Fri 2/13 – Sun 2/15
Nearly 51 years to the day after The Beatles changed pop culture forever with its iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Scott Freiman is keeping the Fab Four’s memory alive.
The multimedia presentations “Deconstructing The Beatles” has entertained and edified college and corporate audiences for the last few years, including different programs tackling different albums and eras of the group held in Northeast Ohio.
Now Freiman is back in the Rock Hall City with “Deconstructing Rubber Soul,” “Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper – EXPANDED” and “Glass Onion – EXPANDED” taking place Feb. 13 through Feb. 15 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
CoolCleveland talked to Freiman – a New York City composer, producer, engineer and entrepreneur – about his unique shows highlighting the imaginative and innovative works of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
CoolCleveland: What exactly is the concept behind “Deconstructing The Beatles”?
Scott Freiman: What I’m doing are multimedia lectures about the creative process of The Beatles. So how they worked in the studio, how they wrote their songs using lots of rare audio and video. I think everyone is fascinated by the creative process and will know these songs very well. It’s fun to take them through and explain the genesis of the songs and talk about the technical equipment and the instrumentation.
How did you conceive the idea for the series?
I basically put on a talk for friends. That’s how it all started. And after a while they basically convinced me that maybe I should do something with it. So I started doing local theaters and colleges and it took off from there. I put these together in 2009, and I’ve been doing them since then at colleges and universities and theaters. I taught a course at Yale for a semester, and I do corporate events for all different audiences from young to old.
It’s a lot of fun. People seem to really enjoy learning about the way The Beatles worked in the studio. This is really for anyone who wants to learn more about music. I get Beatles fans, and people who don’t like The Beatles. The No. 1 quote I get is that people will never listen to music the same way again. What I’m doing with The Beatles is very interesting but it really does explain to a lot of people who have never been in the studio or written a song, what goes into the work behind it.
Let’s talk about the upcoming programs you’re bringing to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Rubber Soul is the first time The Beatles really started to branch out in the studio. Their songs, their music and arrangements were getting much more adventurous. So it’s very fun and this is the world premiere of the “Rubber Soul” show. The “Sgt. Pepper” show is an expanded three-hour version of that lecture that goes from “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” through all of “Sgt. Pepper” and “All You Need is Love.”
So 1967 is a really important year for The Beatles. And “Glass Onion” starts with “I Am The Walrus” and goes through all of The White Album. It talks about how all of those songs were made. There are lots of great stories and rare things I’m playing that people will really relate to. That’s also an expanded three-hour show.
As far as the material you’re drawing from is it from The Beatles Anthology release or more obscure?
It’s more obscure. The things I play oftentimes are extremely rare audio and video that most people don’t have access to. Also, I do some processing in my own studio so I can for example isolate certain tracks and be able to explain when I’m talking about a certain instrument part or show how it derived from someone else’s song. I can isolate parts of the song.
Basically what I’m doing is I’m taking a lot of technical information that people have written about and combining it with music and putting it in a very user-friendly format so you can understand what’s going on and you can actually hear it and sometimes see it.
Finally, it appears as though unlike other pop acts, you can’t really overstate the importance of The Beatles.
In terms of the pop world, yes. You can’t really separate them from the time, though. When The Beatles hit it was a time when everyone tuned into the same TV station, the same shows, the same radio stations and you didn’t have the mass amount of choices that you had today. The whole way you consume and purchase music is very different now so it makes it very hard for another Beatles to enter. You have a lot of really great music being made today in lots of genres but you don’t have the one single focal point that you did with lets say The Ed Sullivan Show.
“Deconstructing Rubber Soul” takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, “Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper – EXPANDED” takes place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and “Glass Onion – EXPANDED” takes place at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 15” in the Gartner Auditorium. Tickets are $18 (CMA members, seniors 65 & over, and students $14). Weekend pass (all three programs) $45 (members, seniors, and students $35).
Freelance writer John Benson spends most of his time writing for various papers throughout Northeast Ohio.
When he’s not writing about music or entertainment, he can be found coaching his two boys in basketball, football and baseball or watching movies with his lovely wife, Maria. John also occasionally writes for CoolCleveland.com.