Feb 21, 2018–In 2001, Marty Scott was playing with a Beatles tribute band at a Chicago festival. A week later, he was sitting on a couch next to Paul McCartney.
How’s that for fantasy?
“Pretty scary” was how the ersatz “George Harrison” described it.
“Louise Harrison was a guest of honor, and I was so nervous knowing George’s sister was there,” Scott said. “I kept thinking that I hope I don’t suck too bad.”
His nervousness grew when at the end of the first show, a promoter came up and said Louise Harrison wanted to talk with him. He needn’t have worried.
“We ended up having a great time,” he said. “Louise is pretty spiritual, and she thought I was brought there for a purpose.”
Read my interview with Louise Harrison in 2016
The purpose was that George Harrison had just passed away, and Louise felt there was synchronicity in encountering someone who channeled her brother’s essence.
The meeting with Paul followed, and it happened to be the first time McCartney and Louise had seen each other after George’s death. Marty Scott spent 45 minutes with them talking about George, and even sang a bit with Sir Paul. It was so momentous it made the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
“It was amazing,” he recalled. “I had just enough wine in me so I wasn’t nervous.”
That meeting led to a great friendship and ongoing business relationship with Louise.
Scott’s awe at meeting a real Beatle perfectly echoes the reaction of Beatles fans when they attend a performance of the Liverpool Legends. His love affair with all things Beatles has grown deeper and broader as he stands in his doppelganger’s shoes in the iconic quartet.
Everyone knows the superlatives about the Beatles: how they changed pop music and culture in the 1960s with their new style of music, hair and fashion, and larger than life personas.
The boys get a tiny taste of that.
“Just a little bit,” Scott said, citing performances in 18,000-seat stadiums. “The difference is the next day we’re playing a private show in a living room for 12 people, so you get a reality check. You come back down to earth really quickly. The Beatles had that every second of their lives.”
After all these years, Scott knows where “George” stops and “Marty” begins. While on stage, the boys try to stay in character, but they always let the audience in on the illusion. It’s not easy to do when everyone in the world is an expert on each Beatle’s personality.
“We try to touch on it, but we also have fun and we know we are not the Beatles,” Scott admitted. “I’m not afraid to come out of character during a show when needed. I think that just comes from the fact we have been doing this so long, and that a lot of people who come to hear us know us.”
They perform 150 shows every year, based out of the Yellow Submarine Theater in Branson, where they perform Monday through Thursday.
Even they are amazed that, more than 50 years on, the Beatles legend not only endures, it continues to grow. They have traveled to India, Brazil, and Mexico, played the Rose Bowl, and headlined at Carnegie Hall. It crosses all generations.
“There is no other act where 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds are both huge fans,” he said. “It used to be having young kids at a show meant cool parents were dragging them to the concert. These days, it’s often the 10-year-old dragging their parents.”
In addition to Scott’s “George,” the lineup includes the following members, all selected by Louise Harrison:
- Kevin Mantegna (John Lennon) is a childhood friend of Scott’s who started the band with him.
- Greg George (Ringo Starr) has been doing Ringo “probably longer than Ringo has been doing Ringo.”
- Dave Tanner (Paul McCartney) has been in the band for several years.
- Bob Dobro is their 5th Beatle, the “George Martin” who helps out on keyboards and synthesizer.
The musicians are also songwriters, and have put out CDs of Beatle-esque pop songs as the Liverpool Legends.
The Rockbox Theater may not be their Carnegie Hall, but the Fredericksburg music venue has become their Cavern Club.
“The Rockbox is a home for us,” he said. “We’ve been doing it for six years in a row, and we love it there. There is not a venue we play that is so up close–the people in front are literally onstage with us. I can reach out and high five them.”
No matter how big they get, they will always come back to Fredericksburg.
“The sound and lights are good, people there have become family, and we love to hang out, eat at the restaurants, and we love wine!”
He invited everyone to come out, no matter the age, to either re-experience Beatlemania or see it for the first time.
“When you come to our show, I guarantee you will be able to sing along to every song,” he said. “You’ll have a blast. By the time you leave, you’ll feel like you are 16 again.”
The Liverpool Legends perform at Fredericksburg’s Rockbox Theater on Friday, March 2 -8PM; and on Saturday, March 3 -4PM.
Tickets and information available online at www.rockboxtheater.com, or by calling 830-997-7625.