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San Antonio band recreates Beatles' rooftop Get Back concert

Gilbert Garcia and D.G. Lara
Courtesy photo
Elda Silva
Gilbert Garcia and D.G. Lara

Long before Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary, a San Antonio band, the Blue Note Ringos, was already doing a deep dive into the Beatles catalogue.

Bass player Gilbert Garcia, a columnist at the San Antonio Express-News, said they don’t dress up as Beatles; they just play Beatles songs.

“The concept behind the band was that we wouldn't necessarily try to look like the Beatles, but just try to be faithful to the music,” he said.

Garcia said Beatles music can be simple and complex at the same time.

“There's kind of a deceptive simplicity in their work. There were complexities that were thrown in in a way that were sort of seamless and didn't call attention to themselves,” Garcia said.

The Blue Note Ringos will perform a tradition that happens every January.

“Since 2016, the Blue Note Ringos have been commemorating the anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary rooftop show, which happened on Jan. 30th, 1969,” Garcia said. “The weekend of that anniversary, the Blue Note Ringos play on the roof atSanchos [Cantina]. And this has been going on ... this would be the eighth year. And we will be playing on Saturday, Jan. 28th.”

The Blue Note Ringos with “Come Together” at The Cove 3/2/2017

Garcia said the performance was critical for the band. “They started that month of January, kind of at a loss over what to do and kind of dispirited, and they sort of got their mojo back,” he said.

That mojo resulted in Beatles album Abbey Road, recorded later that year. The original Beatles performance ended after 42 minutes at the insistence of London police.

“We're going to recreate the rooftop show [playing the songs] in order. And then once we've completed that, we'll continue by playing songs from that period,” he said.

“In the back half of the show, we will kind of raid the entirety of the Beatles catalog,” Garcia said. “We'll do some earlier stuff and just kind of cover all the bases.”

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii