Feb 8, 2014
OZARKS-BASED LIVERPOOL LEGENDS CELEBRATE BEATLES’ US INVASION
The Liverpool Legends, from left: Bob Beahon (as Paul McCartney), Marty Scott (George Harrison), Kevin Mantegna (John Lennon) and Greg George (Ringo Starr) — with Louise Harrison. / Liverpool Legends
Beatles tribute band Liverpool Legends, which has been playing in Branson since 2005, has geared up for Sunday’s 50th anniversary of “The Ed Sullivan Show” performance by re-creating that event as the opening sequence of its act.
Louise Harrison, George Harrison’s sister who has relocated to Branson with the band, helped recruit the musicians and continues to provide guidance and publicity. She met Marty Scott, a Beatles tribute musician performing as her brother, at a Beatles convention in Chicago shortly after George Harrison died in 2001.
They bonded at the convention and, over time, developed a concept that led to the Liverpool Legends. She focused intently on recruiting.
“We were looking for people with good character,” she said. “The way I looked at it, if George were still here, I wanted the kind of guys that he would hang out with. That was my specified requirement — people of integrity and compassion.”
During the early stages of the project, Louise Harrison left technical and musical matters to the players but gave advice on broader issues. Such as:
- “You don’t have to be spot-on all the time. If you make a mistake, just laugh and go on. That’s what the Beatles did.”
- “Enjoy what you’re doing. Then everybody else will, too.”
- “Don’t hanker to become rich. That was the worst thing that happened to the Beatles. Then the predators came out of the woodwork after them.”
Scott said Louise Harrison gives the band a huge boost simply by her association with it. “She’s basically everything,” he said. “She’s the spokesperson, but she’s also backstage sewing a button on a jacket.”
“Officially I’m called the manager, but really I’m the mum,” Louise Harrison said.
The band has played worldwide, including Chile, Israel and Japan, as well as at a festival in the hometown of the musicians they impersonate.
The Liverpool Legends sweat the details, watching and reviewing video and acquiring vintage gear. “I’ll still watch ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ I’ve seen it 9 million times, but I’ll always find something I never saw before,” Scott said.
Lefty-righty issues have forced the players to make adjustments.
- Bob Beahon, who plays Paul, is not naturally left-handed; he had to relearn his instrument.
- Scott is a lefty and must play guitar, as George, right-handed.
- Greg George, another lefty, had to switch hands to play Ringo.
- Kevin Mantegna has the proper dominance to impersonate John.
“We try to do everything as close as we can to give the experience of the Beatles,” Scott said. “That goes for looks and sound, learning the music note for note. We treat the music like it’s a classical piece.”
Ed Peaco writes about locally grown Ozarks music for the News-Leader. Contact him at 417-413-9029 or EdPeaco@gmail.com