Beatles fans prepare to come to Napa together – The Vacaville Reporter
Considering how incredibly influential, revered and universally loved by fans around the world The Beatles are, it’s somewhat shocking to consider the fact that arguably the greatest band in rock and roll history never got together. produced live only for about six short years.
Only a small percentage of Beatles fans have had the chance to see them in concert. It’s no wonder, then, that tribute bands celebrating the music of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have been around for ages – some of course better than others.
The Fab Four, widely regarded as one of the best, bring their high-octane but finely tuned version of Beatlemania to the Uptown Theater in Napa on Saturday night.
While the band has had many members in its existence since its formation in 1997, a core group – including Gavin Pring, who plays George Harrison – has become a key long-term lineup.
“’The White Album’ is the one that hooked me because you have such an eclectic mix of songs. You go from ‘Back in the USSR’ to ‘Dear Prudence’, from that rock tune to that beautiful acoustic song, and then the whole album is like that – you just didn’t know what to expect,” Pring said on the phone with a Liverpudlian accent.
But that is not part of the law.
The 46-year-old guitarist is very much a Liverpool boy, and not only does he sound like Harrison while singing, but he also bears an uncanny natural resemblance to him, adding to the Fab Four’s credibility on stage. In addition to learning Beatles music virtually note for note, Pring and the band wear period costumes, play authentic instruments, and have spent countless hours poring over period footage to capture the manners musicians.
Said Pring: “One move that I like that George did was he looked at somebody in the audience, then looked away, then looked back really quickly, like, ‘Oh, that’s me mum?’ Some come naturally, and some really need to be studied.
Some of the idiosyncrasies Pring noticed while studying Harrison he found weren’t necessarily based on personality quirks – some were just his physical reactions to what was going on around the time the Beatles were performing in live, and what their musical equipment was capable of.
“George has always looked back (towards his amplifier) - he often has his head turned to the right. I think it’s because he couldn’t hear himself because of all the shouting,” Pring laughed. “Or sometimes, if he felt out of tune, he would pull his guitar to hear with his left ear. Some of the mannerisms are just generated by the position he was in.”
In addition to bringing the Beatles to life on stage for live concerts, the Fab Four have also been tapped to help recreate their presence for other media. The band provided motion capture footage for the band’s animation in the 2009 video game “The Beatles: Rock Band,” and Pring did the same for Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” show.
Although few musicians are likely to have the chance to meet the artists they pay homage to, particularly if that act is The Beatles, Pring had such an encounter once in England. A tribute concert was held in Liverpool for Harrison after his death, and while Pring was backstage with his then band The Blue Meanies, Sir Paul McCartney himself appeared and noticed the striking resemblance Pring bore to his late bandmate.
“He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘You kinda look like George actually,'” Pring laughed. “So I said ‘You kinda look like Paul!'”
If you are going to:Saturday, April 98 Uptown Theater, Napa $50-$60.