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Strawberry Fields (Beatle Tribute Band) Performing at B.B. Kings
Strawberry Fields Band Leader and Founder Tony Garafolo and Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op during their interview at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill
Actress and TV Host Helen Proimos, Tony Garofalo and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op befor the show at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill
Stylist Patricia Parenti and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at the Beatles Brunch at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill
In 1964, the first US arrival of four lads from Liverpool changed the course of music history, as well as world history – forever! Their mere presence in a room made adolescent hearts throb and traffic jam for hours in every major city they toured. We are talking about none other than The Beatles, whose contribution to music defined an era. They affected every area of life including fashion, hairstyles, politics, protests, war, religion, and yes, peace and love.
Most of us never got to see the Beatles in-person because we either couldn’t afford to buy tickets, or were just too young to stay out past 8 PM, but we were able to cling to an old album cover or photograph, hoping one day to catch a real glimpse of the Fab Four. Well, today, “Strawberry Fields” is here, a look-alike, sound-alike Beatles tribute, dedicated to bringing you, the audience, as close to a real Beatles concert as you can get. The band features true look-alike performers, handpicked from hundreds of auditionees, who speak in Liverpudlian accents and play on the vintage musical instruments that Beatles fans have come to recognize.
“Strawberry Fields” will take you on a Magical Mystery Tour through the 1960s beginning with the year 1964 – complete with mop top hair, black suits and thin ties – and through the first four albums of great songs. The next stop is 1967, featuring the psychedelic era of the “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album – with all of the costumes and jackets featured on the album cover, and singing all of your groovy favorites. Their last musical visit is to a place where their hair got longer and their music more politically involved, featuring music from the “White Album,” “Abbey Road,” and “Let It Be.”
“Strawberry Fields” has been performing to audiences of all ages for over a decade and in the past has shared the stage with featured guests from the Broadway cast of “Beatlemania;” Steve Holly, drummer for Paul McCartney who was featured on his second solo album, “Back To The Egg;” Billy J. Kramer (one of Brian Epstein’s original British Invasion stars); Tony Sheridan, who recorded an entire album with The Beatles, themselves; and Pete Best, who (in case you’ve been living under a rock for all these years) was, early in their careers, the drummer of The Beatles! We have enjoyed many press reviews from several acclaimed journals and raves from fans everywhere. We’ve most recently performed an exclusive engagement for “EMI” at “Ruby Foo’s” in NYC, not to mention our 2005, one-time-only 40th anniversary recreation of The Beatles’ historic 1965 concert at Shea Stadium… Shea Stadium! Wow!!!
Every Saturday for the past seventeen years “Strawberry Fields” performs live at B.B. Kings in Times Square for a very special Beatles Brunch. I had the chance to interview Band Leader Tony Garofalo about the history behind the music.
Tony was born into a musical family, with a mother who was a professional dancer and teacher, and a father who is both a 25-year guitar teacher and professional Carnegie Hall alumnus with the New York Mandolin Orchestra. Tony has been playing guitar since 1969, and is also trained in the fine art of classical guitar, mastering pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Sor, Julian Bream, and Andrew Segovia. He has also served as a veteran NYPD police officer for 20 years, and has risen to the ranks of both Detective and Sergeant in his career, with over 700 arrests to his credit and has worked in the central robbery unit, narcotics division, detective division, and internal affairs bureau. He was very well known by colleagues and police brass as the “real” Sergeant Pepper. Tony was also a key contributor in the September 11th rescue and recovery effort both at Ground Zero and the Staten Island Fresh Kill location.
Tony has continuously perfected the role as John Lennon throughout the 80’s and 90’s, performing with countless incarnations of Beatlemania, and has been grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with many Broadway Beatlemania alumni such as: Billy Ray, Mark Vacaccio, Don Linares, Alan Lebouff, Glen Bertnik, and Peter Santoro, to name just a few. In 1991, Strawberry Fields was created by Tony in an effort to bring forth a complete Beatles performance package that was accessible to every type of audience and to every type of budget. This unique formula has proven successful over the years, opening the doors for Strawberry Fields to perform at almost any type of musical situation: amphitheaters, stadiums, theaters, car dealerships, weddings, bar mitzvahs, high school reunions, birthday parties, outdoor festivals… the list goes on and on.
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