Forget NYE — it's Beatles Marathon day!

Joel Oliphint
joliphint@columbusalive.com
The poster for the 11th Annual Sgt. Peppercorn's Marathon, in which Joe Peppercorn and other local musicians play every Beatles song in chronological order.

No one who attended last year's edition of Sgt. Peppercorn's Marathon will ever forget it: At the 10th annual concert at the Bluestone, Paul McCartney introduced the show himself via a pre-recorded video. 

This year's marathon will be memorable for different reasons. If you hadn't heard, we're still in a pandemic, so gathering throughout the day at the Bluestone to watch The Whiles' Joe Peppercorn and his merry band of musicians perform every single Beatles song in chronological order (plus some other post-Beatles material) just isn't possible this year. 

At first, Peppercorn thought about postponing the whole thing until next year. But a couple of months ago, he wrote a note explaining the decision to move forward with an event that has meant so much to so many people in this city.

“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,” Peppercorn said. “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.”

And now the day has come. Beginning at 11 a.m. and ending sometime in the early hours of 2021, Peppercorn and a bunch of other talented musicians will play every Beatles song from Secret Studio, which will livestream the performance at peppercornmarathon.com. The event is free to stream, but donations are accepted and encouraged via PayPal and Venmo. Nicholas Nocera of Alison Rose also has Sgt. Peppercorn's Marathon T-shirts, posters and more for sale.

“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 in that note back in October. “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.”

What better way to say goodbye to 2020 and say hello to the new year? Here comes the sun, indeed.