All fans of the Fab Four know the first two by heart and surely will enjoy the third as well. KOOP’s Rush Evans produces and hosts Off the Beatle Path, which he says “explores the larger world beyond the records released by the actual Beatles … the solo careers of the Beatles, covers of Beatles music, Beatles family members who are musicians, and music performed by other people who were inspired by the Beatles.”
Rush’s favorite episode of Off the Beatle Path was on January 30, 2019: “The Eggmen (a Beatles cover band) and I and the Austin Public Library and a bunch of KOOPers re-created the Beatles’ famous rooftop performance in London exactly 50 years before. We had 500 Beatles fans with us on the downtown library roof and another thousand watching on video screens downstairs. We made the NBC Nightly News. It was a great and glorious day for KOOP.”
Other local musicians who have performed Beatles music on Rush’s show include Darin Murphy, Freddie Krc, Nick Randolph, Kat Edmonson, Sara Hickman, and Candace Bellamy.
Listeners who experienced the Beatles during their teens and twenties know and love Beatles music and the band’s legacy. How about younger listeners? Rush says, “They also love the Beatles. They recognize the music is timeless. Beatles music is not just a ‘thing’ … it carries from generation to generation.”
When KOOP was broadcasting live from the studio (pre-pandemic), Rush usually had a young man helping him host the show. Rush speaks fondly of his “sidekick” Brandon: “He first came to the show when he was in high school. He’s disabled and mostly non-verbal but wanted to earn school credits by apprenticing. Now, eight years later, he is an integral part of the show. He’s a Beatlemaniac, he has a device that helps him speak … with a British accent of course … and he helps select the music. When we go live again, Brandon will be back.”
Later in May, Rush will celebrate Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday and Dylan’s collaboration with the Beatles’ George Harrison and The Traveling Wilburys. Beyond that, Rush says, “I could do the show every week for the rest of my life without repeating a cut. There are thousands of hours of great material and music.”
You can hear Off the Beatle Path every Monday from 12 noon – 1pm central time. Tune to 91.7 FM in Austin, worldwide at www.KOOP.org.
-Michael A. Brown