In the last week, I had the good fortune to see two Beatles Tribute Bands, one very famous (Rain), one not so famous (The Mersey Beatles), both excellent. Tony Sheppard and I went to see Rain last Saturday evening. Rain had the advantage of playing in a big theatre (Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida) and had all the bells and whistles of production. They were also excellent musicians. The first part of the show was almost too perfect, as I saw The Beatles in person during my childhood and they were wonderful, but not perfect. The second half of the show featured a rendition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, and the band really shone. They let it rip and were wonderful. On Wednesday evening, Carla Henshaw and I met Bart Dellarmi and his wife, Robin, at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center, a little theatre in a retirement community here in Sarasota to see The Mersey Beatles, 4 Lads From Liverpool. These guys were also terrific, in many ways better due to the more stripped down nature of their performance. The vibe was pure Beatles, not perfect, just great. They didn't just play like The Beatles, they were like the Beatles and it didn't hurt that they actually were from Liverpool. It was just so much fun. We loved it and got a chance to meet and talk with the guys.
Dreamwalkers Band does cover songs too, and a couple of them are Beatles tunes. Covering songs, doesn't always mean copying them. In fact, we do our best to make the songs our own, even if we stick fairly close to original arrangements (which we don't always do). We play covers because we love the songs, the audience loves the songs, and to be truthful, an audience needs a respite from all original songs they haven't heard yet. No matter how good our originals are (and I believe in our songs), it's a lot to take in.
And in the end (as someone once said), we are an original band with original music. As Paul McCartney said in 1966 when I saw The Beatles at Shea Stadium in New York City, "We hope you enjoy the song." We do as well.