February 1, 2014 Concert Program Notes
Classical Mystery Tour – The Beatles

Imagine The Beatles playing in concert with a symphony orchestra.  What would that have sounded like?  Find out for yourself when Classical Mystery Tour performs live in concert with the Phil.

Starting with their first show at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, Classical Mystery Tour has been a hit with both critics and fans.  The Los Angeles Times called the show “more than just an incredible simulation…the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave Saturday’s live performance a high goose-bump quotient…the crowd stood and bellowed for more.”

The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like The Beatles, but Classical Mystery Tour is more than just a rock concert.  The full show presents some 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed exactly as they were written.  Hear ‘Penny Lane’ with a live trumpet section; experience the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet; enjoy the rock/classical blend on the hard edged “I Am the Walrus.”  From early Beatles music on through the solo years, Classical Mystery Tour is the best of The Beatles like you’ve never heard them: totally live.

Classical Mystery Tour  includes original members of Broadway’s “Beatlemania”   and features Jim Owen (John Lennon) on rhythm guitar, piano, and vocals; Tony Kishman (Paul McCartney) on bass guitar, piano, and vocals; Tom Teeley (George Harrison) on lead guitar and vocals; and Chris Camilleri (Ringo Starr) on drums and vocals.

“We really make an effort to sound exactly like the originals,” explains Owen, who admits that he and the other three Classical Mystery Tour members are big Beatles fans.  “The orchestra score is exact, right down to every note and instrument that was on the original recording.  On ‘Got to Get You Into My Life,’ we have two tenor saxes and three trumpets.  That’s what it was written for, and that’s what we use.  And on ‘A Day in the Life,’ can you imagine that big orchestra crescendo happening live?”

From the recent celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ triumphant visit to the U.S., to the success of The Beatles Anthology and The Beatles 1 albums, the demand for Beatles material is greater than ever.  Many Beatles fans never had the opportunity to experience a live Beatles show; Classical Mystery Tour offers that live experience in the comfort of a concert hall.

“The power of the emotional and nostalgic connection back to each of our individual experiences with The Beatles is hard to put into words.”

Program notes provided by Joe Nickell

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