Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 7.9.2009

Oregon Country Fair 1969-2009

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Beatlemania Hits the Fair 40th anniversary celebration includes full-length White Album

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Beatlemania Hits the Fair
40th anniversary celebration includes full-length White Album
by Shaun O’Dell

The Oregon Country Fair turns 40 this year, and what says remember the spirit of the early Fair better than the Beatles?

That spirit of the Beatles will be alive and well Sunday, July 12, at the 40th Anniversary Molimo stage for the grand finale to the festivities — thanks to The Nowhere Band.

The Nowhere Band, made up of musicians from bands in and around Portland, says it attempts to recreate the feeling and spiritual joy that springs from the nostalgia surrounding the Beatles. But this isn’t intended to be a cover-band-performing-greatest-hits type of show. They will be bringing the White Album in its entirety to the Fair.

But why the White Album? Charlie Ruff, this year’s Fair operations manager, had some insight about that: “Well, the White Album is 40 years old this year, just like the Fair. And that’s one reason the Nowhere Band decided to play the White Album. The Beatles have been a perennial favorite with the Fair crowds. It’s another alternative, and with it turning 40, it just seemed like good synchronicity. We had some folks do Abbey Road live last year, and at this point in the project, it came to us as the Nowhere Band playing the White Album.”

Ruff notes that the album is about two hours long, and the Fair needed entertainment to run from 5 pm to 7 pm. “The stars lined up for us,” Ruff says.

And if a two hour special Beatles presentation isn’t enough to celebrate the Fair’s 40th and push Fair patrons right into the mix of the closing festivities, Ruff says there is more: “Before that show is going to start at 5, we’re going to gather in Chela Mela Meadow and have a procession that goes all the way to the stage at Pyrates Cove.” Attendees are encouraged to wear their finest Fair get-ups and join March Fourth, the leaders of the procession, to kick off the show. So get your groove on, get your tickets and get to the place where you can enjoy a live, kick-ass version of “Everyone’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.”