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Aug 11, 201410:48 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

When The Beatles Walked

Recreating Beatles History.

     Councilmember Susan Guidry does not easily pass for Ringo Starr, but in a world of Octopus Gardens and where the anthem is to “Come Together,” the soul can make the needed adjustments.
      Friday, August 8th, was the 45th anniversary of the famous photograph that would become the cover of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album. Photographed on the actual street in the title, the Beatles, in single file, crossed to the other side. Dressed in a white suit, John Lennon led the way, followed by Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. (McCartney’s decision to cross barefoot would touch off global speculation that he had mysteriously died.) The white street marking is called a “zebra crossing” and the Volkswagen Beetle (a playful pun) parked to the left would forever become a part of geekish nostalgia.
       Last Friday, at the road that leads into City Park’s Tad Gormley stadium, there was an ambitious attempt to recreate the photo. This attempt was part of the promotion of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles playing in the stadium. 
      Sharon Snowdy, Ch. 12’s promotions whiz, had the idea of pulling the shot together. Playing the role of Lennon is City Park President and GM Bob Becker. Then comes Guidry followed by City Park Board Chairman William Hoffman (true to the moment, barefoot) and WYES board boss, Marc Leunissen. None could be expected to have exact Beatles clothing in their wardrobe, but all tried to match the color and style. Snowdy even arranged for the requisite Volkswagen and portable stripes suitable to pass for the Zebra crossing.
      Five years before posing for the photo, the Beatles were driven to Tad Gormley Stadium for a night that would be best remembered as a rodeo. Police attempted to restrain crush-crazed teen-age girls who tried to rush the stage. Though not as famous, the road to Tad Gormley stadium, like Abbey Road, is part of the Beatles saga.
      Friday was also another historic anniversary. On that date in 1974 Richard Nixon resigned as President, boarded Air force One and headed home to California. In his own way, he too had crossed a road.
 A Beatles-like concert will be held at the stadium on the night of Sept. 16, the actual 50th anniversary date. The event is a fundraiser for WYES, Ch. 12. For information: 504-486-5522 or WYES.org.
 BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and at book web sites.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde


Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.




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