Originally created 03/07/03

Band brings to life Legends of Yesterday



Tomorrow, the Imperial Theatre belongs to Yesterday.

Legends of Yesterday, a four-man tribute act that plays picture-perfect renditions of Beatles, Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers sets, will give the rock 'n' roll exhibition at the Augusta Museum of History a musical send-off with a mock star-studded show at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Imperial, 745 Broad St.

The ensemble strives to re-create all aspects of the artist's music and performance, from the McCartney head-waggle to Buddy Holly's distinctive black-framed glasses.

"We've researched the Beatles thoroughly," said Don Bellezzo, who handles the John Lennon and Don Everly parts in the act. "We did the same with Buddy Holly, the same with the Everly Brothers. We play the very same arrangements, in the same key and do everything we can to make the experience as authentic as possible."

Mr. Bellezzo said that while wigs and carefully constructed costumes, including the faux military uniforms of the Sgt. Pepper-era Fab Four, help transform the musicians into their rock legend counterparts, he said the subtle nuances that make Ringo more than just another drummer are harder to come by.

"It really is about acting," he said. "You can't just play the songs, you have to act like these people, and that takes some real concentration."

Legends of Yesterday has spent more than 15 years trafficking its brand of guitar-driven nostalgia around the world. "There are two things present here," Mr. Bellezzo said. "One is timing - these acts were at the right place at the right time. The other is the quality of the songs. These acts are originators and the songs, particularly the Everly and Beatles songs, have tremendous harmony and melody. That's what makes them classic. That's why you can always play Cathy's Clown and never go wrong."

In an age where shiny and new often is equated with quality, Mr. Bellezzo contends Legends of Yesterday performs an important musical purpose.

"It's all about reminding people how really great these acts were, both as songwriters and performers," he said. "It's about how innovative they were. I want to make an audience want to, need to, go out and buy Buddy Holly's greatest hits, or the Everly Brothers, or the Beatles. I want people to understand that music from that era was just as good, probably better, than anything that's produced now."

HAIL, HAIL ROCK 'N' ROLL

WHO: Legends of Yesterday

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, VIP reception at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; VIP reception at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St.

ADMISSION: $12-$20; VIP tickets $36. Call 722-8341

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.



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