Imagine Christmas by Alan Bernhoft

•December 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Imagine Christmas” words & music by Alan Bernhoft
from the CD, Beatlesque Four -Love Everyone, A.I.M. Records
Cellos by Liz Elliot

Walking down the street, the sun was shining in the sky, a perfect summer’s end
An angel from the clouds appeared and took my hand, said “Merry Christmas, friend”
From heaven!
She led me through the streets and showed me carolers and mistletoe, like Christmas Eve
She said, “The season’s in your heart, go share this with the world and they’ll believe.”

Well I, oh I, Imagine Christmas, I do,
So you and I can feel the way we do that day
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas

The spirit’s in the aire and love is everywhere, there’s children singing hand in hand
Old King Cole is crooning “roasted chestnuts” and there’s peace throughout the land
It’s heaven!
Not a day goes by, the lovely lady from the sky, she doesn’t cross my mind
The change she made in me, it’s clear to see, just leave unhappiness behind

Well I, oh I, Imagine Christmas, I do,
So you and I can feel the way we do that day
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
Every day of the year
Imagine Christmas
(c)2011 Alan Bernhoft, BMI

The True Story of Rudolph

•December 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.
(PS when you watch the Holiday favorite, the “Rudolph” Christmas animated show with Burl Ives, notice all songs are written by Johnny Marks)
This story was passed on to me my music legend Hal Blaine
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Alan’s little map of WORLD DOMINATION!!

•December 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Each Pin represents multiple CD sales and/or digital downloads through CDBaby.com, which is only one source of sales for my music, albeit the most successful one, starting in 2009.

COMMENTARY SECTION:

The East Coast of the U.S. ROCKS, particularly New York!

Los Angeles, my home turf…not so good…what’s up with my friends??

(Slight Chastising Portion:) If you had a CD release, film screening, TV appearance, play, etc, I bet I showed up and/or supported you (if at all possible) so what’s with the ZERO sales in LA? Just sayin… it wouldn’t kill ya to buy a little Alan music for your collection- you’ll probably like it alot! Perfect virtual stocking stuffers! My Facebook store:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alan-Bernhoft-Beatlesque-Music/164675130219252?sk=app_155326481208883

Worldwide, Europe is obviously way ahead, with Spain in the lead, followed by Austria (yes, the home of Mozart and that whole gang) and Japan followed closely by Brazil. Special shoutouts to my peeps in Schiedam, Nyack, Trgastel and Chorley!
[to be updated now and then]

Alanna Noel Bernhoft sings Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful”

•October 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Alan Bernhoft Profile & Interview with author Jude Kessler

•October 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

1. Alan, you and I first met when I saw you on a video doing a FANTASTIC John Lennon impersonation. How did you get involved in “being John”? Do you still take acting gigs as John?

I remember seeing the Beatles as a kid and immediately relating to John. I’m not exactly sure what it was specifically. He just never seemed like a star, although he was the ultimate star, he always seemed like a regular guy – a little scruffy with flaws. Those little flaws made his art more human and greater than most. For example it’s his slight “off pitch” quality that makes those incredible harmonics when his voice is double-tracked, especially in the recordings during the Beatlemania years. His guitar was usually a little out of tune as well – just one string, supposedly so his auntie could tell which guitar was him when she heard the songs on the radio.

I’ve always found his voice amazingly attractive – like a big smile, very happy and reassuring. That pure golden tone, colored with a snarling edge that he could turn on and off at will. And all that vulnerability! So I was singing along to The Beatles, especially to the “John” songs, all the time.

The first time I actually sang a Lennon vocal in front of an audience was at a high school talent show. My band did “A Hard Day’s Night,” which I sang from behind the drums. (I was a drummer at the time- hadn’t picked up the guitar yet.) The audience just went nuts! It was the first time I experienced that kind of energy at a show. (After the show was pretty exciting as well.) I remember hearing a recording of the show later and girls saying, “You sound just like him!”

I still perform as Lennon these days with Neil Burg’s IMAGINE, the original West Coast Beatles tribute band. A lot of amazing talents have performed in that band over the years. I also recently had a ball performing a solo Lennon show for a book release party for John Borack’s John Lennon – Life Is What Happens.

2. I have all four of your Beatlesque CD’s, and you do have that Beatles sound…that Merseybeat manner. How long have you been writing and recording your own songs? Why Beatlesque? 

I’ve been writing and recording my original songs as long as I can remember. As home recording equipment got better and cheaper, my home recordings improved. In fact, a song I recorded completely at home, “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,” was used in a BBC commercial for the Harry Hill show last year. I was very flattered that the Brits had to come to an American for a Beatlesque sound.

I’ve played in dozens of original bands, and I’ve always had a stockpile of songs that I could rarely get other musicians to play because they were “too Beatlesque.” I realized many of them worked as children’s songs, so I began using them on my Playdate Children’s Radio Show, an original interactive show for kids which aired for about a year every Saturday morning on Evolving Artist Internet Radio, a network developed by Craig Frand and Derek Trembley, who were way ahead of their time.

After the success of the movie, “Desperately Seeking Paul McCartney,” which features six of my Beatles-like original songs, I decided to put those tunes out as a set that was deliberately “Beatlesque” in title and content, and it did very well

“Beatlesque One” was chosen as one of that year’s top CDs by Goldmine Magazine. So I followed with a second (“Beatlesque Too”) which was all 1964-sounding “Beatlemania” style material. Then “Beatlesque Three,” which is more like the ’66- ’67 period. “Beatlesque Four” will be out by late 2011. It’s definitely the most psychedelic of the series, which I really like.

3. Where are your CD’s available? Do you have a website?
My main website is www.alanbernhoft.com. All my CDs are available at CDBaby and iTunes and many other places on the web.

I have thirteen releases total, including “Chromonica Jazz”  of which I’m extremely proud. It’s a jazz CD I produced featuring my Uncle George (Uncle G’erge!) on jazz harmonica and my friend and mentor, Hal Blaine, as guest drummer on four tunes. David Kaufman (of “Imagine”) and I round out the band on guitars, bass and drums

4. As you and I got to know one another, you shared with me a rather touching video that you produced about a lady trying to meet Paul McCartney. Tell us about that.

The feature, “Desperately Seeking Paul McCartney” was almost a complete film when I became involved. Mark Cushman and Ruth Anson put together a brilliant, funny, insider’s look at the cut throat world of “reality television” interlaced with the true story of Ruth’s Beatles interview from 1966 when Paul asked her to marry him. My long time collaborator Jeff Toscynski (one of the top Paul McCartneys in the Tribute world) suggested my songs as they couldn’t afford real Beatles tracks in the film. Mark heard some of my tracks, and the rest is Beatlesque history.

5. One of the ventures I MOST enjoyed was your DVD, an updated version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When and where did you film that, and can people still get it today?

“The Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Rock ‘N Roll Musical.”

Yes, that’s my baby, where I put it all on the line – my acting, screenwriting, singing, songwriting, and producing. It was a super low budget labor of love. It was shot here in Los Angeles, without permits, and it was an incredible experience.

The director, Andre Champagne, who also produced and edited the film, really took the project under his wing and helped make it happen. We met working together at Sonora Recording Studios in Los Angeles. One day, when I was delivering a piece of gear to him, I toured his home studio. I liked what I saw and heard…and ended up recording the entire soundtrack there over a period of a few months. It wasn’t until I mentioned I wanted to make it into a film that I found out Andre had been to film school and wanted to direct.

The film is distributed by Elite Disk, and available at Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster, etc.

6. Okay, the BIG question: You’re coming out with a new novel in October…a horror novel just in time for Halloween. What’s the basic plot (don’t tell us too much!!) and what age group would like it? Where can we get it?

It’s an anthology called Hell Comes To Hollywood, a collection of short horror stories relating to Hollywood. My contribution is called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollywood,” and it’s about a strange creature prowling the alleyways of Hollywood at night slicing people’s heads off.  Sounds suitable for ALL ages, right?

Eric Miller, the publisher of the anthology, was aware of my horror writing abilities through the Jekyll & Hyde film and via a screenplay that I have floating around Hollywood, “The Axeman of New Orleans,” a true story, turn-of-the-century horror film that was almost made by a production company Eric was working with a few years back.

7. Acting, impersonating John, songwriting and singing, writing…what is your favorite creative medium?

That’s a tough one – like trying to say which child is your favorite. I really get enormous satisfaction and a deep, resonating “high” from all the art forms I attempt. It’s definitely an addiction.
Acting has been particularly great lately. I’ve just signed with a fantastic agent, Cynthia Barry, and you should be seeing me on television and/or the big screen in the near future. I’m currently appearing in two web series, Femvamp.com, created by Guil Claveria, and Pimpweasel.com, based on Hayden Black’s “Goodnight Burbank” series that was recently picked up for television. I’ve also produced a series of comedy videos for a friend’s real estate company, Property Masters Realty, which I really enjoy making.

Performing live is always a thrill, whether it’s a crowd of a thousand or just a small club. I also get the same high recording my music in my studio, or editing a video, or writing. Or just sitting back at the drums and jamming away for an hour or so. The drums are where it all started for me – very satisfying.

I also enjoy collaborating with other artists – I still write and record with other people, though I haven’t had an original band in years. When I play live, it’s usually as Lennon.

I love doing music for film, and was fortunate enough to have several pieces in the award-winning short film Me, You, A Bag & Bamboo by filmmaker Lara Everly, who has since become a regular collaborator. We’ve worked together on each other’s projects countless times. I’ve also continued to work with Andre Champagne through the years on all sorts of interesting films and music projects.

 

It all comes down to leaving a unique body of work – that’s your responsibility as an artist…something for everyone else to sort through and hopefully enjoy, when you’re long gone. That’s what I’ve tried to do. That’s what all my heroes have done. Especially that guy named John.

Alan on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1480662/ 

Beatlesque Three CD Review!

•October 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Take a step back in time with the spectacular Rock/British Invasion CD, “Beatlesque Three,” by Alan Bernhoft. This is the third installment of a series of original, well crafted songs in which the Beatles might have released. Bernhoft does a magnificent job in replicating this style of music as you can hear perfect vocals and solid instrumentation. The opening song, “Sunny Sky,” is bright and cheery and instantly connects you with the era of the Beatles. Another song, “Everybody Smiles,” is truly remarkable as one would think of Ringo singing this lovely tune. “Colliding Circles,” is an easy feeling song that moves with a sweet style and grace. Bernhoft does an outstanding job on this album and once again proves he has captured this particular time and sound. If you are a fan of the Beatles and British Invasion Rock, then you will definitely want to hear the wonderful collection of songs on the amazing album, “Beatlesque Three.”

Playdate Children’s Radio Show – LA Times

•October 3, 2011 • 1 Comment

Listen to music from the show here:

http://www.myspace.com/playdateshow

13 yr old Alanna Bernhoft as Lady Macbeth

•October 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Alanna Bernhoft (13) as Lady Macbeth- sleepwalking sequence. Odyssey Charter School Production, June 2011, directed by Daryl Bilandzija.
(The applause for Alanna was spontaneous, the scene wasn't over.)

Chicago Fest For Beatles Fans This Weekend (Aug 5, 6, 7)

•August 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

HEY Beatle Peeps- I’ll be represented at the Chicago fest this weekend….who’s going?? visit the booth of author JUDE KESSLER (author of the excellent Lennon books “Shoulda Been There” and “Shivering Inside”) for a FREE BEATLESQUE SAMPLER CD (while they last) and say HI for me to my pal, Jude!!
http://www.facebook.com/thefest


BEATLESQUE THREE Brazilian CD Review

•July 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This Brazilian review of my 2010 CD, BEATLESQUE THREE was translated by our frined Angela. She said there was lots of slang used and she translated as best she could. It’s kinda funny, overall very happy and positive…

The title is not a shelter to justify the similarity; it is a deliberate homage. You can say that the Beatles do not need another proof of admiration, but I tell you that the strength of a legacy is unstoppable. Beatlesque Three, something like “A La Beatles Volume 3”, indeed emulates the four of Liverpool, indeed sounds like their tunes…so what? Alan Bernhoft likes to compose inspired by the beatle book and we love to listen to him.
>
> In the third album of the Beatlesque series, the musician from Los Angeles _who plays all the instruments and records everything in the A.I.M. Studios (located in … his own room!), keeps on ignoring the mainstream critics (who would call him “pastiche”), the traditional critics (who would call this a copy) while I personally could not be less concerned. What matters here is not a measure of artistic relevance, degree of boldness or doses of innovation. It is simply to feel how much the melodies can tell something to you.
>
> And do not mind the quality of the recording, because the recording is simple, without big productions. Seek how much the rays of “Sunny Sky” _the album’s opening song_ can illuminate your tedious day: the simplicity of the vocal arrangements, the healthy candidness of the melody and the rhythmic finger snapping can make it alright. “Everybody Smiles” elevates the emotional tone with grace: it would be Ringo Starr song in the album.
>
> In “Civilization”, the incredible melodic and touching force of John Lennon comes in the song, like Mind Games, with the difference the world to be changed is the size of your living room. Miss Vonnie comes soft in the piano, in the sweet voice of Bernhoft, and, suddenly, an adorable and irresistible verse hits you. Vocal games directly from the 1960’s have the power of echoing for hours in your brain in So Shine Away.
>
> A tender vibraphone brings the balade _almost a lullaby_ named Chun Li ( the Chinese version of Yoko Ono?) just before Alan’ s piano shows another beautiful song inspired in Lennon: Colliding Circles. Others can say it imitates Imagine, but I don’t care, I know very well the Beatles’ work and John Lennon’ s solo work.
>
> I am much more concerned in letting these tunes and melodies _that fall from heaven_
> fill some emotional gaps that are just waiting for them. Ah, and before I forget, the album ends with Honey Love, that, yes, sounds like Honey Pie. So what?

(original review found at http://powerpopstation.blogspot.com/2011/06/beatlesque-three-alan-bernhoft.html )