Beatles super fan Ken Hoffman spotlights extraordinary night for Houston music lovers

Beatles super fan Ken Hoffman spotlights extraordinary night for Houston music lovers
British composer Howard Goodall will reveal the magic of The Beatles in an exclusive engagement. Photo courtesy of Apple Corps. Ltd/The Beatles Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

If you're a Beatles fan, a splendid time is guaranteed for all when British composer, music historian, and Paul McCartney's good buddy Howard Goodall brings his "Magic of the Beatles Explained" presentation to Houston on Monday, December 16.

Goodall will dig deep into the Beatles' legacy and reveal how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr wrote and recorded some of the greatest songs in popular music history. It's a lecture that's got a good beat — and you can dance to it.

His presentation, making its U.S. debut, is sponsored by Gow Media (CultureMap's parent company) and St. Luke's Methodist Church Friends of Music. It will take place at The George Theater, home of Houston's A.D. Players repertory company (5420 Westheimer Rd.). Doors open at 6:30 pm, with Goodall taking the stage at 7:30 pm. Tickets, ranging from $30 to $50, can be purchased here.

After Goodall's presentation, I will host a Q&A session with the British composer. Since I'm listed as "perhaps Houston's biggest Beatles fan," I will pose fun questions for Goodall from a fan's perspective. If you've got a question that's always bugged you about a Beatles song, feel free to "Help!" me.

For example, I've wondered why the early Beatles spoke in thick, heavy Liverpudlian accents, but sang with Middle American newscaster accents, and what did their fans back at the Cavern Club think about that? It would have been weird if the Beach Boys recorded "I Get Around" sounding like Prince Charles. Putting my airfare where my mouth is, the day after Goodall's show, I am taking my son to Liverpool as a graduation gift. He's a Beatles' fan, too, and never been to the Fab Four's birthplace.

In addition to his Beatles work, Goodall is a celebrated composer and songwriter in his own right. He has written shows for London's West End, television, and movies. He was named Composer of the Year by the Classic Brit Awards (England's version of the Grammys), in 2009. He also won a U.S. Emmy Award for the HBO film, Into the Storm.

Much of Goodall's presentation will center on The Beatles' legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, named the greatest rock 'n' roll album of all time by Rolling Stone. Goodall will examine several songs from Pepper, including "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "She's Leaving Home," "Being For the Benefit of Mister Kite," and "Lovely Rita" — plus two songs originally intended for the album, "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," which instead were released as a double A-sided single.


"Magic of the Beatles Explained" takes place at The George Theater, 5420 Westheimer. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Goodall taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, ranging from $30 to $50, can be purchased at here. Special VIP tickets are $100 and include premium seating, a meet-and-greet and photo op with Goodall, early admission at 6 p.m., plus light snacks and drinks before and after the show.

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Astros defeat Yankees, 4-3. Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images.

Yordan Alvarez and Jon Singleton each hit long homers in the first inning for the Houston Astros, who beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Thursday night to avoid being swept in the season series.

Alvarez hit a two-out solo shot off Marcus Stroman (2-2) into the second deck in right field measured at 116.8 mph. Two batters later, Singleton hit a two-run homer off the facade along the third deck clocked at 115.4 mph.

The Astros are the first team in the Statcast era (2015-present) to hit two homers measured at 115 mph off the bat in the same inning. The homers were the hardest-hit balls against the Yankees this season.

Jeremy Peña had two hits, including a fifth-inning RBI single, for the Astros, who were outscored 40-18 in the first six games this season — all losses — against the Yankees, whom they beat in the AL Championship Series in 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Houston has never gone winless against an opponent in a season series lasting longer than six games.

Anthony Volpe hit a two-run homer off Ronel Blanco (4-0) in the third, while Aaron Judge went deep off Ryan Pressly in the eighth for the Yankees before Josh Hader got the final four outs for his fourth save. It was the first time Hader recorded more than three outs in a save since Aug. 14, 2020.

Blanco allowed four hits and walked four with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He threw a career-high 107 pitches — including 14 against Anthony Rizzo during a fourth-inning at-bat during which the Yankees first baseman fouled off 10 straight pitches before whiffing on an 86 mph changeup.

Stroman gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits over 5 1/3 innings.


The Yankees claimed RHP Colby White off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and assigned him to Double-A Somerset. White, 25, has a 2.83 ERA in four minor league seasons, but was 0-2 with a 17.61 ERA in nine games at Triple-A Durham before being designated for assignment last Friday. He was selected by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.


Astros: RHP Jose Urquidy (right forearm) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Triple-A Sugar Lake. Manager Joe Espada said Urquidy will throw 60-65 pitches. … RHP Cristian Javier (neck) will come off the injured list to start against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Yankees: IF DJ LeMahieu (right foot) will continue ramping up this weekend, when he accompanies the team to Tampa Bay for a three-game series against the Rays. … OF Jasson Dominguez (Tommy John surgery) is expected to begin a rehab assignment within the next two weeks.


Astros: Continue a six-game road trip Friday night, when LHP Framber Valdez (1-1, 3.97 ERA) starts against the Tigers and RHP Casey Mize (1-1, 3.98 ERA). Valdez has given up seven runs in 10 1/3 innings in his first two starts since missing three-plus weeks due to a sore left elbow.

Yankees: Begin a six-game road trip Friday night, when RHP Clarke Schmidt (3-1, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound against Rays RHP Taj Bradley, who's making his season debut. Schmidt has allowed three runs or fewer in 32 starts dating the beginning of 2023, the second most in the majors behind Sonny Gray (33).

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