From year 2002 to 2014 I had a FAB “Beatles Tribute to the Music” band called “BeatleTracks”. It grew out of the love of re-creating this great music live, with professional quality and authenticity.
When I was 9 years old, I saw the Beatles perform live on the Ed Sullivan TV show on my parents little black and white TV and I caught the Beatles bug. I could already play guitar at that age and decided that I wanted to learn Beatles tunes and I did!
Later on in my life I had a opportunity to start a Beatles Tribute band and called it “BeatleTracks”. It took a while to come up with a good name, but I wanted a name that was unique and would not get confused with names of Beatle songs. The name actually has a double meaning. It stands for, following in the tracks (footsteps) of the Beatles and recreation of the Beatles musical tracks, live (as close as possible to the original).
It turns out, BeatleTracks originated spontaneously in 2002 when I met Mark Ristaino at the Burlington MA office of PCDOCS software company, where we both worked. I noticed Mark’s Beatles calendar on his office wall and we realized a mutual interest in Beatles music, with us both being lifelong Beatles fans and musicians. We began to get together and play Beatles music as a casual hobby at each others homes. Over the years, our hobby grew into a viable band with various members leaving and joining, eventually becoming really successful. Mark was the original dummer for BeatleTracks.
To get really good, I insisted that the band practice religiously every Thursday night at my house (for 3+ hours). I also insisted that we learn the songs as close to the original recordings as possible. Over time, my family room and sun room became chock full of sound equipment and instruments. So, we attempted to reproduce live all the sounds and vocals that were heard on the original recordings (or even in some cases from live performances by the Beatles or from their solo years). As a guide, we all bought copies and used a very thick book called “The Beatles Complete Scores”. We lovingly called it “The White Book”. I would almost insist that every new band member purchase a copy. I think I was personally responsible for many sales of that book! Our neighbours looked forward to every Thursday night, especially in the spring and summer when they had their doors and windows open, to hearing live Beatles music. It was like a live Beatles concert for them every Thursday evening starting at 7:30 PM. I can remember some nights seeing the kids of the neighborhood sitting outside listening. Over the years, I had members come and go (as I can remember, we had about 3 main configurations of band members over the years, with some leaving and also returning), but I worked hard with all of them to stay true to the music and keep the band moving forward, becoming more successful seamlessly every year. I recall one of them telling me, this was like going to Beatles music school. I think some were shocked to find how serious we were about exactly reproducing the music. We even tried to use the original brand of guitar that the Beatles used on the different songs (to get the sound more accurate). I can remember a bass player being upset with me because I insisted that he play my Hofner Beatles bass rather than his really nice Fender bass. Some people who were interested in the band and joined, ultimately were not up to the challenge and had to depart from the band. It was certainly a challenge for me on all fronts, including dealing with all the personalities, schedules, finding and keeping gigs and various levels of musical and vocal talent. I constantly pushed the band to get better and more professional on all fronts and pushed to get more and better gigs. Sometimes band members did not always appreciate or understand my push or my decisions, but ultimately, it made the band better and got us a certain level of satisfying recognition in the local area.
In 2014, my wife and I decided it was time to downsize our lives, given that our current lifestyle was unsustainable as we came closer to retirement years. We sold our house and moved to Beverly Hills, Florida. Unfortunately and sadly, BeatleTracks band had to come to an end after a run of 12 years. In Florida, I decided, because of my love of this timeless music, to continue as a solo Beatles Tribute to the Music act, under a similar name, now known as “Kenny Sandler’s BeatleTracks”. Now, I sing and perform many, and more, of the same tunes I did with the band, in most cases, performing the very same singing and guitar parts I did with the band. Now, of course, I do need to use backing tracks to fill in, but I find that audiences don’t mind that and they really appreciate and love what I’m doing. I’m also having a wonderful time, following my dream of performing Beatles music live, with quality and style. I’ve added more of an entertaining quality to my act, where I talk to the audience more and pull them into this wonderful experience, literally taking them back in time. I wear my Beatles “Shea Stadium” jacket, my Beatle boots and still use all my Beatles guitars in my act.
I’m very proud of what we accomplished with BeatleTracks band over the many years. Everyone who was in it had a great love for this music and they put in many hours of hard work to achieve our goals. In the end, it was a privilege to be part of it, and it’s not something that everyone gets the chance to do. It was a dream I got to live and now I live that dream in a similar way with my new solo act. It also was… a very expensive, but wonderful hobby.
Below are some examples of our work over the years that I’m very proud of for your enjoyment. I have some video earlier than this, but I have not put those clips on-line yet. I give a lot of credit to all of the band members over the years that worked so hard to achieve my vision and goals for the band. Stay tuned for more posts about my years with the band. All of this experience has been applied to what I do now to give my very best Beatles Tribute performances and people really appreciate and love what I do. Where ever I play now, I’m always asked back for a return performance. This is all part of my 10,000 hours of experience needed to become really good at something and I’m very proud of that!
Also, I need to thank my wonderful wife, my life partner, Lisa, for all the years she’s supported my music in every way. Without her support and help, I would not have been able to do any of it. She’s been the one to handle all of the booking, finding new gigs and keeping existing gigs year after year, as she still does today. She has supported me in buying (expensive) instruments and equipment for the band and myself, even when we actually could not afford it all that well. She also shot video of almost every BeatleTracks performance from the very beginning. This has become a great remembrance and historic archive of what the band achieved. Thank you so much Lisa! Love you!
Please check out what I’m doing these days with “Kenny Sandler’s BeatleTracks”. I’m sure you’ll really appreciate that too! If you would like to book my act please contact Lisa at (352) 513-3021.
My wife Lisa now also has a website creation business called YourWebbits. She does great work! Great quality websites and personal service at very reasonable prices. Check it out here!
Here are video clips of BeatleTracks Band Over the Years – Enjoy!
Love Me Do
This one was from a July 4th Concert in Billerica MA in 2007 on Billerica Town Common. We still did not have our backing vocals perfected, but what is interesting about this one, is this is our first use of harmonica on a song with the music true to the original.
Cry For A Shadow
Almost every year, we participated in a “George Harrison Tribute” fundraiser for charity. This show featured up to 10 bands/performers, performing compositions from the Beatles and George Harrison. This clip was an early one of BeatleTracks (our very first time at the George Harrison Tribute), performing “the only Lennon-Harrison” composition in existence. This was one we heard from the release of the Beatles Anthology recordings. Our version is very close to the original. Kudos to the band members for coming so close on this one. It was really fun to perform!
Mother Natures Son
This one is from a benefit concert we did at Fitchburg State College, Fitchburg MA in 2008. It was to support a student trip to Honduras. I really liked our work on vocal harmonies on this one. I also liked being in a packed auditorium and everyone very receptive to our performance, including lots of dancing!
This is from the same concert mentioned above. I loved the double lead vocal harmonies on this one, the drumming and the organ parts. What a great tune! It was fun to work on this one. You really become a Beatles music engineer putting these great tunes together. We worked for hours getting the opening lead solo vocal correct (“Mr Moonlight”). As we progressed in years and found ourselves needing a new drummer, the challenge became getting the drums to come in at the right time at the beginning of the song. We also used one band member as the “MC” and featured Beatles trivia during our shows.
Old Brown Shoe
From a 2009 Billerica MA Concert on the Common (we performed on Billerica Common every year since early on ’till the very end, I think 11 years). I love everything about this one, the excellent vocals, drumming, busy bass pattern, cool lead guitar, and synth work. This was one of our best.
Let Me Roll It
This one is from a concert in Salem NH in 2009. This one is an example of us coping a live (modern) Paul McCartney concert version of this song. I loved performing this one and I still do it in my shows today. The funny thing about this one is toward the end of the song, our sound man started experimenting with an echo effect (to see how it sounded). We’ll for ever more, this clip as an over-done echo on the second half of the tune. At any rate, it sounded great.
We would almost always open our shows with this rocker with double lead vocals.
Twenty Flight Rock
This is the song that Paul played for John before Paul was in the band. Paul so impressed John, that John asked Paul to join his band. The rest is history (the birth of The Beatles). We loved to include this one in our shows because of the historical value.
Same song from another show! We spiced it up a bit (more like the Paul McCartney live version)
If I Fell
For several years, we played a New Year’s Eve show in Rockport MA. The event was called “New Year’s Rockport Eve”. This was lots of fun. We packed the little hall in the center of the town. One year there were so many people that wanted to see us, that there was no room in the hall. One year there was a raging snow storm. I had to rent a van to take all of the equipment to the gig (rather than having all the band members come to my house to take equipment in their vehicles) and drive through the snowstorm to get there. We had to haul everything up two flights of stairs to get to the hall. We also had other acts before us, so it was always a challenge getting all of our equipment setup and ready for our time slot.
Hey Jude – I Saw Her Standing There
We often ended our concerts with Hey Jude and I Saw Here Standing There. This one is from a benefit concert for the homeless (BeatleTracks Emmaus Concert for the Homeless). We really rocked the place! I loved this with almost everyone in the auditorium up and dancing.
This is from a Concert on the Common show, Bedford MA 2010. This was always our main tribute song for the the late great George Harrison.
Roll Over Beethoven
I always love performing this rocker. I continue to do this one today in my solo act!
I Want To Tell You
This is a rocker originally sung by George Harrison, from the Revolver Album. This clip is BeatleTracks Band at the top of it’s game.
This one is from Yellow Submarine. Hey Bulldog!
This one is from the Beatles White Album. This BeatleTracks concert was at a 55+ community in Plymouth MA
One After 909
Classic BeatleTracks band performing One After 909.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
This one was done as a sound check!
You Won’t See Me
This one was from a sound check in Brookline MA 2010. We very often used this song in our sound checks as a good warm up. This was a blazing hot and humid day. We were located out in the middle of baseball field with no shade. You can hear the strain in our vocals due to the heat!
Here Comes The Sun – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
This one was from a Billerica MA 2010 Concert on the Common.
Eight Days A Week – I Should Have Known Better
This one was from a show we did in a theater. These were our opening numbers!
In 2011, after a run of several years with the same band members, BeatleTracks had some major band member changes, but BeatleTracks continued on seamlessly, finding some new members with the same level of passion for re-creating this great music. We also got a high-definition video camera!
Some clips from BeatleTracks 2012-2014
If I Needed Someone
I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
She Loves You
This one we played with a lightning storm looming at our backs. We were playing at an outdoor event in New Hampshire. Watch for the bolts of lightning in the background in this clip!
Ticket To Ride
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
This one has a great guitar solo by our BeatleTracks 2012 lead guitarist.
Hey Jude – I Saw Her Standing There
This is how we ended our concerts and this is how I’ll end this page. In this clip you can see and hear all the fun we are having and the audience too!
Please check out “Kenny Sandler’s BeatleTracks” for booking information and clips of my latest shows here in Florida. Thanks for your interest!
Thanks to my wife Lisa and all the former BeatleTracks band member for making these years loads of fun!