Beatles tribute band at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House July 2

Beatles tribute band at Telluride’s Sheridan Opera House July 2

[click “Play” to hear “John Lennon” (Tom Coburn) talk about the group and the Telluride set]

Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House welcomes “Imagine,” a Beatles tribute band.

2009 Promo Pic Imagine we are all one country, one world, one people. John Lennon did – then he put his thoughts into the words of a song ranked #3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. “Imagine” is part of a holy trinity that includes The Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction” and Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”

As famous as John Lennon was in life  – he famously said he and The Beatles were more famous than Jesus – he remained a folk hero after his untimely death.

Now imagine John Lennon returned to life and coming to Telluride to perform. He did and is, sort of, in the form of Tom Coburn of the Beatles tribute band, “Imagine,” in concert Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m., at the historic Sheridan Opera House for an evening of family entertainment.

The importance of the Beatles in the history of popular music cannot be overstated. The Beatles are synonymous with rock ‘n roll as we know it today. The Fab Four elevated the genre from a teenage pastime designed to derange their parents into a mega-genre that transcended age, culture and social status.

The Beatles were maestros of traditional genres: “Twist and Shout”  is classic rock. They popped open pop with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” updated Sinatra in the form of soft ballads such as “Yesterday,”  and sang the blues with the best, “For You Blues.”

The Beatles also broke new ground, inventing the nonsense song,”I am the Walrus”. They brought Surrealism into the pop consciousness  with “Yellow Submarine,” and penned the first ever heavy metal song, “Helter Skelter,” and the first ever concept album, “Yellow Submarine.”

Everyone from first graders to first ladies loved The Beatles, everyone including Tom Coburn.

Growing up in Manhattan Beach, CA, Tom had little on his mind besides surfing and baseball until February 9,1964 when he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.  At 16, he began performing in the LA club scene with his first band “Mother’s Pride.” In 1970, Tom began a 25 year career with Delta Airlines, but was always looking over his shoulder in the direction of his “other job” as a musician. Tom’s love for music and stage led him to take early retirement, in 1995, to promote and tour with “Imagine.” Paying tribute to the Beatles has taken Tom Coburn on a journey beyond his wildest dreams.  Playing the piano, guitar, bass, and harmonica, he still pinches himself:  “I am the luckiest person I know”.

“Imagine” came together in 1993. Over its 16-year run and counting, the group  has performed more than 900 shows across the United States and abroad, sharing the stage with such high profile acts as the Beach Boys, Jay Leno, Chicago, Glen Campbell, Badfinger, America, the Mandrells, the Shirelles, the Temptations, the Commodores and the Buckinghams.

Career highlights include a performance at the Nokia Sugarbowl in New Orleans for a national TV audience, being the first act to ever perform at the USANA amphitheater in Salt Lake City, Utah, and 21 shows at the Shanghai Music Festival, May 2005.

“Imagine” is Tom Coburn as the rebel John Lennon, Richard Fazzi as the cerebral perfectionist Paul McCarthy, Brad Armstrong as the spiritual anchor George Harrison and Daniel Burt as the affable goofball Ringo Starr.

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