ANDERSON — Mark Benson couldn’t find the type of guitar that John Lennon played, so he built one.
Benson will play Lennon in 1964: The Tribute, a Beatles tribute band scheduled to perform at the Paramount Theater on January 6 at 7:30 p.m.
He wasn’t the only inspiration. Mac Ruffing, who plays Paul McCartney, wanted to play bass guitar like McCartney.
To that end, Ruffing, who is right-handed, learned to play a left-handed bass.
McCartney wasn’t the only left-handed Beatle. The other was Ringo Starr.
Starr played left-handed on a right-handed drum kit, which Benson believes may have contributed to the Beatles’ unique sound.
“I was more likely to do a drum fill (transition) from the bass drum to the treble drum because I was leading in that direction with my left hand rather than the other way around,” he explained.
According to Benson, the Beatles changed the live concert experience forever.
When the Beatles first came to the United States in 1964, concert organizers literally didn’t plan for the onslaught of noise.
At early concerts, crowds of screaming girls would gather and drown out the music.
1964 attempts to emulate early concerts using modern PA systems.
Audiences of all ages can enjoy a variety of early Beatles hits.
Benson said the Beatles’ most important contribution was the group’s message of love.
In his own 1964 show, the word “love” and its derivatives are used over 100 times during the show.
Audiences young and old are soaking up the message.
“There was a 6-year-old girl who came to the autograph line one night,” Benson recalled. “She was smiling, so I asked her, ‘Why are you so happy?’ And she said, ‘Because it’s her love.’
“I was so surprised by this little child.”
Benson said the group is excited to bring the magic and message of the Beatles to Anderson on January 6th.