“I and the Fab Faux have lost a great friend Sid Bernstein,” Lee tweeted, carrying it over to his Facebook page: “An icon of the music biz. Brought The Beatles to the US, put on the first stadium rock concert. R.I.P., dear friend.”
Bernstein, the legendary music promoter whose name is forever associated with The Beatles, also worked with the likes of Tony Bennett, the Rolling Stones, Fats Domino, Tito Puente, Judy Garland, and Phoebe Snow and The Rascals—both of whom he managed. He died yesterday in New York at 95.
Lee, of course, is famed as the bass player in The Late Show With David Letterman's house band and as a founder of the ultimate Beatles tribute band the Fab Faux.
“Sid was a dreamer of the most magnificent dreams,” he said later, via email. “He dreamed of bringing The Beatles to America and made it happen. He dreamed of having the first stadium rock concert and The Beatles at Shea happened. I'll miss hearing him openly share dreams of big things whenever I would see him. Sweet dreams, Mr Bernstein.”
Shortly after their Feb. 9, 1964 debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, Bernstein brought The Beatles to Carnegie Hall as the first rock band to play there, then made history again the following year by taking them to Shea Stadium.
Few knew Bernstein as long and as closely as May Pang.
“So sad to hear that my friend, Sid Bernstein, has passed away,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “He had just reached his 95th birthday. I am so glad I got to see him a couple of weeks ago. Known him since I was 15 years old. I even did some babysitting for his kids.”
Later, also via email, she added, “I met him when he managed the Young Rascals. He made sure all the girls that were around were safe. He was Uncle Sid. John [Lennon] and I would run into Sid at one of our local Chinese restaurants. He never gave up asking John about reuniting The Beatles.”
Although that never happened, “There was not a malicious bone in his body,” said Pang, “just his big love for music and people.”
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