Entertainment

Faux fab four at Orpheum

Do you want to know a secret? One of the most popular Beatles tribute bands, American English, will be at the Orpheum Friday .

OK, it's not much of a secret, but many will come together to enjoy the music of the mop-topped ones as sung by Eric, Doug, Tom and a guy named Young.

Here, there and everywhere, the tribute band has entertained Beatles fans all over the world. The long and winding road brings them to Wichita tonight.

Here are 10 fun facts about the group:

1) The set list for American English covers songs from the Beatles' career from 1963 through 1970, including early hits like "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," to songs off the final albums such as "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be."

2) Sam Leach, the original Beatles promoter from Liverpool (several people have laid claim to that role), now promotes and manages American English, which he has described as "the Beatles incarnate."

3) American English has performed on such hallowed ground as the Cavern Club in Liverpool and the Grosvenor Ballroom.

4) The tribute band recorded a concept album at Abbey Road Studios in London called "What If," featuring songs that they think might have ended up on the next Beatles album, had they stayed together.

5) Eric Michaels, who portrays Paul McCartney in American English, plays a left-handed Hofner bass like McCartney did.

6) The rest of the band features Young Vines as John Lennon, Doug Couture as George Harrison and Tom Gable as Ringo Starr.

7) During their performances, the members of American English typically change costumes three times — first wearing the classic gray suits they wore during their famous appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," then in costumes from the psychedelic era of "Magical Mystery Tour" and finally in hippie-ish garb from the late '60s.

8) American English also has a concert set that concludes with songs by Paul McCartney and Wings. Among those who have played with Eric Michaels on that set have been Denny Laine, co-founder of Wings, and members of the original Wings horn section.

9) American English has opened for such well-known bands as Three Dog Night, the Doobie Brothers and the Neville Brothers.

10) In 2002, the band was invited to headline International Beatle Week in Liverpool, playing to a crowd of 50,000 people.

  Comments