Bandleader Joe Peppercorn will reimagine the beloved annual event as a free, full-band, high-definition livestream of every single Beatles song on the final day of this cursed year

In an update posted to Facebook last night, bandleader Joe Peppercorn announced that this year's Sgt. Peppercorn's Marathon, the annual event in which a bunch of local musicians perform every single Beatles song in chronological order, will be reinvented as a livestream concert on New Year's Eve in 2020. 

"It will be LIVE; it will be the full band, it will be in a large studio with great lighting and bells and whistles; it will be multi-camera high definition; it will be completely free to watch; it will sound great," Peppercorn wrote, in part. "It will be New Year's Eve; it will start some time a little before lunch; it will end some time a little after the ball drops; it will feature custom artwork by our friend Nicholas Nocera; it will not be a consolation prize; it will cost a lot of money for us to make; it will be the absolute best quality possible for you; it will require us to ask that, should you be of the means to do so, you be so kind as to send us a tip or a few sponsorship dollars."

For the last several years, the marathon has taken place at the Bluestone. (Last year, Paul McCartney himself recorded an introduction to the show.) Of course, a packed Bluestone concert isn't possible this year due to COVID restrictions and safety concerns. For a while, in fact, Peppercorn said he wasn't sure the marathon could or should happen at all in 2020.

"I [thought] there might be no way to do this without your beautiful faces right in front of me. But, I believe that there's an energy in all of us that carries and resonates beyond the presence we feel in front of one another," wrote Peppercorn, who is also finishing a solo record titled Darkening Stars. "I believe that us playing in a moment and you experiencing that moment with us (with a touch of latency), and interacting with us, is something we should experience together. I believe that letting you guys know that the show is still happening, rain or shine, pandemic or nigh, is, hopefully, something of value."

The news is, indeed, a ray of light in an increasingly dark year. The Beatles marathon has become so much more than a group of talented musicians pulling off a superhuman feat (though it is that). It's a celebratory, communal gathering.

"What has gotten me through the last seven months, and what will get me through the next god-knows-how-long is the belief that hope is possible in all circumstances, beauty is there if you look for it, people are good, and love is all you need, or if not, at least sometimes love is all you need," Peppercorn wrote. "Life goes on, we won't give up, we will try to approach this show like we do every year: this might be the last show we play, we are lucky to have this opportunity, we are lucky to have this music, we are lucky to have you. Life is a blessing, please keep living."    Read Peppercorn's full note below.   ---   "Hi friends! How are you? Are you hanging in there? Are you finding your pockets of light in the dark? Are you finding your moments of sanity? Are you listening to music? Are you listening to the Beatles? Is there a record you've leaned on heavy the last seven months? Are you experiencing the ennui of pandemic life? We miss you and we hope you are well.

Obviously, we want to do a live show for you more than anything else in the world. Back in June, we started trying to figure out if there were ways we could do so. As time has moved on, and as we have learned more; dwelled on the current situation; interrogated our expert friends; consulted the oracles; listened to Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas (matchbox twenty), we came to the conclusion that there was no way to put on our show in any sort of traditional way.

We decided to go all in on a live stream show for you. It will be LIVE; it will be the full band, it will be in a large studio with great lighting and bells and whistles; it will be multi-camera high definition; it will be completely free to watch; it will sound great; it will feature the album Band on The Run played in its entirety; it will feature full band live performances of every song in the Beatles catalog; it will be interactive in a myriad ways so that you know we are playing for you, to you, and with you; it will be New Year's Eve; it will start some time a little before lunch; it will end some time a little after the ball drops; it will feature custom artwork by our friend Nicholas Nocera; it will not be a consolation prize; it will cost a lot of money for us to make; it will be the absolute best quality possible for you; it will require us to ask that, should you be of the means to do so, you be so kind as to send us a tip or a few sponsorship dollars; it will not be forced; it will be the absolute best and most we can do for all of you right now in this time of volatile despondency, a time when we feel compelled to do whatever we possibly can to let you know that life can still be magical and beautiful in its strange and different ways.

Obviously, nothing quite replaces the feeling of a live show. We hope to get back to it next year. Come along for the ride with us this year, we will do everything we can to make your living rooms feel like The Beatles Marathon. This is not a placeholder, this is not a replacement, this will be something different that we hope resonates in the same emotional complex as the we play for you every year.

I thought about sitting this year out. I though there might be no way to do this without your beautiful faces right in front of me. But, I believe that there's an energy in all of us that carries and resonates beyond the presence we feel in front of one another. I believe that us playing in a moment and you experiencing that moment with us (with a touch of latency), and interacting with us, is something we should experience together. I believe that letting you guys know that the show is still happening, rain or shine, pandemic or nigh, is; hopefully, something of value.

What has gotten me through the last seven months, and what will get me through the next god-knows-how-long is the belief that hope is possible in all circumstances, beauty is there if you look for it, people are good, and love is all you need, or if not, at least sometimes love is all you need.

Life goes on, we won't give up, we will try to approach this show like we do every year: this might be the last show we play, we are lucky to have this opportunity, we are lucky to have this music, we are lucky to have you. Life is a blessing, please keep living. More details to come in the next few weeks.

All of our normal systems of operation are out the window at the moment. We are working diligently in order that this show is easy for you all to enjoy. We will let you know in the upcoming weeks the full details so that you might know how to prepare to enjoy our show fully. We will have more details in the weeks to come, and will ensure that the show will be easy and convenient for you to pull our show up and bliss out on our beatles jams.

Also, I am home schooling my kids right now and am trying to teach them the word myriad, sorry if I overused it and abused it here, but that is a good word! Teach it to your kids too!

See you New Year's!

-Joe Peppercorn"