WILD WEST FEST: "IMAGINE," A BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND

Sheridan Opera House, general admission, seats out, $25 per person, all ages, doors, 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 8

One story that emerges from the pile of anecdotes about funny stuff that happened while Clint Viebrock was a Northwest pilot concerns a rather famous band. He was on the ground, sitting on the airplane between flights when he overheard the following exchange between two young flight attendants taking it easy in the row in front of him – and this is a direct quote, no kidding:

“Did you know Paul McCartney was in another band before Wings?”

(Ignorance is not always bliss. Sometimes it is just ignorance.)

George Harrison (guitar, sitar, vocals), John Lennon (guitar, keyboards, vocals),  Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, vocals) and Paul McCartney (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) were The Beatles, a band whose influence cannot be overstated.

The arrival on the scene of the Fab Four from Liverpool triggered the musical revolution of the 1960s.  Ten years before the Beatles, Elvis Presley induced a global fever with the hip swiveling sound  of “That’s All Right,” and “Heartbreak Hotel,” but then rock ‘n roll fell into the doldrums. It took “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to wake up the sleeping giant.

The Beatles’ crisp harmonies, rock solid musicianship, pop chops and overall abandon (shaking of mops of hair versus hips) and charisma worked in the crowds on both sides of the pond into a froth. When the band landed on American shores in February 1964, they literally stood the world of pop culture on its head, establishing a musical agenda that summed up the best of what came before  –  harmonic range, rockabilly, unique personalities of the classic stars like the aforementioned Elvis, boy next door look and feel, inventive songwriting, over the top enthusiasm – and still won’t quit.

Enter Imagine, a Beatles tribute band.

Imagine – Tom Coburn as John Lennon, Richard Fazzi as Paul McCartney, Brad Armstrong as George Harrison, and Daniel Burt as Ringo Starr – is scheduled to perform at the historic Sheridan Opera House on Friday, June 8, part of the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Wild West Fest.

Each year, the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit that owns and operates the Opera House, brings inner-city youth from Boys &  Girls Clubs from around the country to Telluride for a week-long celebration of Western arts, culture, and custom. These young people spend three days with professionals in the fields of drama, dance, music, fly-fishing, horsemanship and outdoor pursuits as part of the Wild West Fest’s Chip Allen Mentorship Program (CAMP). And they are entertained, along with the rest of the community. Friday’s night’s Imagine concert is followed on the closing day of Wild West Fest, Saturday, June 9, with a special screening of “The Last Ride, a Hank Williams Story, 4 & 4 p.m. ($10).

The opening act for the Imagine concert features performances by the drama, dance and music mentorship groups, then the Utah-based band takes over. Expected the expected from the Beatles wannabes, your favorites, including  “All You Need is Love,” “Lady Madonna,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Abby Road,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Since they came together in 1993, Imagine has performed more than 1,000 shows across the United States and abroad. Over the years, they have shared the stage with such notables as the Beach Boys, Jay Leno, Chicago, Three Dog Night, Glen Campbell, the Temptations, the Commodores and more.

Check out this video for a preview.

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