Wed, Jul 14 2010 02:41 AM Posted By: John Philip Wyllie
Back in January 1969, the Beatles, looking for a place to perform where their music would not be drowned out by the shrieks of their adoring fans, settled upon an impromptu concert atop the roof of their London headquarters. As the music cascaded down to the street below, traffic snarled and passers-by clogged the streets. The group didn't know it at the time, but this would be their final public performance.
The brief 45-minute concert was eventually halted by the police, filmed and then later seen throughout the world as part of the Fab Four's classic swan song documentary "Let it Be."
That film served as the inspiration June 26 for a South Bay Beatles cover band known as the Baja Bugs to play a rooftop concert of its own. The event, held in a busy Normal Heights neighborhood along Adams Avenue and organized by Mariposa Ice Cream owners Dick and Ann Van Ransom-Magana, brought smiles to the faces of those celebrating the shop's 10 year anniversary.
"This is a much bigger turnout than we anticipated. We are absolutely thrilled to have everybody out here celebrating with us. We had no idea what to prepare for," said a delighted Ann Van Ransom-Magana.
The Baja Bugs, whose members attended schools in Chula Vista's Sweetwater district in the late 1970s, have been making music in one form or another ever since. This was actually their second rooftop concert. The first was held in the same location to celebrate the 2008 election of Barack Obama. This time around the crowd was much larger due to a little publicity courtesy of KFMB Channel 8 TV.
The combination of Mariposa's ice cream and the music of the Beatles turned out to be an irresistible combination for a horde of locals and passers-by. As the long lines of ice cream lovers awaited their opportunity to enjoy the specially priced cones and cups of frozen nirvana, they were first delighted by a two-piece combo near the shop's entrance. Local Beatles-inspired singer/songwriter Dave Humphries strummed his guitar and sang fab favorites and originals with the backing of keyboard wizard Wolfgang Grasekamp.
Then, taking their cue from the Beatles, the Baja Bugs continued the celebration with a rooftop concert that included the early Beatles music the group is noted for, plus songs like "Get Back," which was famously performed by the lads from Liverpool in the original 1969 rooftop concert. The police showed up this time, too, but rather than closing the gig down, two members of America's Finest City's finest simply expressed their congratulations along with a request to keep the sidewalk passable.
© 2009 The Star-News