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Joe Peppercorn (left) and Matt Peppercorn perform at the 2015 Beatles Marathon. Credit: Courtesy of Amy Peppercorn

Beatles Marathon inspired by family


Beatles fans will have a chance to rock out all day on Saturday in downtown Columbus.

Local band The Whiles will perform the entire Beatles discography, from earliest to latest, at The Bluestone in their seventh annual Beatles Marathon. For the first time this year, they will be collaborating with Columbus Moving Company, a dance company founded by OSU dance department alum Jeff Fouch.

With guest appearances from other local musicians, the 221-song performance will begin at noon with the Beatles’ first album, “Please Please Me,” and end with their album “Abbey Road,” not long after midnight.

Joe Peppercorn, singer and guitarist for The Whiles and an OSU alumnus, said their eight-hour rehearsals have been gruesome as the show has to be extremely organized and move very quickly in order to play all the songs within 12 hours.

He also said the yearly event is currently the only single performance of every single Beatles song.

“It’s different. There’s nothing like it,” Peppercorn said. “It’s hard because you’re so excited, but then you’re very nervous. Things do go wrong during the show. There will be 1,000 people there and you’re scared to look like an idiot, but then thankfully you have like another 100 songs to make it up.”

Since it is an annual show, Peppercorn said every year they make it better and try to bring in as many nuances as they can. He said that could include changing up the harmonies, finding new ways to incorporate the orchestra or untilize more dance.

The Columbus Moving Company will be dancing during the performances of the “White Album” and “The Magical Mystery Tour” albums.

Christeen Stridsberg, a dancer with the Columbus Moving Company and also Peppercorn’s cousin, said she was more than happy to collaborate with him after he reached out.

“It will be embodying our style of dance, which is, first and foremost, modern, contemporary and postmodern dance,” she said. “It is very improvisational, with a heavy focus on contact amongst the dancers. I think it will go really well with the lyricism of The Beatles.”

Stridberg also said she and Peppercorn come from a very musical family, and a lot of their inspiration and love for The Beatles comes from her father.

“My dad always had an exclusive taste in music,” she said. “When Joe and his younger brother Matt started playing instruments and creating a band, they were obsessed with The  Beatles and that style of classic rock. I remember my dad playing with Joe in the talent show in middle school. He always passed that love on to his nephews.”

Peppercorn also added that energy is equally invested each songs, but said the song “Across the Universe” is very special to him.

“When my daughter was born and even when she was little, I used to sing that to her,” he said. “She’s five now and (at the time) I was trying to remember that for the second (Beatles Marathon). She was awake at night a lot and I would just sing it to her.”

The show will begin at noon on Saturday and is expected to end around 1 a.m. Tickets can be bought in advance for $10, cash only, at The Bluestone or can be purchase online for $25.09 including fees. Tickets are $25 at the door.

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