Thursday, May 19, 2016


The WannaBeatles are not a typical Beatles tribute band. When people ask "Which one are you?" they're assuming that the four of us have taken on specific roles to play John, Paul, George and Ringo. 

But that's not who we are. We are musicians who decided to focus on Beatles music because we love and respect it, so we use our talents to play the music the best way it can performed by the four of us. 


WannaBeatle David plays drums but he's also a great singer, so he's nothing like Ringo. WannaBeatle Nathan plays bass and keyboards, but doesn't sing like Paul. WannaBeatle Dennis may be closest to John, playing rhythm guitar and harmonica, but he also does a great job singing "Yesterday" and "Michelle." Dennis also likes to make people laugh. I do most guitar leads, and a couple of George's signature songs, but I also do John and Ringo songs, and play horns.

And when we work on the songs, we each bring a bit of George Martin into the process, arranging, trying out vocal parts, being the producers that we are. 

But none of this would matter if we didn't also have someone playing the role of Brian Epstein, making those phone calls, thinking up ways to promote the band, and negotiating deals on our behalf. There's no question that WannaBeatle Dennis fills that role.

And so, thanks to the efforts of our built-in Brian Epstein, we took a trip to Charleston, S.C. in January. It was not a gig, but a showcase performance at a conference of entertainment buyers, who were considering acts to book at various fairs and festivals that occur throughout the southeast.

We were participating in the conference through a friend, Rick Hubbard, who has been performing at fairs and festivals for years, as a children's entertainer. Rick is an experienced performer, and a wise businessman, who is generous with his knowledge and resources. He allowed us to partner with him at the booth where we met the people attending the conference, which saved us money and gave us the legitimacy we needed to connect with a new audience.

Our trip began, as usual, in Nathan's backyard, on a snowy day.
WannaBeatles gather for the gear loading ritual
Carport in snow
Stopping along the way for fast Asian food
Arriving at our hotel in Charleston
The elegant lobby as Nathan and Dennis check in
Our friend Rick Hubbard taking care of business at the booth
Dennis and Rick setting up at the booth
Those are kazoos in the bowls - a specialty item
Just in case anyone thought this was a glamorous trip,
the booth next to ours offered 
a mobile "Luxury Restroom" trailer


Bloggin' Bryan confesses, having grown up in the South, that he is impressed with the historic charm of Charleston. If readers will pardon the digression, it was a great pleasure to stroll around the beautiful downtown the first morning we awoke there.

Here's a little photo essay of that walk, which has nothing to do with Beatles music, except for the implied connection between this coastal city and Britain. After all, Charleston was named for the king of England. 

View of downtown from hotel room window, 
featuring steeple of St. Michael's
Cobblestones across Meeting Street
The sign says "French Quarter," but this isn't New Orleans
Statue of George Washington
Plaque honoring Washington and Gen. Westmoreland
Looking up at St. Michael's steeple
How many churches can say "since 1680?"
Not your typical churchyard cemetery
Governor's House, circa 1760
Residential street, heading south
Decorative shrubbery in the shape of the Confederate flag
(For those who don't know, the Civil War started here)
Walking along the Battery
And the cannons that fired upon Fort Sumter

The corner of Meeting and South Battery
 The Meeting Street Inn
Another view
Row houses looking over the harbor
A domestic sign containing Olde English
Double decker balconies
More colorful houses along Rainbow Row
A dress shop window reflecting more Charleston architecture
The old Post Office and Courthouse at the
corner of Meeting and Broad
Built in 1896 - a relative newcomer to Charleston

Unfortunately, there are not photos to document the rest of our day in Charleston. We attended the conference, meeting lots of people who produce, and work for, various fairs. We met and heard some very interesting bands who were also playing showcase sets. 

We did our 30 minute showcase, and had a great time. Mission accomplished. We enjoyed Charleston.

Then we woke up the next morning, to drive back to Nashville.

Another view of St. Michael's out the hotel room window.
Driving out of Charleston, we found a Coming Street, and decided to stop for a photo. We posted it on Instagram. 
Then we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for a huge delicious breakfast, and posted that on our Facebook page.

And so, one modern band does its 21st century job, while one member of that band reminds you that we spent time in a city that hasn't changed much since the 18th century.

All in a day's work.

-Bloggin' Bryan 19May2016

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