1964 The Tribute!

Clever take-off of the Rubber Soul album cover!

Clever take-off of the Rubber Soul album cover!

So last Friday I was fortunate enough to see yet another Beatle tribute band, 1964 the Tribute, in concert with my friend. It was sort of a spontaneous decision, but I’m glad we went because it was a really fun outing!

These guys have been around for a while. They formed sometime in the 1980s, presumably with rotating members since then. Unlike some others I’ve seen, this band specializes in the material from the Beatles’ touring years (1963-1966). As such, they don’t play any of the Sgt. Pepper or Abbey Road-era stuff. However, that didn’t really bother me because they played obscure early stuff that I loved, like George’s “Don’t Bother Me” from With The Beatles and “It’s Only Love” from Help. I also loved the encore medley they did with all early Beatle covers like “Money,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rock and Roll Music,” and “Matchbox”.

Musically, I thought they sounded great. The instruments were all Beatle-accurate, and they had a lefty Paul, which is a major sticking point with me and Beatle tribute bands. It may seem nit-picky, but for me, if the Paul guy isn’t left-handed, it just doesn’t look right and throws my impression off.

So how do these guys compare to the likes of The Fab Four or The Fab Faux in terms of Beatle-tribute excellence? Well, I personally preferred the guys, looks-wise, in The Fab Four. I thought the John in 1964 The Tribute was actually the best I’ve seen; he was amazing and sounded and looked a lot like John. Honestly though, I liked the Paul, Ringo, and especially George in The Fab Four better in just about every aspect. I also don’t think 1964 was quite as instrumentally perfect as either of the other two bands.

However, this is not to say that these guys weren’t good; in reality, it’s the opposite. One thing I loved about 1964 was how funny they were, definitely the funniest Beatle tribute band I’ve seen. Some of their jokes were a little far-fetched for the actual Beatles (would George really insult John’s guitar playing on stage and promote his own? I don’t think so), but overall they were edgy and really entertaining. One hilarious moment came when “George” was talking about some guitar thing that he gave to Eric Clapton, and “John” quipped, “Is that all you gave him?”
Yes, I, George’s biggest fan, laughed at this joke. It was genuinely funny. I guess George-Eric-Pattie wife swapping jokes are still in style…? 🙂

Do other Beatle tribute bands offer a more comprehensive look at the Beatles than 1964? Yes; I think for pure accuracy and entertainment value, The Fab Four are still my #1 choice. However, would I recommend 1964 The Tribute to Beatle fans? Absolutely; they definitely do the Beatles’ music and legacy justice. I really enjoyed seeing them and if they come to a nearby theater soon, I would love to see them again.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy the start of September and thank you to anyone who regularly or occasionally reads this! I’m glad you find my endless Beatley/musical rants entertaining!

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A Smorgaspost

Hello! The month of August always seems to fly by, doesn’t it? Before I knew it, it was August 20th and I hadn’t blogged since the first day of the month… Cue the guilt. But here I am! Today I figured I’d talk about a few things, Beatley and not, that have been going on in my life and in the world recently.

First, I was very fortunate to see one of my current favorite musicians, Gavin DeGraw, in concert last week with my friend. I’d been looking forward to this for months, and he did not disappoint in the slightest! Gavin was charismatic, funny, and charming, and he sounded amazing! If there’s anyone out there today who will never need autotune, it’s him. He is also a fantastic piano player, and if there’s anyone even close to a modern “piano man” like Elton John or Billy Joel, it’s also him. I love him for constantly restoring my faith in today’s popular music, and I sincerely hope I get to see him live again soon.

Here are a couple of pictures I took at the concert:

We were pretty close to the stage!

We were pretty close to the stage!

I zoomed in, we weren't actually right in front of him, but it was still really exciting!

I zoomed in, we weren’t actually right in front of him, but it was still really exciting!

The two acts who performed first, Andrew McMahon and Matt Nathanson, were also fantastic. I didn’t know any songs by either of them before the concert, but they are now officially on my musical radar!

And now, for something completely different…
Apparently, Paul McCartney and Kanye West are collaborating. I’m not really sure what to make of this. On one hand, Paul has probably done just about everything on his musical bucket list, so why not collab with Kanye? On the other hand, if this means Paul will be rapping… Well, actually, I’d love to hear that. Who am I kidding? But I hope whatever they come up with will be skewed more towards Paul’s musical senses than Kanye’s.
To quote Forrest Gump, “And that’s all I have to say about that.” 🙂

Paul also made news recently for performing the last-ever gig at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA. I was reading reviews of the concert recently, and while it sounded like an amazing concert, the highway traffic getting there was so bad that thousands of people didn’t even get to the stadium in time for the concert.
If that were me, I would have gotten out of the car and walked. As I’ve said, for Paul, it’s always worth it. If I had to walk from New York to California with the promise of seeing Paul again, I probably would. Just give me a few weeks… 🙂

Finally, the Emmys are coming up, and remember that Beatles special from way back in February? Well, it’s nominated for… Something technical sounding in the TV special category. I think it’s also nominated for writing for a TV special. Anyway, I’m hoping some Beatle-affiliated people will be there solely for this reason. If this special doesn’t win anything, I’ll have to be content hoping that The Big Bang Theory, The Tonight Show, Sherlock, and The Normal Heart (the only other programs nominated that I really care about) win everything. Should be an exciting evening!

Anyway, school unfortunately starts soon for me… 😦 I’m a senior in high school this year. Yikes. Time really does fly. I was a mere sophomore when I started this blog! Though I’m sure it will be a busy year, I promise to continue blogging as often as possible and keep you updated on all things Beatles. After all, if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I am never too busy to listen to the Beatles!

I’m planning on posting a sequel to the “Random songs I’ve been obsessed with recently” post I did a while ago, so be on the lookout for that in the near future. Aside from that, have a fab rest of the week/weekend/summer/year! (depending on how often you read this…)

The news today, oh boy, in Beatleland

This picture describes me so well!

This picture describes me so well!

For today, I thought I’d do a relatively quick post highlighting some important things going on across the Beatleverse. First, I just saw this article today, and it got me very excited! A new feature-length documentary about the Beatles! There can never be too many of those! Hopefully this one, unlike The Beatles: The Lost Concert, will actually make it to theaters without being pulled due to copyright issues…
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ron-howard-directing-new-beatles-doc-focusing-on-bands-early-years-20140716
As much as I already know about the Beatles’ existence, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing the same magical story told over and over again. It’s almost like seeing a favorite musical continually revived year after year.

I also watched a fantastic program about the Beatles on CNN last week entitled, “The Sixties: The British Invasion”. It was the sixth part in a ten-part series about the most important and revolutionary events of the sixties. As you might have guessed, this episode focused on the arrival of the Beatles in America and the impact of the entire British invasion on American life. I will admit that I saw a VERY similar program on PBS a while back, but that didn’t make this one any less interesting. I always enjoy hearing about how groundbreaking, innovative, and fab the Beatles and their 60s counterparts were back in the day. 🙂

In other news, Paul has begun touring again after a health scare in May. Thank goodness he is better, and judging from a video of a recent concert, he appears to be in his usual top form. I know this may sound greedy considering that I’ve already seen Paul in concert once, but I would give just about anything to see him again. Those fireworks during Live and Let Die were even better than advertised!

This is a bit unrelated, but thanks to tangerinetrees99, I found this incredible list of symptoms of Beatlemaniacism, which I will share with you. I think at least 90 of these apply to me. And yes, I did bother to read the entire list. That’s what any true Beatlemaniac would do!
http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/fvKWJLM/101-Ways-to-Know-Youre-Too-Obsessed-With-the-Beatles

There are no particularly Beatley events coming up in the very near future for me, but if anything comes up, I will definitely blog about it. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful summer/winter, depending on what side of the world you’re on. 🙂

Happy birthday Paul McCartney!!!

Paul's hair... That is all.

Paul’s hair… That is all.

It’s that time of year again where Beatle fans everywhere gather and celebrate Paul’s birthday!!! I’ll try not to make this a repeat of last year’s birthday post, but I will say that in light of Paul’s recent health scare, I’m glad he seems to be doing better. He’s one of those people that has an aura. I experienced that first hand last year when I saw him at the Barclays Center; as soon as he came onstage, the entire atmosphere of the place changed from extreme excitement to a giant outpouring of joy and affection and tears unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As I’ve said before, it was magical, and I hope that everyone is fortunate enough to experience his brilliance in person at least once.

Paul is 72 now, but he doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. I admire his energy and passion for what he does, and I can only hope that I am the same way in my adult years.

Obviously I love Paul a lot. Here are a couple of videos that explain why if I haven’t done a thorough enough job.

Wow, what a voice he still has! I’m so glad he did this!

This, folks, is the best Paul McCartney tribute video on Youtube. It captures his youthful exuberance perfectly.

I love how Paul can still relate to the youth of today. Also, as I’ve said before, he and Jimmy are great together.

Well, I hope Paul has an absolutely fab day!!! And I hope you do too! Listen to his music, watch some videos of Paul, or just think about why he’s the best. Satisfaction guaranteed. 🙂

Good day sunshine everyone!

Hello again! Wow, I feel like I’ve been away from blogging forever. I sincerely apologize for that, all 30 people who check this regularly. I don’t really have a specific Beatley plan for this post. I think I’ll just talk about some random stuff for a while and post some cute Beatle pics at the end, okay? Okay. (sorry, I’m still in The Fault In Our Stars mode from last week…)

Monty Python is reuniting for a show in London on July 20th, which will be simulcast in theaters around the country INCLUDING one near me!!! I really hope I can go see it. Please forgive me; I watched a few episodes of Python earlier today and I’m in a very silly mood at the moment.

You know what makes me sad? Ringo is performing in my area twice in the same month, once yesterday and again next week, and I have tickets to neither concert. I don’t really know how those slipped away, and I as a Beatlemaniac am sincerely sorry for not trying harder to get tickets. 😦

A couple of days ago marked the 1 year anniversary since I saw Paul McCartney in concert and he told me he loved me. Let’s relive that glorious moment one more time, shall we?

Wow, it really does not seem like an entire year since I saw Paul in concert. The time has absolutely flown by! I could have sworn that it was just yesterday that I was at the Barclays Center, hearing Paul serenade 16,000 of his closest friends. Good times… Hopefully I will see him again one day.

I also cannot come to terms with the fact that I will be a senior in high school next year. When I started this blog, I was a mere sophomore, an amateur in the world of college and SATs compared to now. It’s going to get crazy, but I promise to keep blogging!

All righty, I think it’s time for those Beatle pictures I promised earlier. Enjoy!

George, looking fab with sunglasses and his son Dhani

George, looking fab with sunglasses and his son Dhani


The lads gathered around a piano

The lads gathered around a piano


This is just adorable Paul at his best

This is just adorable Paul at his best


One of the best pictures of Lennon/McCartney I have ever seen

One of the best pictures of Lennon/McCartney I have ever seen

That’s all for now. I swear that it will NOT be a month until I blog again! 🙂
In the meantime, have a lovely weekend and enjoy the start of summer!

I Appreciate Paul McCartney

This title has a double meaning, actually. First, poor Paul had to postpone two concerts in Japan this week because he got sick. He rarely postpones concerts for any reason, so it must be pretty serious. Obviously he’s not reading this, but I wish him all the best and I hope he gets better soon! ❤

Next, Paul released a new music video last week for his song "Appreciate" off of the NEW album. It features Paul and a Japanese robot, Newman. It's pretty weird, but Paul has always been a little "out there" (like the name of his current tour!), so this really isn't out of character for him. Anyway, I thought I'd share it here. It's quite charming.

That's all for now. Have a great week!

Meet the Smithereens!

Meet the Smithereens

Meet the Smithereens

As you have probably gathered, I love watching musicians performing Beatles songs. Whether it’s Paul McCartney himself, a group of relatively young guys dressed as the Beatles, or a group of relatively old guys not dressed as the Beatles, I get a huge thrill out of seeing anyone playing Beatles songs with a live band. And who wouldn’t? The music speaks for itself!

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Smithereens concert with my parents entitled “Meet the Smithereens!” after the Beatles’ first American album, “Meet the Beatles!”. The Smithereens, if you haven’t heard of them, are a rock band that was most commercially successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but they’ve been releasing music and performing consistently ever since. It’s no secret that they are huge fans of the Beatles; they’ve released three full Beatles tribute albums, and even their original music is what I’d call “Beatlesque with an edge”. So when I heard about this show that was taking place right in my town, I was really excited!!!

By now, I’m used to being just about the youngest person in attendance at most concerts, and though last night was no exception, it was still a really fun and Beatley evening. The Smithereens interspersed their own songs with a lot of well-known and not-so well-known Beatles songs (I was pleasantly surprised to hear them play “I’m a Loser” and “It’s Only Love”!) and also anecdotes about their childhood introduction to the Beatles way back in 1964. They played for about 2 hours and 20 minutes straight, Paul McCartney-style with no breaks or intermission. They really gave the audience their money’s worth! I was not that familiar with the Smithereens’ music before the concert, but now I can say that I am a true fan. They rock!

Ironically, I think my favorite part of the concert was when they played two non Beatles/Smithereens songs, just because it was so unexpected. In the middle of one of their biggest hits, “A Girl Like You,” they segued into “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan. Now, I’m not a huge Dylan fan, but I absolutely love this song, and I was thrilled to hear it live! THEN, right after that song, they played “Behind Blue Eyes,” which is my #1 favorite song by the Who! Two unexpected performances in a row! Still, the Beatles/Smithereens songs they played were all awesome. From the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” to the Smithereens’ “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and everything in between, this concert was absolutely fab.

While writing this, I just realized that I’ve seen a Beatles tribute concert in each of the last three months. Hopefully something will come up in April as well! 🙂
If the Smithereens come to a town near you, and especially if they are playing this Beatles tribute show, do not miss this chance to be thoroughly entertained. They rock, the Beatles rock, and live music in general is always better. But you knew that already. 🙂

Have a fantastic week!