LAKEPORT, Calif. – The question about which band is better – Beatles or Rolling Stones – has been a spirited debate for half of a century.
These two legendary bands will engage in an on-stage, throw down – a musical “shoot out” if you will – on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., at the Soper Reese Theatre courtesy of nationally touring tribute bands Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash.
All seats are reserved and tickets are $30 plus applicable ticket fees.
Tickets may be purchased by phoning 707-263-0577, online at www.soperreesetheatre.com or at the theater's box office.
“Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Shoot Out” will pit Rolling Stones tribute band Jumping Jack Flash against rival Brit boys Abbey Road in an all-out musical showdown for rock dominance!
From Mick Jagger’s (Sir Joesph Infante) infamous gyrations to Keith Richards’ (Young Hutchison) sweet Tele licks, Brian Jones Vox Teardrop, and the band’s original wardrobe, Jumping Jack Flash brings all the authenticity of an old Stones show smack into 2014.
“Some of the ‘Keith-isms’ that the big fans just love are the blacked-out-tooth, electrical tape around the snakeskin boots, and the disjointed walk he was famous for,” said Hutchison. “We’ve done everything to present the music per the original album versions, cause that’s what fans have been singing along to for the last 50 years and that’s the way they want to hear it. We’re not even the Stones, but people just go wild!”
Show producers Tom Maher and Andy Nagle auditioned over 200 Beatles hopefuls at a casting call in 2008, many of whom played in their own Beatles tribute bands.
“Most of them came in Beatles gear, Beatles wigs – they were all in character,” Nagle said. “All the Pauls were running around trying to out-Paul each other, the Johns were brooding, the Ringos were off by themselves. It was a room full of guys that all loved Beatles music, it was surreal.”
For their part, the members of touring Beatles tribute band Abbey Road bring the mop top haircuts, harmonies, and boyish charm of everybody’s favorite Liverpudlians to the stage. They also play modern reissues of the exact same instruments and amps used by the Fab Four.
Axel Clarke (“Ringo Starr”), a high school and college teacher by day, prepares for his time behind the drum kit by studying old video footage, listening to band interviews, and mimicking Starr’s very specific performance style.
“Ringo's style and physical approach to the drumset were unique,” said Clarke. “He sat very high with his drums low, used big sweeping arm movements, punched at his cymbals more than striking them, bounced his torso in time and kicked his head to the side on big accents — and smiled like a goon at all times. That's Ringo 101 for you!”
Clarke and his bandmates also spend time mining the original Beatles recordings for specific nuances, and unintentional flubs that ended up on the final cut.
“There are subtle mistakes all over the Beatles’ recordings. In “All My Lovin,” Ringo forgets the form of the song and goes into the chorus beat by mistake. He plays that beat for one bar, realizes his error, and switches back to the verse beat. Most people might not notice things like that, but it adds a level of authenticity and would feel weird if it wasn’t there.”
Kicking off the show in signature A Hard Day’s Night-era black suits, the band runs through several costume changes, including mustaches and wigs (a la Sgt. Pepper’s) and full-on Abbey Road attire, before the night is up.
“John and George wore their wives’ fur coats and Ringo wore his wife’s red raincoat on the rooftop of Apple Corp. for their last show,” said Nagle. “My George is 6’4”, I thought I’m never gonna find a fur coat that fits! But even the kids expect it because it’s part of The Beatles: Rock Band, so we went out and bought them for the guys.”
Onstage, the bands alternate mini sets and trade improvised barbs and banter between songs to act out the famous rivalry.
Since 2011, Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash have toured the show. The Lakeport show is part of a 110 city tour across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Whether you’re a mod or a rocker, a John or a Paul supporter – Beatles vs. Stones is your ticket back in time to “Yesterday.”
The Soper Reese Theatre is located at 275 S. Main St. in Lakeport.