Some people celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, with particular emphasis on that annoying partridge in a pear tree. On Saturday, we’ll be marking the holiday season by enjoying, instead, the 12 hours of the Beatles.
It’s called Sgt. Peppercorn’s Beatles Marathon. For the ninth year, musicians in “Sgt. Peppercorn’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” will perform all 215 officially released Beatles songs in one performance. It’s supposed to be the only place you can go to see all of the Beatles songs performed in one sitting, and it’s happening here in Columbus.
The songs will be played in chronological order based on the release of the Beatles’ original British albums and singles, starting with Please Please Me — the album the Beatles recorded in one legendary day — beginning at 12:30 p.m. and ending with Abbey Road, about 12 hours later. That means we’ll avoid the embarrassing mish-mash of the American records, where songs that were recorded years earlier could get released on later albums.
A 12-hour Beatles marathon poses certain logistical challenges. We’ll have to have a hearty lunch before the performance starts, of course, and then carefully time eating and bathroom breaks to coincide with some of our less favorite tracks. Basically, any song that you carefully positioned the tone arm on your turntable to pass over would be a good candidate. I’m suggesting, for example, that we try to fit dinner in during side 4 of The Beatles (commonly known as the White Album), and I’ll no doubt hit the men’s room when it’s time for Within You Without You on Sergeant Pepper’s.
Who needs five golden rings when you can listen to gold records instead?