As always, it will have a few new nice touches.
“It’s not a radically new show, but every now and then we discover something we thought was lost, like the demo of [Peter and Gordon’s signature 1964 Lennon-McCartney penned hit] ‘A World Without Love,'” says Asher. “There’s nothing that dramatic this time, but we’re always updating the show with new vintage photographs and video and audio, as well as whatever else I’m doing now.”
The multimedia aspect of Asher’s show, actually, “gets more complicated all the time,” he says, “as I tell stories and sing songs, pretty much to an unending cascade of photos and audio and video.”
This year being the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and the British Invasion, Asher, who performed with his band in February at the Grand Hyatt in New York, is also observing the milestone, albeit quietly.
“I’m not that big on looking backwards,” he maintains. “The predominant thought is, ‘Is it really 50 years?’ But that’s to be expected: I had my 70th birthday on June 22, and I’m obviously above all else thrilled to still be vertical and working! And so far I don’t appear to have lost too much to age, considering how many brain cells I must have beaten out in the course of my career—and I seem to be reasonably in control of things.”
And Asher, long an L.A. resident, is still in contact with Paul McCartney, who lived with the Asher family in London early in the Beatles’ heyday, when he was dating Asher’s sister Jane Asher. In fact, as he relates in A Musical Memoir, McCartney was living there when John Lennon came over, worked out a song with McCartney in the music room, then they played “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for Asher afterwards.
“Interestingly, the last time I ran into Paul, he was out here rehearsing for the Grammys, and I said, ‘By the way, in the midst of all this fuss over the Beatles' anniversary, somehow everyone’s overlooked the fact that it’s also the 50th anniversary of us recording “A World Without Love.” If I didn’t thank you properly then for the song, allow me to thank you now.’ He said, ‘Thank you very much,’ and that was the extent of the ceremony!”
Otherwise, “we stay in touch off and on,” adds Asher. “We don’t exchange millions of emails, but when we see each other we catch up, and it’s always a delight to see each other.”
As for Asher’s current activities, he’s working on the stage musical Bright Star, a collaboration between Steve Martin and Edie Brickell and including songs from their Asher-produced 2013 bluegrass album Love Has Come for You.
“We’re auditioning musicians and and putting a band together and will start rehearsing near the Old Globe in San Diego, and then open there on Sept. 28,” says Asher.
“I also have a couple of studio projects brewing, and I’m in the middle of helping my friend Barry Levinson on his upcoming music-related movie [Rock the Kasbah] with Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and Zooey Deschanel—and I’m also working on concerts in London that Hans Zimmer is doing. There is a lot of interest in live film music, and he wants to do a concert of different stuff.”
Asher actually works out of composer Zimmer’s Remote Control offices.
“He and I have been friends a long time, and I’m a consultant to him,” says Asher, who wrote, sang and produced “Love Always Comes As a Surprise” on the soundtrack of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, for which Zimmer did the music.
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