Saturday, September 14, 2013

Popular humorist makes surprise visit to ASU

Gustavo Arellano
ASU Spanish professor Manuel Hernandez might be a tad nervous next week when he presents his lecture on the work of syndicated columnist Gustavo Arellano. That’s because the Mexican-American humorist, best-selling author and editor of the Orange County Weekly plans on being in the audience.

“When I heard there was going to be a lecture on my work, I did what any good Mexican would do: demanded I be allowed to sneak into the party for free,” Arellano said. “It’s an honor to have my work discussed at ASU, and muy, muy meta.”

Arellano’s surprise visit and Hernandez’s lecture, “The Humorist Gustavo Arellano’s Work and the Human Condition” kicks off the 2013 fall Project Humanities, a university-wide initiative to promote the importance of humanities within the higher education system and community. This year’s theme, “Humor…Seriously!”, is an examination of how humor plays an important role in our everyday lives, across disciplines, communities, cultures, professions, and generations.

Hernandez’s lecture is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, room 128.  Following Hernandez’s presentation, Arellano will speak and sign copies of his three books.

The lecture series, now in its sixth year, is open to the general public and is free.

Arellano’s sharp tongue-in-cheek humor combined with his historical storytelling abilities has opened up a captivating and intriguing dialogue among millions of Americans. Through his satire, he address issues such as Southwest Mexican and Mexican language, stereotypes, ethnic relations, immigration, cuisine, day labor and religion.

“Most interactions among whites, blacks and Latinos are usually very formal and surface-like but Arellano deconstructs and pulverizes misunderstandings and fears to reveal the fragility and strength of our human condition in forging, while anchored in local culture, an ever-changing national identity,” Hernandez said. “He (Arellano) isn’t afraid to take stereotypes by the horns and mixes it with both humor and history and does it most effectively.”

Arellano is a lifelong resident of Orange County, California, and is the son of two Mexican immigrants, one whom was illegal. His column ¡Ask a Mexican! was started as a lark in 2004, and his politically incorrect humor proved so popular the Orange County Weekly made it a regular column. The column today has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, and won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column. He was also the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2007 President’s Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.”

He was published in book form by Scribner Press in May 2007 with ¡Ask a Mexican!, followed by best-sellers Orange County: A Personal History (2010) and Taco USU: How Mexican Food Conquered America (2012). Arellano is also a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton.

For more information on ASU’s Project Humanities, visit

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Will Turpin named to Executive Board for Speedway Children's Charities at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Will Turpin of Collective Soul and Will Turpin and the Way

           The Atlanta Motor Speedway Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities has selected musician Will Turpin, a co-founding member of the rock group Collective Soul and front man for Will Turpin and The Way, as an executive board member and celebrity spokesman for the organization.
 “Will Turpin has been a long-time supporter and friend to Atlanta Motor Speedway and by becoming involved with Speedway Children’s Charities it is just another way that Will can help us make a difference in the lives of children in Georgia who are in need, at risk or require medical programs,” said Ginger Moats, director of the Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. 
Turpin will serve a three-year tenure in an effort to not only raise the profile of the charity but also help to improve the lives of local children.  The multi-platinum artist said his alliance with Speedway Children’s Charities was an easy choice, and a decision he doesn’t take lightly.
“When Speedway Children’s Charities asked me to consider taking a position on its Atlanta chapter executive board, I was a bit taken aback because I had always thought of myself as someone who could help from the sidelines,” Turpin said. “Then I really thought about it and made a conscious decision that I don’t want to sit on the sidelines. I want to roll up my sleeves and step up my involvement and help our community in a positive way.”
Turpin will help the chapter’s fundraising and marketing efforts and will participate in the Aug. 29, 2013, Reed Sorenson Charity Golf Tournament. For more information on Speedway Children’s Charities, call (770) 946-3960 or visit For more information on Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or visit

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mecum Celebrity Auction slated for July 26-27

John Lennon's sunglasses, Ringo Starr's ring part of Celebrity Auction at Mecum

Mecum Auctions, known for its collector car auctions, has announced its first celebrity auction taking place in July in Santa Monica. More than 2,000 items will be featured in the Mecum Celebrity Items Auction including personal items and artifacts from Steve McQueen, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Hunter S. Thompson and more.
Two high-profile items from ex-members of The Beatles were both consigned by their ex-girlfriends: A pair of John Lennon prescription sunglasses worn by Lennon in the mid-70s during his 'Lost Weekend' when he spent time with former girlfriend, May Pang; and a custom-made ring worn by Ringo Starr that was given to him in 1976 by his ex-girlfriend, Nancy Andrews.

Ringo can be seen wearing the silver and gold Electrum diamond 'Power' ring on the cover of his 1977 album, 'Ringo the 4th.' Both Pang and Andrews will be at the auction to authenticate their items.
Steve McQueen fans will take note of his 'Yucatan' trunks (circa 1969-1971) which are also up for auction. The two trunks contain '16 leather-bound notebooks filled with drawings, storyboard illustrations, photographs and a detailed story pitch' for 'Yucatan', a movie intended to be the follow-up to McQueen's racing flick, 'Le Mans'. Although the film star worked on developing the film for two years, 'Yucatan' never got made. The film is currently in pre-production with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role.

The bulk of the auction will feature items from the collection of John Hagner, curator of the Hollywood Stuntman's Hall of Fame. Hagner's extensive collection includes movie memorabilia from 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade', 'Captain America' and other classic films.

Mecum Celebrity Items Auction: Celebrating the Legendary History will take place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA on July 26 and 27. A silent auction featuring select items will begin online at on July 5.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Death on Wednesday Resurrected and Ready to Rock

Death on Wednesday is back and in the studio with No Regrets

Jail is a pretty strange place to resurrect a band but that's where Nate Lawler was 
'residing' when he decided it was time to put back the pieces of his life. Perhaps a little perspective is needed...
It was early 2000, Lawler was young, successful, and the frontman/songwriter for the Orange County-based punk band Death on Wednesday. They were up-and-comers, touring with the likes of Social Distortion, Unwritten Law and Face To Face. The group was selling out decent-sized venues, had an active fan base and a couple of records under their belt. They were courted by all of the majors – Virgin, Capitol, Nitro to name but a few – but ended up going with an indie label on a handshake deal. Lawler wasn't fond of paperwork and as a result, he didn't see much paperwork in return. No royalty statements, no checks, nothing despite the fact their songs were used for TV, feature films, and video. The label ended up going bankrupt and Lawler went on a bender.

Lost in a fog of alcohol and drugs, Lawler went off the deep end for a spell. He even spent a little time in the slammer for his bad-boy behavior. But it was there where he found sobriety and rediscovered his passion for music. After a stint in rehab, Lawler put his life in order and resurrected Death on Wednesday after an eight-year hiatus. He also sued the defunct label for lost royalties and ownership of his masters. He whiffed on royalties, but got back his catalog. He's lucky and knows it.

“If I could do it all over again, sure I would do some things different. Who wouldn’t?” Lawler says today. “But that’s what life is about. Learning from the mistakes and growing as a person. Everything I’ve done and gone through – good and bad – have made me who I am today. I have no regrets.”
But that was then and this is now. Lawler tested the Death on Wednesday waters and has discovered a fierce loyal and growing fan base that not only remembered the band and their cool tunes, but have waited patiently for new material. Lawler's rebooted band includes Kevin Clark on bass; Hunter Zinkil on lead guitar and Joel Ronomoe on drums.

Lawler says he feels fortunate he and the band are getting a second chance.

“There were some really dark times that I went through and now to be on the other end of it really makes me appreciate the important things in life,” Lawler said. “Music is such a gift and a release for me, and I lost sight of that for a while. ”
Death on Wednesday now has a clear vision and are re-releasing material from their first two albums on Wes Geer's Chanl Records – a song a week – on Wednesdays. Each song will stream on their YouTube channel for 24 hours, after which fans can purchase on iTunes. Revenue from those songs will help fund the band's new album, appropriately titled No Regrets. No Regrets is scheduled for a fall release, with the first single (and Death on Wednesday’s first new song in years) ready in early May.      

For more information about Death on Wednesday, visit the band's Facebook and Twitter pages:

Media inquiries:
Chanl Records/Wes Geer

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Michael Tolcher headlines “Unfiltered Live” concert series

"Unfiltered Live" will feature Michael Tolcher & The Pros and Musical Director Will Turpin

 Michael Tolcher and the Pros will headline a popular concert series and is bringing with him an all-star cast of local and national talent to pay tribute to the Peach State’s rich musical heritage.

Park Tavern at Piedmont Park has tapped Tolcher to headline the “Unfiltered Live” series, a six-week concert series that starts every Thursday from March 21 to April 25, from 8 to 11 p.m. The park is located at 500 Tenth St. in the heart of Atlanta.

“I’m rolling it out big because Atlanta is my hometown and I want to bring everyone together and celebrate with music,” said Tolcher, a pop/blues/urban groove artist who has toured with Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, Collective Soul and Blues Traveler. “Part of the theme is spontaneous surprises, and that won’t be limited to just music.”

No surprise to anyone is Tolcher’s musical director for the six-week residency – Collective Soul member and multi-platinum artist Will Turpin.

This concert series is something that live music lovers will want to attend,” said Turpin, who produced Tolcher’s 2006 album Certified Organic. Georgia musicians and music will certainly be featured each week and impromptu moments mixed in with guest performers will make each Thursday night its own unique experience.”

Some of the Atlanta-area musicians, all of who are national recording and touring artists, include Jeff Mosier, Joe Gransden and Yonrico Scott.

“We’ll play some of their music as well as material from every great Georgia artist including Little Richard, James Brown, Ray Charles, The Allman Brothers, R.E.M. and of course, Collective Soul,” Tolcher said. “I want there to be a sense of pride about the music that comes from our state and the only way to do that is to play it.”

Park Tavern is located in the heart of Midtown on the corner of 10th Street and Monroe overlooking Piedmont Park and the Midtown skyline. Park Tavern combines the historic charm of the site with the modern sophistication of Atlanta’s impressive skyline.  

For more information call (404) 249-0001 or visit To purchase tickets, visit

WHEN: Every Thursday March 21 through April 25
WHERE: Park Tavern, Piedmont Park, 500 Tenth St., Atlanta
PRICE: $10 advance/$15 door
Information: (404) 249-0001 or

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Beatle Who Vanished by Jim Berkenstadt

Jimmy Nicol performing in London on the day it was announced that he was to replace Ringo Starr for The Beatles World tour; photo courtesy Jim Berkenstadt

Jimmie Nicol played with the world’s most famous rock group for 13 days…and then years later he walked out of his London flat and disappeared without a trace. In his new book, “The Beatle Who Vanished”, author Jim Berkenstadt uncovers the twisting trail of intrigue that has followed Jimmie Nicol since his disappearance in the late sixties. 

“The Beatle Who Vanished” is the first account of Jimmie Nicol, an unknown drummer whose journey from humble beginnings to improbable climb – rescuing The Beatles’ first world tour from disaster by stepping in for an ailing Ringo Starr – was only part of his legend. Though his 13 days of fame made headlines, the true mystery of Nicol’s account is riddled with blacklisting, betrayal, drug abuse, bankruptcy and an eventual disappearance that leads many to question whether he is dead or alive.

Berkenstadt, the author of several Beatles books, spent six years of his life gum-shoeing the life of Nicol. In this exclusive interview with Daytrippin’, Berkenstadt discusses why the Beatles selected Nicol, his unforgettable 13-day tenure with the Fab Four, and how his 15 minutes of fame turned into nearly a five-decade hangover.  
book-coverQ: As you so aptly state in the opening of the book, Jimmie Nicol was a classy footnote in Beatles history. So what made you decide to dedicate six years of research and writing to this project?

JB: “The Beatle Who Vanished” really started out as a challenge to see if I could find enough information to write an article about Jimmie Nicol’s life.  He only ever merits one sentence in Beatles history books and no mention in British music histories.  I got lucky early on finding out the general chronology of his career by locating bands he had played in and then finding members of those bands to talk to me about their lives with Jimmie.  I found that almost universally his friends loved him very much and found him to be generous and highly talented. They all seemed to be rooting for him to succeed.

After a while, I was being connected to various band members from Colin Hicks & His Cabin Boys to Vince Eager & the Quiet Three, the Shubdubs and Spotnicks. This led to my compiling Nicol’s amazing discography and helped piece together the chronology of his career. The recordings I found all over the world, helped me to learn about Nicol’s amazing and creative gift as a drummer, composer, arranger and producer.

The years of writing and research were an amazing journey and challenge. Nicol was an enigmatic character. He always seemed to erase his trail when he moved on, rather than preserve it. The best way to describe my years of research is like a treasure hunt to find thousands of pieces to a giant puzzle. Then after finding all the pieces, one has to use interviews, photos, articles, video, recordings and memorabilia (i.e. posters) to fit the pieces together to create the portrait of Jimmie Nicol that readers will see in the book.

Q: You’ve been a part of the Beatles world for close to 25 years, including working as a consultant on the reissue of “All Things Must Pass” and the Traveling Wilburys box set. Not to mention your other books (“Black Market Beatles: The Story Behind The Lost Recordings” and “The Beatles Digest”) on the Fab Four. How did this help in terms of locating sources for your research?

JB: The two projects you mentioned, along with some of my work for Apple (The Beatles “Help!” DVD and the Cirque Du Soleil “Love” show) involved treasure hunts and connecting with the right people who were eyewitnesses to history. As an attorney, I became adept at research and finding almost anything on the Internet. This would include locating people who are hard to find, long lost news articles in foreign languages and lost audio and video.

Q: Like most people, I have never given much thought to Jimmie Nicol. Were you surprised by the fact that he was such an accomplished drummer before he was asked by the Beatles to fill in for Ringo Starr?
Colin Hicks and The Cabin Boys EP with Jimmie Nicol on drums
Colin Hicks and The Cabin Boys EP with Jimmie Nicol on drums; courtesy Jim Berkenstadt

JB: I did not know what to expect of Jimmie Nicol’s drumming at first. It took about a year to locate some early 1950s live video performances (which I will put up on my web site at and listening to 45s and LPs that I collected from all of the bands he recorded with before and after his stint with The Beatles. Once I heard the music he had played on, I was blown away by his ability to play not only great rock and roll, but Ska, Big Band, Jazz, R&B and really anything. As the readers will discover, not only was Jimmie a great rock drummer who could step in at the last minute for Ringo, but through a stroke of fate, he already knew the parts to The Beatles current concert set list when they chose him.

Q: How would you compare Nicols’ style of drumming to Ringo Starr’s?

JB: It is interesting to use film clips of both Ringo and Jimmie playing drums with The Beatles, to compare and contrast.  The Beatles were musically a very tight unit. They breathed, moved and played together as one. Imagine how difficult it must have been for them to launch a world tour with a brand new person to drive their rhythm? Nicol came through for them based upon his experience.
From a technique standpoint, both Nicol and Starr employed the matched-grip style of holding the sticks. This was still a new approach to drum technique in 1964.  The matched-grip approach positions the weight of the arms over the stick, allowing the weight to assist in producing a bigger sound. Briefly, Ringo’s style is defined by his staying low to the drums and cymbals for the most part, using his strong/powerful wrists to get a beat that is clear, communicative and which helps define and serve key sections of the song. In contrast, Nicol’s style is more staccato than Starr’s. Nicol employs more of a whipping arm motion from a higher plane down into the drums  which produces a brighter tone (Nicol also sets his stool higher than Starr for this purpose). His performances with The Beatles also highlight more of his R&B and Big Band influences in the way he breaks away from the beat and plays strong fills to set up changes in the tune.

Both styles work well to hold The Beatles together, yet of course; Ringo had recorded the songs in his style, which would be more familiar to fans. However, what fans could actually hear The Beatles at these concerts in 1964?!

Q: You cast a very large net when it came to researching Jimmie Nicols’ life – including trips to England, Holland, and Mexico. I imagine it was a surprise that this book took you around the world?

JB: Almost everything I came to learn about Jimmie Nicol’s life was a surprise. He was the definition of an independent spirit. He often chose the unexpected path. No one could tell him what to do or how to think. Each time he vanished in his career, it would take me awhile to locate where in the world he would show up next! He usually never said goodbye… just walked out the door… to another spot on the globe. Very mysterious. I tried to retrace his footsteps by traveling to England, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne to get a feel for the places he had lived and worked. I call that Frequent Flier Research

Jimmie Nicol drumming for The Beatles in Adelaide, 1964;
photo courtesy Jim Berkenstadt

Q: I was also surprised in your book by the amount of newspapers articles that existed on Nichols in addition to some of the memorabilia and photos you were able to unearth. How lucky were you in this regard?

JB: The articles were not too difficult to find. I would Google rock historians in other countries who had an interest in their country’s music history. They often had links that directed me to what I needed. Google books were very helpful in locating “Billboard” magazine issues mentioning Nicol.  I collected the key British music magazines at EBay in the UK.

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn was very generous and helpful in pointing me in certain directions and helping me find obscure facts. Kudos to Mark! Many rare photos of Nicol with his various bands such as Vince Eager, The Shubdubs and The Spotnicks were generously loaned to me by band members.

The rare handbills, programs and memorabilia were found on EBay or loaned from collectors worldwide. The Beatles era video and photos are available to watch or license at archives such as Getty. I picked up a set of Beatles autographs with Jimmie Nicol that was signed on their first plane ride for a flight attendant on BEA at Sotheby’s Auctions in 1985. Priceless…. for $200. The first night concert set list from The Beatles First World Tour, (illustrated in the book) was hand-written by Neil Aspinall. He gave it to Lennon, who gave to Nicol, who used it on his bass drum. After the show, Nicol left it. Torben, the drummer for the warm up band The Hitmakers, picked it up as a souvenir and kept it for decades.

LPs were the hardest to locate. I found a Mexican LP Nicol produced and played on in the late sixties called Nicolquinn. It is the only copy in the world I have ever seen. Out of Nicol’s 10-page discography I compiled, I think there is only one 45 record I was unable to locate; likely due to anemic sales at the time.

Q: What were some of the attributes Brian Epstein was looking for when replacing Ringo Starr for the tour, and why do you think they ultimately decided on Jimmie Nicol?

JB: This was an emotional and scary time for Epstein. He had to find a fill-in for Ringo or the entire tour would collapse into a disaster of financial ruin, lawsuits against NEMS and catastrophic bad PR for The Beatles. There were no “out” clauses for illness to postpone tours in 1964. The show must go on! Epstein needed a competent drummer who could drive The Beatles bus while they could comfortably sing and play the songs out front. But he also needed someone who was mature enough not to let the experience go to his head. Maturity, diplomacy and discretion were most needed to fill in. The person chosen would be seeing and experiencing things on tour that did not fit into the current “mop top” family-friendly image, such as sex and drugs.

There are other factors as to why and how Nicol was chosen, but I will leave those to be discovered by the readers.

Q: After the elation of The Call in which Nicol was notified that he would be touring with the Beatles, what sort of pressure do you imagine he was facing?

JB: By the time of The Call, Nicol was a pro. He had played in some of England’s best first generation rock bands, led his own big band and was one of the top 5 session drummers at the time in London. He was a confident and strong player and in the book I explain in detail how he already knew most of Ringo Starr’s drum parts. I think he became nervous once all of the fan attention and media started to surround him. He realized that this was no normal gig and no everyday band. He had the stress of driving the best rock band in the world and he wanted to do his job well.

Q: And conversely, it sounded as if Ringo Starr, though he shouldn’t have been worried, was much more upset than originally reported. What do you think he was going through?

JB: Ringo felt helpless in a hospital bed watching his buddies on TV head off on their first world tour. Keep in mind, Pete Best had been replaced by Ringo after only two years. Now Ringo was being temporarily replaced (two years after Best) by Jimmie Nicol, a well-known London drummer who was in the hottest live band in town, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. He was likely a little insecure and worried…
Jimmie Nicol (left) with Paul, George and John at a press conference in Amsterdam, June 1964; photo courtesy Jim Berkenstadt

Q: The most telling quote I found in the book was when Nicol got his first taste of Beatlemania. He said: “The day before I was a Beatle, not one girl would look me over. The day after … they were dying just to get a touch of me. Strange and scary all at once. It’s hard to describe the feeling but I can tell you it can go to your head. I see why so many famous people kill themselves.” That quote is in some ways a cautionary tale…

JB: This is a cautionary tale. In the words of Grammy Producer Butch Vig (Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Green Day), “This is a fascinating and mysterious must read for hardcore Beatles fans, and anyone who wants to understand the meteoric rise to pop stardom and the subsequent crash landing.”

Q: Despite all of the mayhem, it sounds like the Beatles burned the candles at both ends during this tour and Nichol had to force himself to keep up. Amsterdam, in particular, sounded like a wild time.

JB: The whole tour was pretty wild for its time, as readers will see. Keep in mind, Nicol was a few years older than The Beatles and he had done this all before. It is hard to come off stage after a Beatles concert of wild, crazy screaming and simply go to sleep. So, a good time was had by all.

Q: Nicol also endured subtle and not so subtle slights throughout the tour, including a protest by an Australian DJ for not hiring a drummer from Down Under. This must have put a few dents in his armor?

JB: Nicol was very independent and proud. He felt he deserved more respect for his subbing and “saving” the tour from cancellation and disaster. The Beatles were very friendly and respectful. They introduced him at the shows too. But others were not so kind. Along the way, managers of other bands would volunteer their drummer or a DJ would protest the loss of jobs for their country. In addition, the posters and programs all portrayed that Ringo was behind the kit – not Jimmie. Surely this annoyed Nicol, who felt at times like he was under-appreciated. I think over the years, these and other issues revealed in the book, had an impact on his psyche.

Q: They say every picture tells a story, but that photo in your book of Jimmie Nicol sitting alone in the Sydney Airport after his tenure was over is haunting…it’s almost as if you can read his mind: “My life just peaked.”

JB: That photo is quite haunting. Nicol is deep in thought. One day you are on top of the entertainment world. The next day, you are on your way home. What does the future hold? Can it ever be as amazing as what you have just gone through? Can one ever go back to their everyday life? What does 15 minutes of fame do to someone? I will leave it to readers to see what Jimmie had to say about that amazing photo. I found it in the archives of an Australian newspaper and licensed if for the book. In my mind it had to be a full page, to convey its intensity.

Nicol performed the job admirably received a 500-pound bonus and a gold watch. I can’t help but feel that he felt hollow inside.

How he felt about The Beatles experience seemed to change over the years. I don’t want to give away the story, but it is quite interesting and mysterious.
Jimmie Nicol with all four Beatles including Ringo Starr in Melbourne; photo courtesy Jim Berkenstadt
Jimmie Nicol with all four Beatles in Melbourne;
photo courtesy Jim Berkenstadt

Q: Thanks to your meticulous research, the Jimmie Nichol story doesn’t end in 1964. Can you give readers a brief sketch of what he did in the sixties, seventies and eighties?

JB: The research was intense. Over 700 footnotes. Hundreds of interviews with his friends, bandmates and eyewitnesses.  Before The Beatles, Nicol played rock, jazz, big band, R&B and Ska in a number of bands from the late 1950s to 1964. He then started to get involved in recording sessions and arrangements. He created a pre-Beatles band called Jimmie Nicol & the Shubdubs, which he also carried on with later. Nicol rode a roller coaster of successes with different tours, recording projects and non-musical occupations. He also had failures along the way, including band breakups, bankruptcy, divorce and more.

Q: If there is a message or subtext to “The Beatle Who Vanished,” what would you like you to convey?

JB: I think this is an interesting story on two levels. First, piecing together the career of someone who is really forgotten in history is one part detective work and one part jigsaw puzzle assembly.  There were thousands of pieces to Nicol’s puzzle; especially because he had the ability to vanish and move to another country. More importantly, a portrait emerged about a very talented person who experiences a huge ride to the top of the entertainment world – at a very young age and for a very short time. I wanted to explore what those 15 minutes of fame were like and how it then affects the rest of their life. Hopefully, I have been successful in conveying Nicol’s story, which is clearly a cautionary tale.

Note: Visit the official website for “The Beatle Who Vanished” at where you can read a free excerpt and watch the official video promo. You can “friend” the author, Jim Berkenstadt on Facebook at
Marshall Terrill is the author of 16 books. His next literary endeavor will be a photo/passage book with guitarist Laurence Juber called “Fifty Years on Six Strings.” It will be published in November 2013 by Dalton Watson Fine Books.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Turpin will host Stageit performance on Feb. 7

Will Turpin and the Way will host its first Stageit performance on Feb. 7

Multi-platinum artist Will Turpin is about to give his fans an intimate and interactive concert performance where listeners can attend without having to leave the confines of their homes.

Turpin is the latest rocker to utilize Stageit, an online concert venue where performers can create a live broadcast while interacting with fans during the show. Best of all, everyone who buys a ticket will get a free mp3 of the song performances after the show.

The live show starts 9 p.m. EST and will be broadcast from the historic Real 2 Reel Studios in Jonesboro, Georgia. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at

“I’m looking forward to my first ‘live on the web’ performance,” states Turpin.  “I’m always trying to embrace the options that technology brings, and Stageit has a style that makes the experience feel more like a live show.”

Turpin will perform the complete song list from The Lighthouse, his 2011 piano-driven power pop statement as well as a “few surprises.”  The broadcast is a great opportunity to connect directly with his fans while showcasing his new band, Will Turpin and The Way.  In addition to Turpin (keyboards and vocals) the quartet's lineup includes Jason Fowler (lead guitar and vocals), Mark Wilson (bass and vocals) and Scott Davidson (drums).

The band is currently putting the final touches on their first full-length CD, Serengeti Drivers, also recorded at Real 2 Reel Studios. Once Serengeti Drivers is released in spring 2013, Will Turpin and The Way will embark on a tour with dates to be announced later this year.

With his other band, Collective Soul, Turpin is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.  Collective Soul has attained seven No. 1 songs and 19 Top 40 singles, making them one of the most successful bands of the 1990s.