When John Lennon, the de facto leader of The Beatles and counterculture icon, peace activist of the 1960s and 1970s, was assassinated outside his Dakota apartment in New York City, Dec. 8, 1980, hundreds of thousands of fans mourned his passing—knowing in their hearts that a Beatles reunion was no longer possible.
Subsequently, Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison, known as the spiritual and quiet Beatle, would later succumb to lung cancer on November 29, 2001. Although he passed of natural causes, his death was equally heartbreaking for Beatles followers. Harrison and Lennon are survived by the two remaining Beatles: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
The hope now for any legitimate reunion is forever lost, but is it? Wayne Coy, president of Got Live Entertainment, based in the Bay Area, says no. In 2010, Coy formed The Reunion Beatles Fantasy Tribute—a critically acclaimed national and international touring band that makes Beatles fans’ hopes and dreams of a reunion concert a reality.
The group’s latest tour is making a one-stop appearance in Tacoma at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at Jazzbones (2803 6th Avenue). Doors open at 7 p.m. Show is 21 and over, and tickets range from $20-$25, available at ticketfly.com.
Concertgoers will be treated to a range of hit songs from the Beatles’ beloved 1960s catalogue on up to the solo hits of each of the respective artists.
“This is not a tribute band in the sense of caricature,” said Drew Harrison, a Bay Area guitarist who has portrayed Lennon and has told his stories for well over a decade. “It’s not us wearing costumes. There is a genuine fondness for the parts we play.”
For example, Harrison said the guitarist, Nick Bold, who portrays Harrison (no relation to Drew) hails from Manchester and embodies the same cheeky mannerisms and gentlemanly qualities of George.
“He is a great guitar player, and sounds just like him,” Harrison said of his bandmate.
Though Harrison admits to a sprinkling of banter and laughter among the four of them on stage, the primary focus of the evening goes to the heart of the music—these songs that matter so much and that, collectively, have become an indelible soundtrack for a generation.
“It’s a lot about the music and having a great time,” said Harrison. “The songs hold themselves. There is a lot of singing, and a lot of dancing.”
Harrison said that what is noticeably different from the Reunion Beatles group when compared to the other dozen or more traditional Beatles tribute bands is the portrayal of George as a formidable artist and songwriter.
“It’s nice to see George portrayed as an equal to Lennon and McCartney,” Harrison said. “Everyone loves him for it. He is not standing back on stage.”
As history would prove, Harrison’s solo debut “All Things Must Pass,” released in 1970, is still widely acclaimed as the most popular and well-respected of the former Beatles’ solo albums. In January of 2014, it was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Harrison said that what is the most gratifying part of the evening is connecting with the fans during the meet-and-greet forum that follows the performance.
“We engage the crowd to join us and go down this journey of living this dream,” Harrison said. “The meet and greets are very special. (The fans) are over the moon.”
As Lennon’s high-trapeze Sgt. Pepper’s circus ditty “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” declared, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all,” the same will be true at Jazzbones on May 9.
“Roll up to the Magical Mystery Tour. Step right this way.”