Fab(ricated) Four to play Noho
Woodstock may be a page in a history book, but the sixties will live on this Saturday night when 1964 The Tribute recreates the sounds and styles of the Beatles at Calvin Theater in Northampton.
Named the “best Beatles tribute band in the world” by Rolling Stone Magazine, the Ohio-based 1964 The Tribute has been performing covers of the Beatles for more than 35 years. Their performance celebrates and commemorates the impact of the Beatles on rock and pop music.
What distinguishes 1964 The Tribute from other Beatles tribute bands is its concentration on the Beatles’ early work. The majority of its songs are from albums predating the Beatles 1964 World Tour. So don’t expect “Sgt. Pepper” or “Abbey Road.” Rather, its set lists covers a large selection of lesser known songs such as “Please Please Me,” “With the Beatles,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Beatles for Sale.”
By concentrating on music from the Beatles’ early years, 1964 The Tribute seeks to recreate the touring atmosphere from the Beatles’ first arrival in the U.S. in 1964. The ages of the band members, all seasoned musicians in their middle life, contributes to the quality of their imitation without detracting from the illusion of their performance. The American-born performers have mastered the vocal and physical inflections of the Beatles, recreating the Fab Four in every respect from their mop-top hairstyles to their Liverpool accents and body language.
In their performance they seek to create an authentic experience of the early Beatles but differ from the original band in terms of sound quality and set length. Using larger speakers than those available to the Beatles in 1964, the band is able to amplify the sound and make it more accessible to the audience. The Tribute also plays longer set lengths than the original band; while the Beatles were known for playing two 30 minute sets and no encores in its early shows, 1964 the Tribute plays 45 minute sets and sometimes encores.
1964 the Tribute was formed in the early 1980s by Mark Benson, a guitarist who portrays John Lennon in the current band. Benson had performed in another Beatles tribute band known as The Revolver. When The Revolver broke up in 1981, Benson recruited musicians Gary Grimes and Tom Work, who portray Paul McCartney and George Harrison respectively. The band began performing in 1982 when Greg George was recruited as Ringo Starr. Greg George was later replaced by Terry Manfredi, who is the current Ringo for the group.
The band has since gone on to perform in concert halls, and at colleges and conventions across the U.S. and Canada. The Tribute has also been featured on Entertainment Tonight, PM Magazine, CNN, The U.S.A. Network, and the Nashville Network and was voted “Contemporary Music Artists of the Year” by the National Association for Campus Activities and “Campus Entertainers of the Year” by the Canadian Association for Campus Activities. The Tribute also appeared in a PBS special of the same name. Their discography includes the “PBS Soundtrack CD”, “All You Need is Live,” and “Nine Hours in November.” Gary Grimes also has a CD of original work titled “Starhand Visions.”
1964 the Tribute will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday night at the Calvin Theater in Northampton. Tickets run from $25 to $35 and are available online at the Calvin Theater web site.
Rachel Dougherty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org