Rolling Stone trumpeted 1964 … The Tribute as the No. 1 Beatles tribute show on Earth. And a quick check-in with music posted on the band’s Web page (www.1964thetribute.com/audios) makes good on that claim.
These guys have definitely mastered the sound, and if they can’t match the almost-uncanny look-alike pulled off by the Broadway show Beatlemania two decades back, well, never mind. The music is what it’s all about anyway.
Coming to the Asheville Civic Center Arena on Saturday, Sept. 11, the band is marking the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ triumphant U.S. tour with shows across the country. Aug. 26 found 1964 … The Tribute at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, 40 years to the day from The Beatles’ Colorado debut. And one week after the Asheville show, the quartet will play the first of two upcoming Carnegie Hall gigs.
Based in Akron, Ohio, the group coalesced for the Fab Four’s 20th anniversary in 1984, and has gradually mastered its act. Determined to add authenticity to the show, right-handed Gary Grimes (as Paul) has learned to play the bass left-handed, and Greg George (as Ringo), who is naturally a southpaw, switched drumming styles, forsaking his left-handed kit for a right-handed set like the one used by Ringo (who is also — go figure — left-handed). The band plays vintage instruments, and has had its suits custom-made to match those that The Beatles wore.
Mark Benson (as John) and Jimmy Pou (as George) round out the quartet, which has toured relentlessly since its founding, and has recorded the standard-setting tribute CD, All You Need Is Live.
George Harrison’s sister Lou has been enlisted to shill for the band, and sounds sincere in her recorded message on their Web site: “My friends 1964 … The Tribute have captured the essence of the boys … born-again Beatles … don’t miss them.”
The Asheville Firefighters Association presents 1964 … The Tribute at the Asheville Civic Center Arena on Saturday, Sept. 11. Show time is 8 p.m.; tickets are $20. Call (828) 236-1939 for more info.