Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Beatles are coming to Gilroy

If the frenzied reception enjoyed by the cover band “Because” – which regaled a twisting and shouting audience during the 2011 Garlic Festival – is any indication of Gilroy’s partiality to the Fab Four, local fans should consider purchasing their tickets to a nationally touring Beatles show making its stop in the Garlic Capital.

The renowned Beatles tribute band “Abbey Road” will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 14 at 9Lives, located downtown at 7430 Monterey Road. Featuring a talented foursome of Paul, John, George and Ringo lookalikes, the group promises to titillate audiences with custom tailored costumes, vintage instruments and their authentic “Liverpudlian” dialects. The showcase also includes a detailed recreation of the band’s “cheeky personalities and familiar onstage banter and patter between songs,” according to a press release.

“There is a percentage of the audience that kind of gets wrapped up in it,” said Axel Clarke, who by day teaches percussion at California State University, but by night dons a wig and accent to embody Ringo Starr. “There can be obsessive, 15-year-old girls who like to draw pictures of us and send it to us, and then we also get 60-year-old women who are re-living their teenage fantasy.”

While many cover groups tend to lean heavily on celebrity resemblance or musical talent, Clarke said the managers behind Abbey Road paid careful attention to select cast members who fulfill both criteria.  

Smoke and mirrors aside, however, Clarke admits “in actuality, I don’t look like Ringo at all…but they do apply stage makeup that emphasizes my nose.”

“The thing that surprises me the most about being a part of this show is the level of detail our musical director demands, right down to copying mistakes from the original Beatles’ sounds,” said Clarke.

Abbey Road was founded in 2008. Clarke, who joined the act in August 2009, said the current members have been on board for about six or seven months.

The show at 9Lives will feature three costume changes that covers the “full range of the Beatle experience and beyond,” according to a press release. This includes the early black Beatle suits, Sgt. Pepper’s regalia and Abbey Road attire. Fan favorites such as “Penny Lane,” “A Day in the Life,” “Yesterday” and “Twist and Shout” are on the repertoire.

“As it stands right now, we’re looking very likely to sell out,” said 9Lives owner Jorge Briones on Tuesday. “We’ve sold more than 160 tickets and we’re at 300 capacity.”

In the event Saturday’s show gets completely booked up, Briones said he’s in discussion with Abbey Road’s management team about scheduling a possible matinee performance for Sunday, Jan. 15.

Although he channels Ringo on a regular basis, Clarke admits his favorite mop top is the one that made young ladies swoon.

“I kinda shoot for Paul,” said Clarke. “He can get a little cheesy sometimes with his songs, but he was such a great songwriter.”

Details: Beatles tribute band Abbey Road will perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 14 at 9Lives, located at 7430 Monterey Road in downtown Gilroy. Tickets cost $10/$12 and can be purchased online by clicking here: 9Lives or by calling (408) 337-1799.

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