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    At just 6 years old, Mark Beyer discovered his love for The Beatles. The magic began one night when he and a babysitter disobeyed his sister’s wishes by playing her Beatles records on the “big stereo.” Immediately afterward, he began picking out the tunes by ear on a nearby piano. When his parents’ came home, they realized his special talent and put him in piano lessons… as soon as his fingers were big enough.

    Mark has been performing throughout his life, but he is mostly known as the “Beatles keyboard guy.” Mark has performed at Abbey Road on the River for nearly ten years with his band, The Rigbys as well as bands from around the world. For the past 6 years, he has toured around the country (and on Broadway) with Beatles tribute band Rain.

    I got the chance to interview Mark before he is set to perform at the To Sir With Love festival, which will welcome Paul McCartney to Louisville for the first time.

    Playing by ear is not Mark’s only musical talent. I asked if he played any other instruments; he told me he had learned enough guitar to be able to look across the stage and figure out which chord was being played just by seeing his fellow band member’s fingers. As a pianist myself, I can imagine this is a helpful talent!

    When asked about his musical influences, I knew the obvious answer was going to be the Beatles. According to Mark “they’re just so overwhelming everybody else is going to be, like, second to last place.” He did, however, give me a “wise-crack” answer - The Beatles and Paul McCartney. I also asked the impossible question, a question I myself hate being asked. “What’s your favorite Beatles song?” He answered, “It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite Beatles song, but, if I had a gun to my head, I would say ‘All My Loving.’ That’s a strange choice because there’s not any keyboards at all in there. I just love the melody and Paul’s voice.”

    Performing in Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles, with Abbey Road on the River regular Hal Bruce was a highlight for Beyer. It doesn’t seem to matter which band he performs with or where, Mark has a great time as long as the Beatles are involved. He explains, “No matter who I play with, people that love the Beatles are always great people, and we share the experience together. They all are special.”

    Mark’s favorite memory at Abbey Road on the River was the first time he performed there. He played the entire Rubber Soul album with a band from Sweden. “I had just never been able to do something like that before,” he explained.

    At To Sir With Love, Mark Beyer will be performing 3 shows with The Jukebox as well as the pre-concert party at 4th Street Live with The Rigbys. An Abbey Road on the River production, To Sir With Love will feature Beatles tribute bands from around the world plus former members of Wings, Laurence Juber and Denny Laine, as well as Terry Sylvester of the Hollies, but why does Beyer think you should come? “Paul McCartney coming to Louisville is a once in a lifetime event, and it’ll just add to the excitement and get everybody in the mood. His music and Beatles music performed live is just wonderful year-round. Nobody’s ready for Abbey Road on the River to end the day it does in May, and this gives people their Beatles fix during the fall and winter until the next Abbey Road on the River.”

    To Sir With Love is next weekend October 24th-26th. Tickets are still available and can be found on Abbey Road on the River’s official website. Paul McCartney’s sold-out concert is October 28th at the KFC Yum! Center. Will we see Mark there? Yes. “This will be my 19th Paul McCartney concert,” he reveals, as I turn green with envy.

    Photo from arotr.com

    Jenna Foster's picture

    About Jenna Foster

    Hi! My name is Jenna. I am a music teacher at a primary school. I love teaching because you get to feel like a rockstar without all the fuss of being famous. My hobbies include cosplay, reading, music, traveling, and collecting vintage clothes and records.

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