Spanning the generations
August 9, 2004
Beatles tribute band attracts old and new fans
By Jo Rafferty
Tribune wire editor
Beatlemania is alive and well at the lake.
Mark Lewis, founding member and keyboard player for Rain, a Beatles tribute band that’s been performing for more than 20 years, recently said, “It doesn’t seem like that long. It’s been and continues to be a lot of fun.”
While he may have been speaking of his own appreciation for the songs that he and four other band members love so much, classic Beatles’ music today has become a must to own by old and young alike.
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“Beatles music has achieved cult status,” said Boyd Wenger, owner of Mad About Music in South Lake Tahoe. “Anytime a band achieves that, they go on from generation to generation.”
Young fans at Rain’s Sunday night performance of the show “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, made it clear they were not there because their parents wanted them to go. In truth, they had invited their parents.
Kelly Summers, an 18-year-old South Tahoe High School graduate, sat with her mother, Patti Summers, who has lived in South Lake Tahoe for 23 years.
Four times now, it was Kelly who asked her mom to take her, and sometimes her friends, to watch a live performance by a band that possibly comes as close to the early ’60s rock ‘n’ roll musical icon as you’re going to get in the 21st century.
Kelly wishes Rain could appear at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on a steady basis, as it did a couple of years ago.
“It would give my friends and I something to do besides go to the movies,” said Kelly.
On the other side of the showroom, four young men sat dressed in garb that even the original Beatles might call “gear.”
Three 16-year-olds, Anthony Cacibauda, Jesse Kapeghian and Jim Fletcher, and 21-year-old Chris Cacibauda, said they formed their own Beatles tribute band about a year ago. Their group, The Stately Gentlemen, performs regularly at Walden’s Bookstore coffeehouse in Reno, where they live.
“I’ve been a Beatles fan from way back. Since I was a little kid my dad played Beatles’ records,” said Jesse.
When asked if he thinks the Beatles are making a comeback, or if they have remained popular, Chris Cacibauda shook his head.
“They’re the Beatles!” he said.
Sue and Joe Cacibauda, mother and father of Anthony and Chris, made it clear they did not bring the boys to the show.
“They brought us,” said Sue.
Joe had another reason for being there. He is a bass player and a former performer at Harrah’s.
In three sets, Rain members Sunday night switched from the traditional early Beatles’ black suits and ties and bowl haircuts to longer hair and the flashy outfits worn on the Sgt. Pepper’s album. Finally they emerged with the even longer hair of the ’70s, with the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover as a backdrop.
The audience, which filled about 3/4 of the showroom, sang, clapped and swayed to songs like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Day in the Life” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” “Hey Jude” was performed in the encore.
On Feb. 7 at 1:20 p.m., members of Rain re-enacted the Beatles’ first trip to the U.S. on the same date and at the same time as it originally took place 40 years ago. In Seattle, over 7,000 fans screamed as they watched band members disembark the Concorde they had flown in on, and perform live all the songs the Beatles played on three consecutive Ed Sullivan Show appearances in 1964.
Joey Curatolo, who has traveled around the world portraying Paul McCartney in the band for nearly 21 years, is thrilled the music of the Beatles has remained popular. He now plays Beatles’ songs with his two children, 17-year-old Therese who is a singer/songwriter and Paul, 15, who is a first chair drummer and a sophomore at Galena High School in Reno.
“To be able to play that music and still see an audience for it over two more generations … It will never die,” said Curatolo.