Mark Hudson put together a special International Beatle Week concert Aug. 31 at the the Royal Court Theatre billed as “With A Little Help From My Friends,” according to Charles F. Rosenay, whose Liverpool Productions brought a group of American Beatles fans to the celebration after stops in Hamburg and London.
Hudson, who produced and wrote songs for Ringo Starr, assembled his own band of all stars with Joey Molland of Badfinger, Gary van Sycoc from Elephant’s Memory, Earl Slick, Denny Seiwell from Wings, Steve Howard, Howie Casey plus Lucrecia López Sanz and Fernando Blanco from the Argentine band Nube9. (Lucrecia López Sanz is also a member of the Bayonets with McCartney guitarist Brian Ray.) The evening opened with a set by the Quarrymen.
Hudson’s group started off with “I Saw Her Standing Here,” then played “Got to Get You Into My Life” with a great horn section led by Howie Casey. “It Don’t Come Easy” featured van Sycoc on vocals. Joey Molland did a comedy introduction for “Cold Turkey.” He also introduced George Harrison’s “What Is Life” by telling the crowd George Harrison invited Badfinger to add acoustic guitars to the song, but Phil Spector was drunk.
Next came “How Do You Sleep” sung by Hudson with lead guitar by Earl Slick, a medley of “Jet,” “Live & Let Die,” “Helter Skelter” and a rocking version of “My Valentine” by Mark Hudson, “New York City” by Gary van Sycoc and “Revolution” by Joey Molland.
Mark Hudson sang “Never Without You,” which he introduced by telling the crowd how he had written it with Ringo and Gary Nicholson. Molland sang “No Matter What” and Hudson sang “Working Class Hero” and “Fame.” Molland sang “Savoy Truffle” (video) with backing vocal help from Hudson. Hudson sang “Hi Hi Hi,” then “Living on the Edge,” which he said was a Lennon-inspired song he’d written for Aerosmith.
The finale featured a medley of “Long Tall Sally,” “I’m Down” and “Oh Darling” with all the band members taking turns to sing and Nube9’s Lucrecia López Sanz and Fernando Blanco adding backup vocals and guitars. Hudson led the audience in the final song, “All You Need Is Love.”