Since I went back into the vault with my appearance on a live morning news show in Milwaukee supporting my film 21 Eyes (then called Replay), I thought it was only fair to show this clip of director Lee Bonner being interviewed on Maryland Public Television by Rhea Feikin. (Seeing Rhea always reminds of her late husband Colgate Salisbury, who was the dean of voice overs in the Baltimore/Washington area. I had many memorable sessions with him back when I was but a boy advertiser. He was always a pleasure to work with.)
Aside from being an award-winning commercial and episodic television director, whose credits include Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Practice, Lee was once the bass player and chief songwriter of the RCA recording artists The Lafayettes. They were a very popular regional band who never really scored nationally in the United States. Their records did better in Europe, where they topped the charts in some countries. I was always delighted when I saw recording artists like Robert Plant, Marshall Crenshaw and Brian Eno mention the influence the group had on them. However, I was truly impressed when I read the following passage on page 668 of Mark Lewisohn's new Beatle biography "The Beatles: All These Years. Vol. 1. Tune In. "
"The Beatles' intense drive to stay one step ahead of every rival (and they were already at least fifty clear) was taken to extremes by Paul in July/August 1962 when sleuthing songs unknown or unconsidered by others. A good find was "Nobody But You," a B-side by a group from Towson, Maryland, called the Lafayettes. Beyond a mawkish introduction, this was a strong call-and-response number in the style of Kansas City. "
The freaking Beatles covered one of Lee's songs.
Way to go, Lee!
Below is the original version. Sadly, no recording of the Beatles' cover is known to exist:
Here's the A-side, Life's Too Short, with facts about the recording:
Be sure to check out my book The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking with God. It is available in paperback and on Kindle courtesy of TouchPoint Press.