Weekend preview: Love is all you need
11 things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond …
By Ben Crandell, SouthFlorida.com
10:28 AM EST, December 31, 2014
Veteran South Florida rocker Jim Camacho has a simple reason for performing a benefit for Arnold Abbott’s Love Thy Neighbor organization on Saturday in downtown Fort Lauderdale, a stone’s throw from where Abbott was first arrested for feeding the homeless.
“He’s a World War II veteran. My dad was a World War II veteran. I can’t imagine that level of disrespect. I’m so happy to be helping him out,” Camacho says. “I’d like to meet him and see where he served.”
Oliver Camacho, who jumped onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, later died of a heart attack at age 58, when his son was 10.
On Saturday night, Jim Camacho will reunite the Beatles tribute band the Beethose in a note-for-note performance of his favorite Beatles release, “The White Album.” The band, which includes Chris Alvy, Jordan Welch, Chris Price and Fernando Perdomo, now of Los Angeles, will play the double album in its entirety in two sets, with a third set devoted to requests. The format is a little loose at this point, but a donation will help your request get played.
One of the things the Beatles learned in making the iconic “White Album” is that democracy is messy.
The 30 songs on the album were created as George Harrison and Ringo Starr moved to have their voices heard, and its diversity is its strength. The album that produced tender ballads such as “Dear Prudence,” “Blackbird” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” also includes rockers “Helter Skelter,” “Back in the USSR” and “Revolution No. 9.”
But the recording of “The White Album” also brought to light the competing narratives that would lead to the band’s breakup two years later.
“It’s my favorite Beatles record because you get to see so many strong … separate identities,” says Camacho, who broke out in the 1990s with the Goods, started playing bass with the Beethose in the 2000s and lately has turned his creativity to musical theater. His personal favorite on “The White Album” is “Julia.”
“[The Beatles] took what they did seriously, but they didn’t take themselves too seriously,” Camacho says. “Their spirit, their energy, that we all love, that’s what we try to reach toward.”
It took a little serendipity for Camacho and the Beethose to find a way to support Love Thy Neighbor: It started when Camacho was stuck at a New York airport in late November, striking up a conversation with a fellow traveler, Love Thy Neighbor supporter Irene Smith. Camacho says Smith and her sister, photographer Teajay Smith, put it all together.
“That was a case of being stuck in an airport and finding a friend,” he says.
Camacho, who released the critically appreciated album “Everywhere” in 2013, just finished a production of his “Nutcracker” remake, “The Mouse King,” with puppeteer Noel MacNeal. His goals for the coming year include a couple of highlights: a new album and another labor of love, a 10th anniversary production of his musical “Fools Paradise,” a love triangle set in a circus troupe in Nazi-occupied Paris.
“To tie back into World War II, it was kind of inspired by my father,” Camacho says. “Robb [Wexler] was in it, he played the Nazi, Himler. Ken Clement, a great actor from down here, played Jean-Paul.”
Camacho hopes to be able to reunite a lot of the principals for a show in March or April.
“We’re trying get the band back together,” he says, laughing. “We’re trying to pull it together for one last hurrah.”
As for the new recording, Camacho says he’s not sure if he’ll release it as an album or roll out the songs and accompanying video individually.
“It’s all up in the air how the world’s going to be in the next five years with music,” says Camacho, who seems to revel in the unknown. “It’s a pretty awesome time to be around. You just have to be brave and keep showing up. Back in the day, when the Goods were happening, you didn’t have to put yourself out there as much. These days, you just turn on your computer and flip on your web cam and say, ‘Hello, world.’ What a great opportunity.”
If you go: The Beethose perform for Love Thy Neighbor at 8 p.m. Saturday at Stache (109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale).