Round 21 – B for Beasties
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I heard Todd and his band play at the 4th of July event at Edwards Air Force Base. I didn’t know who they were, but thought to myself that they really played some good Beatles. After, their performance, Todd let me interview him, and I found out that he was part of The Cast of Beatlemania. Evidently, the band was kind enough to come and play for free for the military troops at Edwards Air Force Base as they celebrated our Independence Day.
Beatlemania is a professional group that plays Beatles songs for over two hours in a performance spanning their history together. The concept has been around since 1980. I saw Beatlemania in Seattle, Washington, USA in the mid-1990’s. It is a fantastically fun experience. I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity (not necessarily in Seattle.)
When I met Todd, he had been playing Paul McCartney in the The Los Angeles Cast of Beatlemania for about eight years. He got started because somebody saw him play with another group at another event and told him “we think you’d be able to do it.” They had him play Paul because he looked like Paul and was a bass player. He always loved the Beatles.
The first time Todd heard the Beatles was when he was little, but he didn’t remember exactly when. I told Todd that I remembered the first time I heard the Beatles; it was when they were on The Ed Sullivan Show and I was very, very little. Todd said “that’s a good one to remember.”
This was shot in 100% natural lighting conditions, during sunset, no reflectors. I added the sky in Photoshop, though, for dramatic effect.
Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.
Today is Independence Day for the United States of America. I used to love the Fourth of July, until September 11th, 2001. When the towers went down. That took out a lot from the 4th of July for me and many others. For me specifically, because I spent my favorite 4th in the World Trade Center, watching The Tall Ships go by during the Bicentennial Celebration of the United States. After the wonderful show, I was able to watch the fireworks over the Statue of Liberty. Nothing could ever beat that.
It’s been awhile since September 11th, and I enjoy the 4th of July, a bit. I want to remind everybody that the 4th of July is about fighting for Liberty. If it weren’t for the soldiers of the Revolutionary War, we never would have escaped the clutches of the British Monarchy and had our independence. For generations after, it’s been the American soldiers, who, maintained our freedom.
In honor of the meaning of the 4th of July, I am presenting Tom, a modern day hero.
At the time of this posting, Tom was a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team. He joined the US Air Force not knowing what he wanted to do and he was called to try out for the position, and the next thing he knew he was in OED School.
In this picture, Tom was holding an M240 Bravo 762 caliber fully automatic belt-fed machine gun which shot 2000 round before you had to reload. For reloading, there was “a barrel to swap out.”
Tom said that OED was “the best career field in the whole military.”
One should keep in mind that the OED team is a defensive team. They are only deployed when there is danger to everybody. Because of the nature of their job, they not only protect American troops, but they prevent collateral damage that could even occur to relatives of of the perpetrators who planted the ordinance in the first place.
I can’t think of anything braver than knowing that there’s an explosive device, and doing everything possible to save anybody who might be in harm’s way.
Image and graphic Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.