Todd Rainey joined the local Beatles tribute band Shout! in 1996 mostly for fun. “I knew nothing about a Beatles tribute show; I just answered an ad,” he recalls with a laugh.
Now, however, he’s playing in the Beatles big leagues.
Rainey, 49, portrays Paul McCartney in 1964 — The Tribute, an Akron, Ohio-based act that’s established enough to be sanctioned by the Beatles’ Apple Corps. He was recruited during the late ‘90s to periodically fill in for 1964’s ailing Gary Grimes, and now Rainey — who grew up in Milford and White Lake Township and now lives in Mount Morris, near Flint — has become a full-time member.
“I was flattered they picked me out of anybody they could’ve had,” says Rainey, who learned to play bass and guitar left-handed to be a more authentic McCartney. “I’m just having a ball with these guys. They’re great guys, and they’ve treated me fantastic. They’re amazing, and they’re respected.”
But, he adds, his new role does come with some degree of pressure.
“A lot of people ask, ‘Where’s Gary?’ ‘cause He’s loved and adored out there,” Rainey explains. “And a lot of them don’t come to see the Beatles; they come to see these guys and are (1964) fans. The other guys kept saying, ‘You can do it. Things’ll straighten out, and now fans are coming up to me and accepting me, and that’s great.”
1964 — The Tribute performs at 8 p.m. Friday, July 2, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $20 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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