Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Classic rockers
to take ‘A Walk
Down Abbey Road’

The summer tour kicks off
in Hawaii and has new faces

By Tim Ryan

"A Walk Down Abbey Road," featuring major rockers showcasing their own material as well as Beatles songs, will kick off in Hawaii their second annual summer tour.

Todd Rundgren and one-time Beatles engineer Alan Parsons will headline again this year along with newcomers former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, Christopher Cross, Grand Funk's Mark Farner and Eric Carmen.

They will perform June 15 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and Father's Day, June 16, at the Blaisdell Arena.

The tour will be formatted like the first, with the first half of the show being dedicated to the headliners' own material, then a team-up to perform Beatles songs in the second half.

The foursome will arrive in Hawaii a week before their Honolulu concert to rehearse for their five-week mainland tour, which includes San Diego on June 24, Saratoga, Concord, West Sacramento and Los Angeles, Calif.; Phoenix; Clarkston, Mich.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Brewster, N.Y.; Hyannis, Mass.; Vienna, Va.; Denver; and Detroit.

Tickets are $35 and go on sale Friday at the Blaisdell box office, Maui Arts & Cultural Center and all Ticket Plus outlets.

"A Walk Down Abbey Road" is an ongoing project, with different artists making up the group around Parsons -- who serves as musical director -- on future tours, sources said.

Though better known as the force behind the Alan Parsons Project, Parsons is especially suited to direct a Beatles tribute, having engineered and produced records at Abbey Road studios early in his career.

In addition to engineering the "Abbey Road" album, Parsons later lent his production skills to Paul McCartney and Wings, as well as Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."

Rundgren is one of rock's mavericks, whose knack for pop craftsmanship was heavily influenced by the Beatles. In the late 1970s, his skill enabled him to take over the producer's seat from George Harrison on Badfinger's "Straight Up," spawning the hit single "Baby Blue."

Rundgren's other connections are characteristically quirkier. He released a Beatles parody album, "Deface the Music," in 1980, and several songs from 1989's "Nearly Human" were used in the score of the off-Broadway production of "Up Against It" -- which reportedly was the original script for the unfilmed third Beatles movie.

E-mail to City Desk


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