Beatlemania Unplugged has been performing around Vancouver Island for almost a decade.
The now-thriving Beatles cover-band began as an acoustic husband and wife duo. John Booth, who sings and plays acoustic guitar for the band, retired from his successful rock band “Switch” in the early 2000s and was looking for other ways to keep his music alive.
John loved the Beatles from an early age; he bought his first guitar in 1967 after seeing them live for the first time. He discovered his wife Charlene had musical talent of her own when he heard her singing in their home. Charlene and John then started performing acoustic covers of iconic Beatles songs as a compromise between John’s love of rock and Charlene’s love of more mellow, country-western inspired music. This sparked the beginning of the Beatle fever that gripped John and Charlene Booth.
Their duo act with him on Lennon vocals and her on McCartney vocals performed in iconic Ladysmith locations such as the In The Beantime Café and events such as Ladysmith Days. The Booths appreciate the energy Ladysmith brings, saying the response from the Ladysmith crowd has “always been excellent.”
The pair decided to grow the band a few years later. They brought in Gary Atkins on guitar and Harrison vocals and Rick Ryce on bass. This group stuck to the first six Beatles Albums, from Please Please Me to Rubber Soul. In 2018, the group decided to extend their band to include drummer Rob Mitchell.
It was then that they decided to start playing through all the Beatles albums such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Revolver. They continue to play through all albums at their current shows.
The band remains “unplugged” to this day by running all their sound through a single mixer. They continued to rehearse throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and are more ready than ever to give the concert of a lifetime.
Beatlemania Unplugged will be sure to delight all concert goers young and old. The acoustic versions of the easily recognizable Beatles chart toppers have a special place in all our hearts.
In the words of John Booth, “Everyone at one time or another has learned from The Beatles.”
This acoustic tribute band is more than just a musical experience; these talented musicians are also historians that share their knowledge of the Beatles through a chronological setlist. Let Beatlemania Unplugged whisk you back to the beginnings of rock on July 17 at 6 p.m. as part of the Concerts in the Park at Ladysmith’s transfer Beach Amphitheatre.
Can’t get enough of the live music? Can’t make it to this concert? Not to worry! The LRCA will be hosting three more Concerts in the Park on July 24, August 14 and August 21. All concerts take place on Sundays at 6 p.m. Each concert is free and any donations will go towards various LRCA Community Projects.