While growing up in Warren, Joe Bologna was a Beatles fan. But the drummer didnít play Beatles music until the early í90s.
He hasnít stopped, however. After stints in Beatles tribute bands such as the Beat Club, the Fab Four and Liverpool Legends, Bologna has been with Rain ó The Beatles Tribute, since May 2008, alternating between its touring company and its installation on Broadway.
ďItís a great thing to be part of,Ē says Bologna, 48, who was a postal worker in Royal Oak and Warren and also worked at a title company before becoming a Ringo Starr surrogate (he also drums in the local Who tribute group Live The Who). ďThe music ... all the teenagers from back then are all the establishment now. They pay the money to see this, and now even the young kids are turning onto The Beatles like crazy ó as much as ever, I think.
ďI mean, the peopleís faces ... they light up. Thatís the best part, I guess. And the selfish part is Iím up there playing drums, hitting things, shaking my head, thinking I donít have to work anymore. I remember lugging the mail through the blizzards there in the Detroit area. This is better.Ē
Bologna ó who keeps homes in both New York and Grand Blanc, where his wife and 12-year-old twins son reside ó says that doing the Beatles bands has given him great respect for the oft-maligned Starr.
ďPeople think he wasnít very good ó and I used to be one of them, because Iím a Keith Moon fanatic,Ē says Bologna, who will perform at the first of Rainís two shows this weekend in Detroit. ďBut Ringo was so much better than people give him credit for. He was just so subtle with it, and itís much harder to be him than people think. Itís all brain. Iíve got to think the whole time Iím up there.Ē
Rain ó A Tribute to the Beatles plays at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $30-75. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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