By Dave Bauder
A die-hard Beatles fan, Jim Boggia wasn’t satisfied with throwing "Get Back" on the CD player to celebrate an anniversary of the band’s final live performance on the rooftop of a London music studio.
No, the Philadelphia-based singer had to recruit friends to recreate it — song by song, note for note. It had to be on the same January day the Beatles did it, at the exact same time. He even insisted the rooftop be on a building the same number of stories as the London studio.
And, in a serendipitous coincidence Boggia couldn’t quite plan, angry cops arrived to pull the plug — just as they had done to the Beatles.
Get the idea Boggia is a music geek?
"Safe in Sound," Boggia’s collection of, appropriately enough, Beatlesque pop-rock, is his first national release and includes guest shots by Aimee Mann), Jill Sobule), the MC5’s Wayne Kramer) and 1970s cult artist Emitt Rhodes.
"It’s a very positive side of not getting signed for a really long time," he said of his crowded address book.
Along with making his music easy on the ears of casual listeners, Boggia adds layers that music history buffs will appreciate. His song "Underground" tells the story of a former Weather Underground fugitive, so he asked Kramer — whose Detroit-based band was in the center of radical politics in the late 1960s — to play guitar on it.
Music has always been a refuge for Boggia, who had a record collection when he was four years old. He’s liable to love a song simply for a clever bass line in the third verse, or for how a tambourine kick-starts a chorus.
Blind in one eye with only partial sight in another, that disability intensifies the aural experience for him.
That’s the secret to why he called the disc "Safe in Sound."
"I don’t feel very comfortable in a lot of social situations," he said. "I don’t feel very good with people. But I’m OK with a record player or an instrument — or even a McDonald’s cup with a straw in it that I can move up and down into something that sounds musical.
"I’m much more comfortable in that realm," he said. "It’s definitely my safety zone."