Beatlemania

The Fab Four’s U.S. Invasion and appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” remains a cultural phenomenon 50 years later.

To celebrate the milestone, Harper College Professor Greg Herriges and co-teacher Tony Romano have a special day planned for their class, “Rock and Roll: The Beatles.” On Tuesday, March 4, Jeff Murphy of the rock band Shoes – one of the first bands ever to be played on MTV when the channel launched in 1981 – will visit.

A 40-year recording industry veteran, Murphy will speak to the class about the various production techniques used in “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the band’s seminal album and arguably one of the greatest of all time. Murphy will also play rare outtakes from the album and join Herriges and his rock duo Athanor for a live performance of Beatles’ music.

Romano, a past Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, will do a reading from his new novel “Because the Sky is Blue.” The chapter focuses on a young boy hearing “Sgt. Pepper’s” for the first time in 1967.

Students in the class will also perform Beatles music and dress as the historical figures featured on the album cover.

Herriges and Romano dedicate an entire day each year to “Sgt. Pepper’s” during their Beatles class, which explores the wealth of lyrics, original stories, critical analyses, film scripts, movies, music and essays created by or in response to the band.

“This class is a celebration and a real learning opportunity when it comes to composition, documentation and literary analysis,” Herriges said. “And because it’s Beatle-related, it is more than just a little bit fun.”

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