It's hard to believe that a TV program filled with big-name acts doing Beatles tunes could be anything less than fab.
Yet, Sunday's CBS special "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America -- A Grammy Salute," which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show," was a definite disappointment.
There were a handful of nice performances, such as Stevie Wonder's version of "We Can Work It Out." Most, however, ranged from boring to bad. And some weren't even that good.
I'll recap some the lowlights first -- mainly because there were so many to choose from -- then move on to the memorable moments. I'm aiming for a half-dozen of each, although that will be a tall task when it comes to finding six highlights.
Worst moments (in no particular order):
1. Maroon 5 opener -- Is there a less spectacular way to kick off a show than with Maroon 5? (Drawing a blank here.) Adam Levine is a lot of things, but a suitable fill-in for Paul McCartney isn't one of them.
2. Dull duo -- John Mayer and Keith Urban form arguably the least interesting duo to take the stage in rock 'n' roll history.
3. Katy Perry mangles "Yesterday" -- It's hard to believe that anyone thought she had the right voice to handle this all-time classic. Too bad you can't "un-hear" a song.
4. Imagine Dragons Unplugged -- Is there a discernible difference between Imagine Dragons and One Direction? I sure couldn't tell by listening to the former's version of "Revolution."
5. Oh, no, Annie -- I am much less excited about the possibility of an Eurythmics reunion after hearing Annie Lennox flop through "The Fool on the Hill."
6. Dull duo part deux -- Pharrell Williams and Brad Paisley appeared late in the evening and had me thinking that perhaps I'd been too tough on Mayer and Urban.
Best moments (also in no particular order):
1. Stevie Wonder funks up "We Can Work It Out" -- Why couldn't they just have given the whole 2 ½ hours to him?
2. Alicia Keys croons with John Legend on "Let It Be" -- Further proof that Keys is pretty much the greatest thing to music in the last 15 years.
3. Jeff Lynne gives us "Something" to talk about -- And all I could think about was how much I'd love to see an Electric Light Orchestra tour.
4. Ringo Starr boards "Yellow Submarine" -- I was singing along from my couch.
5. Fab Two -- Yes, Ringo and Paul shared the stage together.
6. "Hey Jude" -- McCartney and an all-star crew close the show in appropriately Fab fashion
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.