when Beatlemania swept the nation. There will also be some special
lighting effects on stage, said Ron McNeil, who plays the role of
He and his three fellow musicians will be playing everything from
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" to songs from the group's legendary "White
Album." The group plays their instruments and recreate the songs as
they were originally arranged, without tapes or backing tracks,
In February, the group was joined by a 65-piece orchestra in a
gala concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The event
marked the 40th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on "The
Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964.
This reporter attended that concert and, being a huge Beatles fan,
I can honestly say, when they played "A Day in the Life," it sounded
exactly like the original recording.
The group recently appeared again with the orchestra at the
Pacific Amphitheater, playing to 7,000 people.
"We had more time to settle in to the whole thing. With 65 people
on stage, it's hard to get it in sync," McNeil said.
The four musicians leave Monday for a three-week stint at the Las
Vegas Hilton followed by an appearance at a county fair in New York.
"And, we actually go from Hamburg, N.Y., to Hamburg, Germany," he
said. The trip to Germany will kick off a European concert tour.
The tour continues in London, with the band playing at many of the
places the original band played in the early days.
"This is the first time we're going to Liverpool and we'll be
playing at the Cavern Club where the Beatles got their start," he
The opening act is Sol RefleXion, which boasts a 13-member group
performing high energy classic tunes from the 1950s to the present.
Many of the group's members have been at the Starlight Bowl before
in the band Cops That Rock, said Ed Riojas, who plays guitar and
sings. But with officer retirements and reassignments, only a core
from that group remains and civilian musicians have been added,
requiring the name change to Sol RefleXion, he said.
What makes this concert especially great for Riojas is that his