Mt. Sterling brothers talk about Beatles-era music

 Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick

John Timmons (left) and his brother, David Timmons, are eager to share their enthusiasm for the music of the British Invasion. Their presentation will take place Aug. 1 at Mount Sterling Public Library.

First, there was “Beatlemania.” Then, there was “The British Invasion.” The third installment of John and David Timmons’ talks on all-things-Beatles, “America Responds to the British Invasion,” is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at Mount Sterling Public Library.

The Timmons brothers have been hooked on the music of the 1960s from the time they were teenagers. They traveled to concerts and emulated their rock icons in garage bands. To this day, they still rummage through music store record bins and track down collectibles from that era.

Each of the last three years, they have shared their passion through presentations at the library. John lives in South Carolina where he works as a college professor. David lives in Mount Sterling, where the two grew up. When they get together, John plays the straight man to his wise-cracking brother, and the result is entertaining and informative.

“Our presentation on Aug. 1 will be more of a multimedia production than our last two talks because the library has upgraded its equipment,” said John.

Excerpts from albums will be combined with a PowerPoint show featuring interview footage of Beatles-era music artists. Several clips will come from “Where the Action Is,” a 1960s show produced by Dick Clark on ABC, and the PBS documentary, “The History of Rock.”

The program will focus on what American musicians were doing and how they reacted when British bands became popular in the U.S. between 1964 and 1967.

The Timmonses will talk about how the American folk acts of the early 1960s, such as The Birds and The Lovin’ Spoonful, began mixing acoustic and electric sounds to become more mainstream.

They’ll talk about how teen pop idols like Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Paul Anka, as well as bands like the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, adapted or didn’t adapt to the changing sound.

They’ll hit on how Dick Clark finally gave in to the British-influenced sound and hired Paul Revere and the Raiders as the house band for “Where the Action Is.”

And what about the American response to the Beatles movie, “Hard Days Night”? Enter “The Monkees,” music promoter Don Kirshner’s television series featuring one guy from England, another from Texas, a singer from the East Coast, and a child television star.

The British Invasion even affected the Motown sound—Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials—to a degree.

These are just some of the topics John and David will discuss. They also look forward to hearing from people in the audience, whether they have a concert story to tell or memorabilia to show off. Trivia questions will be asked; the library has collected DVDs, gift certificates and other items as prizes.

“We do this for the library because we hope people understand the library does programs for adults, too,” John said.

“We also want to show people you can listen to rock-and-roll and still read books,” added John.

For more information about the Timmonses’ upcoming presentation or other programs at Mount Sterling Public Library, call 740-869-2430. The brothers’ 2007 presentation can be checked out of the library on DVD.

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