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The Best Beatles' Tribute Band Is REO Brothers

Updated on June 13, 2020
REO band playing in Tokyo
REO band playing in Tokyo
In the UK.
In the UK.

Christ, you know it's not easy.....

That last single from the Beatles (actually, John and Paul only) was called, The Ballad of John and Yoko. The single was controversial at the time because of the refrain, "Christ, you know its not easy, you know how hard it can be, the way things are going, their gonna crucify me".

Many radio stations refused to play the song since John yelled out the word "Christ" and the rest of the refrain or hook chorus. Other stations, bleeped it out. The song did reach #1 for a week or so, then that was final door closing the Beatles and the force and power that name had. Funny, that name, The Beatles, still has the force and power within many aspiring and current rock bands. Many try to emulate them in style, harmony, song structure, or instrument playing. Among those in the rock music field, they are legends just as Mozart and others are to classical music. They changed everything in rock\pop music from 1964-70.

So, it would not much of surprise that The Beatles had unknowingly created another industry after they ended, that is, the tribute band industry. This originally began in the late seventies with a Beatle tribute band Broadway show that ran for several years called, Rain. The four members of the original tribute band had to look similar to them, play identical to them, sound like them. Before the show began, months went into studying their recordings, playing and singing. The Broadway show was astounding as they went through the various periods of Beatlemania. The emotions of their fans once again, this time as adults, not teens, did create a mini-Beatlemania in ticket sales.

After a few years on Broadway in NYC, the band toured across the USA and world as Rain. They did the same song set and costume change. I saw them in 1986 in Reno, NV. Tickets were $50. I had heard so much about it, read reviews, I had to experience next to the real thing, which I missed as I was too young. By now, they were playing for not more than 100 or so in a big casino lounge. I was apprehensive that my money was well spent, then, the curtain was raised. I was about 15-20 yards away. The first, now famous chord of of a Hard Day's Night, was struck. I tried to contain emotion. The band launched into the song and I and others were mesmerized. OMG, if I din't know better, it WAS them! From that distance, everything was spot on, perfect in execution, perfect in guitar licks, perfect. The man representing John, could have been a twin from my distance. Even the man for Paul, was like a brother, very close. As the songs went from one to another, if once closed their eyes, you would think it was them. In between songs, they showed the same wit and comics John and Paul did in their little quips etc. They sounded like them while speaking.

I think everyone there was a Beatle fan, no doubt. There was no repeat of Beatlemania because all were much older, but the emotion in the air they projected and given back by the reaction of the audience (some screams of joy, yelling) inspired the band members. It is something one remembers.

Today, numerous other Beatle Tribute bands try to match the high bar of realism that Rain did. Some bands are even called Rain (but totally different members). Nearly all tribute bands fail in their physical looks and try to make up for it in their covering technique.

The Best Tribute Band

Chirst, you know it's not easy being a Beatle cover band. The bar is so high that if you leave out a guitar lick, if you don't sound like them, you get trashed. That said, the best one I have heard to date is the REO Brothers. This band is Filipino. While they do not look like them, close your eyes and listen to their cover songs. You might think it is the real ones. They did their homework and mimicked nearly everything about the song they are doing down to guitar licks, vocals, and overall sound. Again, I closed my eyes, I was impressed. Very impressed. They sound like them. They formed in 2005 and the legacy of the Beatles' music came from their father's Beatle LP collection which they studied for years.

The REO brothers have played in the US on the west coast a few times, but in the Philippines, their concerts are mostly Beatle covers and the stadiums are packed. The crowds, even though, most were not even alive in 1964-70, love them as a band. It proves the theory that the Beatles are like a Mozart for classical music. Their songs will live on and played by others long after Paul and Ringo (now 78 and 80) have gone.

Check out REO Brothers videos on online and you will see. Amazing.


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