The Concours d’ “Excellence” shines on The Pacific Coast

A beautiful frame can enhance even the most perfect painting. So, imagine framing some of the world’s most exquisite creations of automotive excellence with the vistas of the Monterey Peninsula.  It happened last week, and the result was a more than perfect picturesque four days at Carmel by The Sea at The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance car week, where classic motorcars and the elegant style of bodies of every shape and style, sat side by side along the vistas of The Pacific Coast.


The Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, CA is THE show of shows. 251 examples of the most impeccably-restored gems of automotive engineering from all over the globe and throughout history rested comfortably on the 18th fairway of one of the world’s most storied courses, seemingly taking up golf like every retired specimen of life dreams of.


And while so many were so perfect, only one would be awarded “Best of Show”.  The honor went to Paul & Judy Andrews of White Settlement Texas, whose 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Cabriolet, pictured below, took top honors.


But honoring restored machinary was just a sidebar. One of the most impeccably preserved examples of well-worn history has to be 102 year-young Margaret Dunning, who drove to Pebble Beach in her 1932 Packard, which she has owned since 1949 and maintains primarily by herself. Dunning received a special award from the Concours’ Judges who recognized her tenacity and attractive stubbornness, outlasting many men in the car appreciation world before her.



These photographs paint more than colors and history, they bring us back to a time of innocence and adventure that we so long to return to.

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For fans of historic Shelby speedsters, the Retroauto section contained a rare collection of original Cobras, some gracing the signature of “Sir” Carroll Shelby himself. Among those proudly on display, included the one that was personally driven by Carroll in one of his first races.



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The Gooding and Co. Auction was another exciting component of the weekend in Pebble Beach.  Tonight Show host Jay Leno’s Fiat 500 Prima Edizione, initially valued at $25,000 to $35,000, sold for $385,000 and attracted an additional $215,000 raising a total of $600,000 for the Fisher House Foundation. Also in attendance were Steve Carrell, George Lucas, Adrien Brody and Adam Carolla.

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At the Concours d’Elegance, you never really “finish”, you only take a pit stop until the next gathering…


Sunday August 18th, 2013 at Pebble Beach. Go to


Photos and story by Joe Johnson, below.


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Macca at The Colbert Report – Being for the Benefit of Nikki – Thanks!

- Nikki Denett filed this report for Beatle Brunch, after she saw Sir Paul on The Colbert Report Wednesday afternoon: 

The experience began after a very long late morning/early afternoon wait on line outside the Colbert Studio. I found out the Colbert normally tapes much later but we were on Paul’s schedule (clearly) so the appearance was going to be taped earlier. No biggie. I can skip a Starbucks trip for Paul. Paul showed up around 12:30 and a little while after that, we were all checked in and ready to go, going through security and then being told to chill out in this Colbert-ified room right outside the studio.

PM and steven1

After we were told for the umpteenth time that we were forbidden to use our phones or cameras inside (ok, studio lady) and after another very long wait, we were finally allowed inside the studio, where I immediately locked eyes with the famous psychedelic piano in close proximity!  Ok, Now we knew we were in the right place. Funny thing, upon walking in the studio, we were asked if we would like ear plugs (they were actually serious). I thought, “Are you kidding?” and that was pretty much the last coherent thought I had before I actually realized just how small the studio was and how close we would be to Paul.  I kept asking “Is this a joke?” for a good ten minutes.

I really dig the Colbert atmosphere.  First we had a warm-up comedian whose main purpose was to get us all hyped (like we needed it?) and then after a rousing chant of “Stephen! Stephen!” our host made his grand entrance and we had a quick little question and answer session with him “out of character” (as they call it) and then it was onto the show. Stephen explained to us that the segments would be ordered differently on the broadcast but that for the taping he was going to do all the news stuff first, then have the chat with Paul and then have songs, songs, songs and hey, he had me at the first mention of “songs” so I was a happy (and very excited) camper.

After the news segment during the “commercial break”, Paul casually strolled out, unannounced on the set and after a rousing ovation in his honor, the real fun began.

PM 60sfact

Paul and Stephen’s banter was the best. Some of the highlights were when Stephen makes fun of the way Paul says “schedule”, when he asked about when The Beatles decided to stop writing songs for other people and start writing for themselves and Paul simply answers “drugs” (lol). They discussed plenty of Wings stuff, and when Stephen asked Paul what’s one song he wished he’d written before his time, Paul responded with Fred Astaire’s “Cheek to Cheek” and then he and Stephen proceeded to sing that song together. Paul was singing “Heaven…I’m in Heaven…” and at that moment I I thought “Um, Paul I’M in heaven!”  (editor’s note: Steven also asked veggie Paul about claiming to like roast beef, as shown in the above Beatle card from the 60′s)

A few bits of the interview that didn’t make the air was when Stephen quizzed Paul on how much a gallon of milk was to see just how and Paul replied right away, “In English or American?”

The best bits though were in between the breaks that were supposed to be for commericals.  Paul bobbing his head to White Stripes and Passion Pit music, there was a brief moment when he was called away from the stage and the band and then returned a minute later and he dramatically announced to us “I’ve just been fired!” and he put this like mock-upset face on and we let him know “Awww Paul it’s okay”.
We were told that Paul would be doing six songs at first, but he ended up doing nine (five of which were broadcast and one which was held for a website “exclusive”). Apparently he decided what songs to play when he got there that morning.

PM piano

Paul’s Colbert Set List

Matchbox (not broadcast)

Let Me Roll It (not broadcast)

Listen to What the Man Said

Letting Go (not broadcast)

I’ve Just Seen A Face (He started the intro and then stopped halfway through, saying, “We’re going to try that again” and then we all droned and then he mentioned “hey, it’s my band! I can do that if I want!”)

Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite

Hi Hi Hi (Paul introduced this song, noting “This song is about getting high ON LIFE!

Lady Madonna

Birthday (web exclusive).   Paul dedicated this one to everyone who was having a birthday and apparently forgot to acknowledge his own.  Good thing he had me there to remind him !

Afterwards he thanked us for coming out to “this lunchtime session” and after a few more waves and kisses blown to us he made his graceful exit.

This topped even last year’s SNL appearance for the closest I’ve ever witnessed Paul perform his music. He was just THERE hanging out on the set mere feet in front of us and it was amazing to be able to just sit there and watch him. That sounds weird, but I loved that the Colbert crew was only a few guys and the studio was so small because it made it even more intimate and special, even though millions of people would probably be watching this.

It was an absolute dream and I feel extremely grateful/lucky/blessed/fortunate to once again be able to write a post like this. Every time Paul comes here I walk away loving him even more.  I’m amazed that’s still possible at this point.

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A Ray of Lighting Out There With Paul

How do you measure the success of a man who’s broken nearly every record that records could break (meaning the kind you play)? Paul McCartney’s success is measured in relationships. Relationships that he has nurtured for most of his life. From his 29 year marriage to Linda, to keeping up with his school mates and instructors at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) back in his hometown, where’s he’s quite the hero, to his current band, All Together Now for 11 years and counting. It’s a tried and true formula, that like his songwriting, is hard to describe. You just know when it’s right.

paul Out There

Paul kicked off the U.S. leg of his “Out There” tour with two sold-out shows at The Amway Center in Orlando on May 18th & 19th. While the set list added nearly a dozen  “new” songs, the stage was set with the tried and true: Those four “other guys” whose act we’ve known for all these years, since 2002 that is, comprised of Rusty Anderson on lead guitar, Abe Laboriel Jr on drums, Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards, and on rhythm, lead, sitar and bass, Brian Ray, the newest member of the band, who made quite the splash, playing beside Paul worldwide at the pre-game ceremonies for Superbowl XXXVI in New Orleans, where McCartney debuted his post 9-11 single, “Freedom”, then it was off on Paul’s “Driving USA” Tour, which yielded the double-platinum CD release, “Back in the U.S”.


On stage, Brian stands unassuming to Paul’s left, but is focused on his role in the band. “I’m on guitar unless Paul jumps to piano, then I’m on bass”, Ray told me on our last interview.  On stage you’ll hear him on lead and rhythm guitar as well as the sitar, these days (do I hear a “Norwegian Wood” vibe coming?).  Brian also happily plays the role of George, sharing the mic and bumping guitars with Paul during “All My Loving”.

Though mainly on guitar and bass, Brian started out on drums.  At the age of 7 or 8, he got his first drum kit and a few years later, formed a band with his boyhood friend, also named Brian. Brian2 “had a much better drum set”, he admitted, so Brian1 moved to electric guitar. The mold was set for what Ray would do in his adult life: play guitar and make music along-side some of the greats: Etta James, Santana, Keith Richards, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Bo Diddley, Peter Frampton, you name it…ok, Paul McCartney.


Brian describes A Day in the Life playing with Paul. “Besides being able to play the greatest music, in my opinion, of our generation, since rock and roll began in the mid 50′s, we also get to enjoy doing that with people who we admire, respect and enjoy, so we actually hang out together on days off, which I don’t think a lot of bands do.”

As if being Paul’s left-hand man on stage is not enough, in 1987 Brian co-wrote and arranged a hit song for Smokey Robinson, called “One Heartbeat” that enjoyed 2-million radio plays. But now, between Macca gigs, he and his band, The Bayonets (really just Ray and musical partner Oliver Leiber, plus whichever musical superstar they can lure into the studio or on stage), are playing to packed houses in their free time, doing original material, covers like Smokey songs, and Cinnamon Girl, the Neil Young song that Brian says was penned for his older sister Jean, of Jim & Jean fame.

brian mic

This summer, the smart money’s on “Smartphone”, Brian’s new single, that E-Street band member and one time shady-Soprano character, Little Steven Van Zant calls “the coolest song in the world”. So cool that Steven practically hijacked the airwaves with constant plays on his Underground Garage channel (21) on SiriusXM. “Smartphone” dials in the feel of classic, dangerous guitar riffs that Ray grew up on, a bond he shares with Little Steven, who has also produced CDs for the surf-sounding band, The Chesterfield Kings.


So while Brian may get some of the dangerous riffs out of his system crushing guitar strings to Helter Skelter on stage with Sir Paul, it’s his lightning guitar that flashes his love for the greats like  Link Wray, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry, and let’s not forget, The Beatles.

Download Brian’s newsingle, “Smartphone” plus other cool stuff below, and look for the video to “Smartphone” any day now.

Hear Joe Johnson’s interview with Brian and the single, “Smartphone” on an upcoming Beatle Brunch program, and join The Beatle Brunch Club to hear the entire interview with Brian Ray,, where you can also hear every week’s Beatle Brunch on-demand, and “Old Brown Shows”, Beatle Brunch programs from 20 years ago today and earlier.

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Here Comes the Son


rolling stone magazine 1985

That was the headline that draped the June 6, 1985 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine when they featured a cover article on John’s son Julian, who, back then, was breaking into the music business with rave reviews of his first album, “Valotte”, that featured haunting vocals reminiscent of his late father, who had only been gone for five years.

Julian's Photo Exhibit


Well, on a week that is traditionally sad for Lennon fans, a white feather has landed, inviting art lovers to celebrate Julian’s photography on display at Overture Contemporary Art Fair going on through Sunday December 9th in the Wynwood section of Miami, the newest, hippest, trendiest “must be seen at” artsy-fartsy section of Miami.

Joe J interviews Julian Lennon

Joe J interviews Julian Lennon


Julian is in town for a photograph and a smile, a dozen or so actually, hung on the wall of the temporary gallery at Overture. Julian will chat, smile, sign and be more than happy to sell you a framed photograph or a numbered print.  Beatle Brunch Host Joe Johnson spent some time with Julian on Tuesday to talk about his photographs, his new (upcoming) CD “Everything Changes”, his dad and his favorite charity, and how they’re related.  Julian told Joe that one of the reasons he loves photography so much is because it’s one area where he can’t be compared to his father.

wide shot of julian's photo exhibit

wide shot of julian’s photo exhibit

Julian’s charity of choice is The White Feather Foundation, one he came up with that embraces environmental and humanitarian issues throughout the world, with an heavy emphasis on water conservation and purification, particularly in the poorer sections of the world.

his book of Memorabilia photos

his book of Memorabilia photos


Julian also sings on a track from the new Aerosmith CD “Music From Another Dimension”.  When Joe mentioned they were playing locally Sunday night, the night Julian’s exhibit closes, there were raised eyebrows, thinking the “Son” might like to shine at a guest appearance at the show.  Sadly, though, Sunday also marks the 32nd anniversary of the day John Lennon was taken from us, so his showing is highly unlikely, understandably so.

Aerosmith's new CD


Read more about Julian’s causes, his photography, his music and his long time friend Lucy, who passed away in 2009 from Lupus, a charity that Julian also embraces.  Go to and listen to Joe Johnson’s Beatle Brunch for excerpts from Joe’s interview with Julian.  You’ll also be able to find the entire interview in the Beatle Brunch Club downloads section and a video in the After Brunch section of  Members can hear each week’s show on demand and “Old Brown Shows”, Beatle Brunch Classics.

See Julian’s photographs at Overture Contemporary Art Fair in the Wynwood section of Miami, 3400 Buena Vista Drive.


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It Was 20 Years Ago Today – Really!


It Was 20 Years Ago Today

 By Joe Johnson

This is the one time I can use the opening line from Sgt. Pepper and truly mean it. Today  marks 20 years  (May 31, 1992), since Beatle Brunch began airing. The idea came to me when the new car I was driving then, a 1992 Mitzubishi Eclipse turbo (beep, beep, beep, beep, yeah!), had an in-dash CD player, the first one I’d ever owned.  I was heading down to my family’s to take part in one of those group family photos you do at places like Sears. I knew I had an hour’s drive, so I brought along some Beatles’ CDs to enjoy. I loved the way they sounded in my new car’s CD sound system, especially Pepper, with perfect stereo separation between channels, that I immediately wondered why no radio station was putting out a regular show on The Beatles.  That’s when the idea was born. I tossed it out to my then Director of National Programming, Rick Peters, who threw it back to me to make a demo of a show I might like to hear, I did, and the rest is history.

Beatle Brunch began airing on the station I worked at and still do to this day, Majic 102.7 (WMXJ) in Miami, as well as the four other Oldies stations our company at the time owned in Rochester, NY; Laconia, NH, Indianapolis, IN; and Baltimore, MD on Sunday, May 31st, 1992. The subject of my first Beatle Brunch program was, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on its 25th anniversary.

When the show began in 1992, we had yet to experience The Beatles Anthology, Beatles Rock Band, The Circue du Soleil LOVE show or LOVE mixes for that matter, The Beatles Remastered and certainly not the Mono mixes. There was no email or websites, except for a very slow AOL connection. You would sign on, then go do a load of laundry.  Recordable CDs were very expensive to produce and DVDs were just beginning, as Laser Discs, the size of pizza trays.

Today the show is delivered nationally via an ftp website and streamed online from the various radio stations that air the show, as well as on demand via The Beatle Brunch Club.  Sadly, George Harrison and Linda McCartney are no longer with us, and John is long gone but not forgotten, yet the music and memories are as fresh as the day they were made, even better with today’s technology.

This week on Beatle Brunch, for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, we’ve come full circus. I’ll be joined by Sgt Pepper and his band again for my 20th anniversary Brunch. Sure, Sgt Pepper’s hair’s a little salt-n-pepper now (so’s mine for that matter!), but the music has held up, in fact, it’s been improved.

I hope you will enjoy the show.  I’ve “peppered” it with clips from my first broadcast, but even cooler, I’ve uploaded that very first show to a new section called “Beatle Brunch Classics: Old Brown Shows”.  Every month, you’ll get to hear a new Old Brown Show from the vault. Please don’t judge my early delivery style or the possibility of errors in the script (there was no Wickepedia then). Back then, it was just a day in the life of one of my many jobs at the radio station, one that I’ve built on over the years.

We’d like to thank you once again for making the past 20 years so Fab for all of us at The Brunch and The Beatle Brunch Club. I hope I’ll still be doing this When I’m 64 if I’m not up in the sky with Lucy or Fixing a Hole in the retirement home roof with Vera, Chuck and Dave.  Hey, is that Billy Shears singing out of tune just down the hall?

Joe Johnson is the host and creator of the nationally syndicated Beatle Brunch radio show, which airs on 100 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, and The Virgin Islands ( 9 am on Majic 102.7 in Miami) via The Dial Global Radio Network (formerly Westwood One).  Joe is also the morning drive radio host at Classic Tracks of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Majic 102.7, where he’s worked since 1987. Joe has lived in South Florida since 1962, is a 6-time Air Award Winner (Achievement in Radio) and Addy Award winner for commercial production. Joe is also a national voiceover talent and former stand up comic, who’s written material for Jay Leno and performed stand up at comedy clubs across South Florida. ,

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The New Beatle Brunch Blog – It Was (almost) 20 Years Ago Today!

Joe and the Boys

The Beatles and the 5th Joe Johnson

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! This is our very first Beatle Brunch blog.  On this blog, we hope to update you on what’s new with the show, Beatle Brunch, which can be heard on broadcast radio every week in about 100 cities in the U.S., Canada, and The Virgin Island, but is now making an impression on the web via our website, and our member site, the Beatle Brunch Club (BBC).  As a member of The BBC, you can chat with other members, enjoy live celebrity chats, read news and features about The Beatles AND listen to each week’s Beatle Brunch radio show on demand, commercial free.  Plus, we have thousands of videos, audio clips and songs in the BBC that you won’t find on youtube, google or other sites. We’re not monitored by those sites and we put up what our members want. That’s it and that’s cool!

I’m the writer of this, Joe Johnson. I’ve been a Beatle fan since they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and then the following week, came to Miami, where I live, to play The Deauville Hotel on Miami Beach.  Our local radio station, 560 WQAM, covered their arrival at Miami International Airport, live on the radio. They were one of the first stations in history to use a wireless microphone, while the competition was tied to a pay phone in the concourse held by a 2 foot cord. Needless to say, WQAM won the Beatle battle.

I came up with the idea for the show 20 years ago (“It was 20 years ago today”), while driving in my new car, the first one I owned with an in-dash CD player (car nerds: It was a black 1992 Mitzubishi Eclipse Turbo).  I took along a stack of Beatles CDs to enjoy on a long ride, and thought, “why isn’t there a weekly radio show on The Beatles airing on the radio here in Miami?”  I ran the idea of producing a weekly Beatles show, by my boss, who was all for it.  He threw it back in my corner and the first show I produced, was one celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the release of the Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB album.  The first broadcast occurred on Sunday, May 31st, 1992 on Miami station, Majic 102.7 (where I still work), and four other radio stations our group owned at the time, in Baltimore, MD; Laconia, NH; Rochester, NY; and Indianapolis, IN.  Today the show airs on about 100 stations (more on that in a later blog).

This June 2nd will be the beginning of our 21st year broadcasting Beatle Brunch.  Think about it: when the show started, there was essentially no internet, no email, no downloads of audio or video, no youtube, Facebook or Twitter and you certainly couldn’t blog like this. The show was then recorded on analog 1/4 inch tape and in some cases, a DAT., but it was all done in real time. That means an hour long show took an hour to copy. There were no recordable CDs, and when they finally did arrive, blank CDs were cost prohibitive, about $20 each. Eventually I bought a CD stacked recorder and copied the shows four at time to send to the affiliate stations.  At that time Beatle Brunch was not yet syndicated. I’ll blog about that in a future column. It’s a cool story, but kind of long and winding.

Anyway, thanks for reading this. I’ll get better at designing my blog, inserting pics and links and so much more.  Meanwhile please “like” Beatle Brunch on Facebook and also follow me on Twitter, on both Beatle Brunch and JoeJohnsonOnAir.

Happy New Year!  Hope to see you on the radio show!  If the show does not air in your city, you can join to hear the show on demand, or listen via one of the stations that stream audio, and listen when Beatle Brunch airs in that city. To make it easy, we’ve included the link to my Miami station, Majic 102.7, on our website. Beatle Brunch airs at 10 am on Sunday in Miami.

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