.

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