1964: The Tribute – Bring On The Beatles!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ American debut. The Fab Four first arrived in America on February 7, 1964 and on February 9 more than 70 million people watched them appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. Their performance changed the way the world looked at rock ‘n roll.
As part of our Beatles celebration we’ll welcome back 1964: The Tribute to M Pavilion on Saturday, March 1. Back by popular demand, 1964: The Tribute takes audiences on a musical journey to a nostalgic era in rock history. In an authentic and endearing tribute, the group recreates early live Beatles concerts from 1964, with period clothing, hairstyles, and onstage banter. The group, which first started forming in 1982, spends much of each year performing around the globe, headlining around 100 shows annually. Rolling Stone magazine dubbed them the best Beatles tribute band ever. We caught up with the popular band between their US concert schedule to get to know the guys. Here’s what they had to tell us about the show and themselves.
M Blog Q: You didn’t form 1964: The Tribute until many of you were in your 30s. How did each of you and the band get your start?
1964 A: We’ve all been musicians in bands for most of our adult lives and because we’ve all been Beatles fans ever since they arrived, we just gravitated towards this as another in a series of musical endeavors. We actually never intended 1964 The Tribute to be full time. We thought we might do a show once a month or once every two months. Much to our surprise it was a full time job by the second year we were together.
M Blog Q: Your show focuses on Beatles’ touring years during the 60s. Why did you choose to narrow your focus and only perform this era of the Beatles’ music?
1964 A: We chose this era because we wanted to show people what it was like to actually be at a Beatles concert. To this end, we chose songs for just their touring years and accumulated all the same equipment, clothing, dialogue, hairstyles, etc… so the look and sound of our show was the same as the look and sound of The Beatles show.
M Blog Q: While the musical performance is important, a large part of your show also requires you to master a bit of acting; the accents and comedic banter. How long did it take each of you to master this aspect of the performance?
1964 A: It’s really an ongoing thing. We’re always trying to improve by constantly changing song intros and talking bits that we use while keeping it as close to something that would’ve been said back then.
M Blog Q: How do you separate your on-stage personas with your real life?
1964 A: It’s easy for us. We really try to leave the onstage personas on stage. These character portrayals only really belong on stage.
M Blog Q: There are several tribute bands to the Beatles out there, what makes 1964: The Tribute unique?
1964 A: We focus on just the concert years and our chemistry is something people will see immediately and it really adds to the show experience.
M Blog Q: You tour quite often all over the country and as with any touring group there’s bound to be challenge and conflicts that arise. How have you managed to keep the group together for 30+ years?
1964 A: It definitely has its challenges. It’s crucial to find people who understand the concept and aren’t out to change it. It’s not really about us. It’s about giving Beatles fans a glimpse of their favorite band. The Beatles just happen to be our favorite band, too
M Blog Q: Do you have any connections or stories about the real members of the Beatles?
1964 A: Over the years, people who are close to the Beatles have relayed kind words they’ve said about our show, but there has been no direct contact with any of them personally.
M Blog Q: You’ve performed once at our resort before. What new elements do you have planned for your show with us in March?
1964 A: We’ve restructured the songlist and some of the dialogue to add some freshness to it and are looking forward to coming back to perform there.
M Blog Q: Do you wear the same period clothing for every show, or do you have multiple outfits for different shows?
1964 A: We have several period suits but stick to wearing one per performance. The Beatles didn’t change clothing in their concerts so we don’t either.
M Blog Q: If you weren’t performing, what would you be doing?
1964 A: Thinking about performing… Ha!
M Blog Q: What are your pre-show rituals?
1964 A: Just the normal warming up exercises and discussing any changes in the show that night.
M Blog Q: What is your favorite city to perform in and what makes it so special?
1964 A: We have two. New York City when we perform at Carnegie Hall and Morrison, Colorado when we perform at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Probably the coolest indoor and outdoor venues on the planet.
M Blog Q: What are you favorite songs to perform? Which are the audiences’ favorites?
1964 A: It’s so hard to pick just one favorite Beatles song. It’s just as hard to pick one you don’t like.
They’re all so good. I think the audience reaction is probably the best for ‘Twist And Shout’.