Joe Peppercorn says the first Sgt. Peppercorn Beatles Marathon started on a whim, a way to honor a friend who passed away in 2010 and shared his love of the Beatles.
“A good friend of mine named Andyman he was a local DJ he passed away in the summer and he and I had a history of singing Beatles songs together,” says Peppercorn via Skype. “And, I was supposed to sing the White Album at his old bar, Andyman's Treehouse, it was gonna be laid back show and I kind of just decided on the fly instead of doing that, I'm gonna do every song.”
It's now a ten-year-old institution in Central Ohio that draws a few thousand Beatlemaniacs each December. Peppercorn – with a little help from his friends – plays all 215 songs and more in a day. But, this weekend, he's trying something new
“It will be totally different because this show is very ornate, the show is very complex now with people coming in and out and this is gonna be super stripped down,” says Peppercorn.
Another whim, and a bit of cabin fever, is inspiring an impromptu ten-and-a-half annual celebration. This time,he's going back to basics. Peppercorn is playing every song himself and streaming from here to there, and everywhere.
He says it was a way to come together at a time when he himself feels disconnected.
“It's the thing that I do that the community most responds to,” says Peppercorn. “And a big part of my life is interacting with the community. I work in a restaurant that's gone, I'm a music director in a church, that's gone now.”
Peppercorn admits even though he knows the music, he's a bit worried about the technology and pulling it all off.
“I am kind of terrified about this Sunday, more so than my other shows where I have my people that I play the show with,” says Peppercorn. “Where I have a big audience, where I have these things in place that I know are going to work out.”