Several of the stars of the British Invasion 2015 Tour — Denny Laine from Paul McCartney and Wings, Chad & Jeremy, Billy J. Kramer, Mike Pender of the Searchers and Terry Sylvester of the Hollies — performed at the Hard Rock Cafe Times Square Feb. 24 to tape a new special for Sirius/XM Satellite Radio titled “Cousin Brucie Presents the British Invasion Stars.” The show was emceed by veteran disc jockey Cousin Bruce Morrow of Sirius/XM Radio. who hosts “Crusin’ With Cousin Brucie” and “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Rock ‘n’ Roll Party” for the satellite radio station. Absent from the show was Peter Asher, who was in England being honored with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) honor at Buckingham Palace.
Though Sirius/XM often tapes at their studios, this special was taped at the Hard Rock Times Square, which stands on the site of the former Paramount Theater. That theater has some incredible history of its own. It was the location of the premiere of the first Elvis Presley movie “Love Me Tender,” which was attended by crowds of screaming girls and Elvis Presley himself. It was also the site of performances by legends such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Glenn Miller, John Coltrane, Buddy Holly and the Crickets and many more. It was also the place where John Lennon first met Bob Dylan after a Beatles performance in 1964.
According to British Invasion tour producer Keith Putney, the show was done before an invited audience. The attendees included Mark and Carol Lapidos of the Fest for Beatles Fans. Each artist played two songs and each was interviewed by Morrow. Morrow also interviewed Little Steven Van Zandt, who called British Invasion music the greatest music ever made.
The taping lasted roughly an hour and 20 minutes, and included extensive interviews with each artist about their musical influences. Terry Sylvester told Morrow he was influenced by the Everly Brothers and the first record he ever bought was Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”/“Don’t Be Cruel.” Denny Laine said his big influence was Lonnie Donnegan’s recording of “Wabash Cannonball,” while Chad & Jeremy cited Josh White. The show will premiere 5 p.m ET Friday (Feb.27) and will be repeated at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
Here’s the setlist for the show, from Tom Frangione of “Beatle Brunch” and also often heard on our weekly Beatles show “Things We Said Today”: Mike Pender of The Searchers sang “Love Potion Number 9” and “Needles and Pins”; Billy J. Kramer did “Bad To Me” and “Little Children”; Chad & Jeremy sang “Yesterday’s Gone” and “A Summer Song”; Denny Laine sang “I’ll Go Crazy” and “Go Now” and Terry Sylvester of the Hollies sang “Just One Look” and “Bus Stop.” For the encore, the entire group sang “Band on the Run.”