The Liverpool Legends will embark on a magical mystery tour to the Rio Grande Valley for shows in Rancho Viejo and Edinburg this weekend.
The Beatles tribute band has garnered worldwide popularity for their mastery of the Fab Four’s extended catalog of songs and onstage personas.
They hold the distinction of being the only Beatles tribute band to have been personally selected by Louise Harrison, the late George Harrison’s sister. Marty Scott, Kevin Mantegna, David Tanner and John Perrin portray Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, respectively, while keyboardist Bob Dobro performs the orchestral parts.
This weekend’s shows will mark the seventh consecutive year that the group has come to the Valley.
“We have a lot of fans down there. We’ve been coming back every year now for seven years. It’s amazing,” Scott said in a telephone interview from Branson, Missouri, where the group has their own Beatles-themed theatre. “There’s a connection with the Beatles down there and also across the border into Mexico where now we’re selling out like 10,000 seat venues. I don’t know what it is. There’s some sort of magical connection that the folks down there have with the Beatles.”
Scott is a Chicago native who has had a passion for the Beatles for his entire life. It was that passion that led him to a Beatles convention in Chicago where Louise Harrison first took notice of him.
“I had met Louise, I was singing at a Beatles convention in Chicago. It was right after George had passed away, just a couple of months,” recalled Scott. “Louise was kind of like the guest of honor at this festival in Chicago. She’s there at this three-day Beatles convention thing, and I was singing. The way she puts it, she hadn’t really grieved for George’s passing yet. She’s pretty spiritual, and I think she, funny enough, thought that I was brought to her by some powers that be. We just hit it off.”
Scott, who bears a striking resemblance to the quiet Beatle, said that he was informed that Louise wanted to meet him following his performance. The two got to know one another, and a week later, he was introduced to Paul McCartney.
“We spent the weekend sort of hanging out and getting to know each other. Literally, like a week later, I’m sitting on a couch between her and Paul McCartney,” Scott recalled. “Like, she brought me to meet Paul, and we’re just hanging out. It was a crazy weird time in my life and super cool.”
Scott and Louise maintained a close friendship following the Chicago Beatles convention. A few years later, Louise decided to help Scott put together a tribute band.
“At that time, I was still freaking out that I was with Louise. We were friends for a few years,” Scott recalled. “She just decided that she wanted to help put something together that was really special. There’s a lot of Beatles groups in the world. There’s a ton, but not many of them really get it. There’s a few good ones, and there’s a ton that aren’t so good. She wanted to help put something together that she could sort of be a part of and be proud of, and hope that if George was still around, he would think it was cool, with the right characters and with the right kind of people.”
Since the group’s inception in 2005, the group has toured all over the world. They’ve headlined Carnegie Hall, the Rose Bowl and have been nominated for a Grammy.
“We didn’t win though. We lost to Betty White, of all people,” Scott said with a laugh. “It’s been crazy.”
Nowadays, the Legends perform over 200 shows a year. This year’s tour includes stops in Ukraine at the end of February and a stop in Mexico City.
The show features a selection of songs from the Beatles’ touring years, the post-Sgt. Pepper years, and a few selections from the group’s solo albums, as well as costume changes to fit the era of whatever set of songs they are performing.
Each member embodies the persona of their respective Beatle while on stage, with their stage banter in between songs (with the Beatles’ trademark Liverpudlian accents), down to John’s sense of humor and Ringo’s distinctive head bobbing. Scott explained that the Beatles’ extensive catalog helps the group create a unique show every night.
“The great thing about the Beatles is there’s so much of a catalog of great songs to choose from, which makes it fun for us,” Scott said. “A lot of times, we’re just using ourselves because we’re such big fans. There are a lot of songs that you kind of have to play. We always have to play ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘Hey Jude’ and things like that. The great thing about the Beatles is that you can pretty much go through their whole catalog, and most people know every song on every album. It’s amazing.”
The Liverpool Legends will be performing at the Rancho Viejo Convention Center in Rancho Viejo at 7 p.m. Friday, and at the Edinburg Municipal Auditorium in Edinburg at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets can be purchased on the group’s website at www.liverpoollegends.com.