Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
I'll never forget when I first heard John Lennon died... I was in Portland at the "Spiral Staircase", a huge club featuring top up and coming acts, Thomy LeDoux's band "Asylum" was playing and Thomy was on the piano performing his usual perfect rendition and second to none impersonation to the John Lennon classic "Imagine". Suddenly a blonde lady burst to the stage trying desperately to get Thomy's attention. Normally Thomy would have just kept playing but this gal was screaming and had tears running down her face. Thomy got up to see what the fuss was about when the band went into the lead portion of the song that Thomy had incorporated into his version. He knelt down next to the lady and she said something into his ear. He immediately motioned for the band to stop playing. Confused and rather upset, the music stopped and Thomy grabbed the main microphone and pointed to the televisions situated all over the club. ABC was running a News Alert that John Lennon had been shot. Suddenly you could hear a pin drop in that huge club. All eyes focused onto the television and everyone was in shock... The club stayed with that programming all night and into the wee hours, even after closing, offering food to those who wanted to stay. We finally left about 4 AM just completely shocked, torn with grief and sadness could not get greater. The next evening when Thomy did that same song, the tears obviously flowing from his face, but he never missed a lick, sounding exactly like John Lennon.... Thomy is one of those musicians that blows away bands like Rain and other Beatles clone bands. Asked why he doesn't get into a Beatles clone band because he really does sound like all four, including those killer McCartney post Beatles riffs and he replied rather calmly, " Paul and Ringo are still with us, thank God. Why should I dress up like them and do that sort of thing ? I also have my own thing. I would rather just play a few of their songs and enjoy it when Paul or Ringo plays and sings a Beatle's classic. When they're gone, hopefully I'll be too old to start some silly thing like that up. I think it sort of ruins the whole Beatlemania thing when bands dress up like them. I love including a few of their songs in my line up. The only reason I sound so much like them is that I learned them at a very young age and I just can't imagine doing a song like "Hey Jude" and sounding like somebody else. So I copped Paul's voice pretty much and my natural voice is very similar to his anyway. The same is true about the other three Beatles. I grew up listening to that band. It was as if John, Paul, George and Ringo were sitting there teaching me all those songs. I can't imagine doing the song "I Am The Walrus" and not sounding like John. But doing a Beatles clone thing I think would not be something the surviving Beatles would want. Especially while they are still alive."