Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Dec 2nd 2009 3:00PM by Georgia Kral
After 9/11, producer Roger Greenawalt took a vacation to the West. In San Francisco, he picked up a ukulele and couldn't put it down. A few years later, he had downloaded every Beatles song -- nearly 10 hours of the Fab Four -- and learned every song on his newfound favorite instrument. A hardcore Beatles fan, Greenwalt believes John, Paul, George and Ringo are greater than Shakespeare and is even writing a book on that very subject.
With that, the Beatles Complete on Ukulele Festival was born. Last year Greenawalt did the performance alone but this year, he's getting a little help from his friends. On Sunday, Dec. 6 at Brooklyn Bowl, Greenawalt will play ukulele and accompany friends like Vanessa Carlton, Adam Green (via video link), Golden Bloom and Nick Valensi and Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes, among others.
But why the ukulele?
The sound is "aloha zen," Greenwalt tells Spinner. "This instrument is amazing, it has a spirit about it," he tells Spinner. "Any guitar player can play it right away and you can play extremely complex things on it."
The performance will be put on by Greenwalt and his friend Dave Barratt -- they call their project Roger and Dave, aptly enough -- and the proceeds will go to charity as part of their role as "performance philanthropists." Last year, they gave the money earned from the performance to Warren Buffet, who in turn bought ukuleles for young girls in Nebraska. This year's performance is a benefit for Yoko Ono, whose presence is guaranteed to bring in even more dough. "Yoko is a pioneer in performance philanthropy," says Greenawalt. "I want to see her there."
The Festival starts at 11 AM and is all ages before 6 PM. Admission is $10 but you get in free if you show up at the start with a ukulele, as that's when the jam session begins. "We're going to attempt to teach the mob," Greenwalt says of the jamming.