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Hello to all Britain's Finest fans (we hope you haven't melted yet!)
Remember August? Remember how it was so hot outside that your sun screen was running into your eyeholes? Well imagine how much more fun that could've been with a black suit and a comfortable wig to wear. I tell you, we ENJOYED that!
August 6th: Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park kicked off August for us. When we arrived on the scene, we couldn't help but notice all the screaming fans that were run down by our limousines. Because they were run down by our limousines! We had to fight our way to the stage through all of the fans who, for one reason or another, were wearing blue uniforms with riot shields and pepper spray. I don't really know what the badges were about either! But they ADORED us (almost to death with nightsticks).
Michael Wainwright hit the stage and all of us were in awe of his ability to shred on a tuba. We never knew he could even identify one, let alone play it! The show was a smash success because not ONE of us ever made the slightest error. We were the epitome of perfection. Or not. The crowd was in a roaring frenzy.
August 8th: Robert and I (Benjamin) carpooled together all the way to Banning to play yet another sold out show to an outdoor crowd. The sun was so hot that the tires melted right off of Robert's pick-up truck. So we drove to the venue on glowing hot rims that continuously shot sparks into the neighboring hills and bystanders. By the time our show started, a good portion of Banning was in flames. That, however, did not stop the multitudes. This time we had to fight our way to the stage through a mob of unrelenting fans who were dressed in yellow outfits, donning hard, plastic, oversized helmets. And for some odd reason they were running around saving kittens and extinguishing fires. The show was well received and we must've played eighteen encores, because well... I think we may still be playing right NOW!
August 10th: San Diego used to have this AWESOME campground called Campland. It was beautiful with singing birds and crashing waves. The sounds of children's laughter and skidding Frisbees brought peace of mind and an overall feeling of vacation to families who had travelled from all over the USA. I say that there USED to be a place called Campland, because if you go there now, there's nothing but a crater in the earth where it previously resided. Yeah, that's right, we rocked that place into oblivion. We knew they were enjoying themselves because they just kept yelling "BOO" and throwing rocks and dirt at us! After I lost several teeth and Luis lost an eye, we knew we were on the right track. WE LOVE YOU CAMPLAND!!!
August 17th: Big Bear Lake. What a great town! It was a cool little mountain town with family owned, coffee shops and novelty / souvenir stores. Wonderful people live there and they were so kind that, even though we experienced EVERY technical difficulty known to man during our performance, they showed us love! That's right folks. Contrary to popular belief, we occasionally experience errors (self inflicted and otherwise). Guitars weren't working, basses turned off, keyboards frizzled out and vocal cords snapped. But we just kept on smiling! Big Bear has a BIG HEART!
August 24th: Escondido is the place to go for romance, if you consider long drives, enduring 100 degree heat in hours of senseless traffic, romantic. I, myself, LOVE romance! Thankfully, the Lawrence Welk Theater was air conditioned and we were able to see some familiar faces in the audience. Otherwise, we may have just turned back around and sat in a few more hours of "romance". Peter George filled in for us and we enjoyed his antics. Though we had to reprimand him because he said some things that Robert found offensive. And Robert HATES filth! Trust me!
Seriously, we've been having a great summer and thanks again to all of you who support us and to the few of you who can actually tolerate my ridiculous recaps of our adventures!
Benny and Britain's Finest
So we got off the 110 freeway and were greeted by our own fancy poster on this marquee type thing! That’s how it all started. Alpine Village in Torrance was incredible. They served delicious German style food and greeted us with warm welcomes… of course that was partially due to the abundance of heat outside… it’s kinda hard to give us a cold greeting! ZING!!
The turnout was amazing and people danced like Tomorrow Never Knows! OH!! (double ZING!) We were blown away by the crowd and we can’t wait to come back! I’m serious, that show was unforgettable and it’s hard to say anything that could sum it all up! You had to be there… and you probably were!
Now if you haven’t had enough of this Beatles tribute band, there’s more to come. If you aren’t too busy, come see us at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. We’ll be there on Mondays as usual! Britain’s Finest will also be at the Lawrence Welk Theater in Escondido on Tuesday, hopefully playing to another sold out crowd! To all of our supporters, thanks for keeping the Beatles alive with us!
What did you just say? Did you just try to act like we DIDN’T go to New Mexico? Yeah… I didn't’t think so. Man, I can sound pretty tough if I have to… right?!
Well we set out to meet at our rehearsal space at 3 in the morning. It seemed like a good idea when we initially made the plan. Upon actually bringing it to fruition, it was clear that several of us had just dragged ourselves out of bed with our puffy faces and our half-closed eyes. Wait… that was me. Anyhow, Robert loaded the equipment into the back swinging doors of the van while we all monitored him carefully with UZIs and Russian accents singing the Tetris song. Needless to say, he did an impeccable job.
The van was decked out inside with all the things that children, like us, need in order to maintain a good time on the road. We had an X-Box, a Wi-Fi Hotspot, A great stereo and a toilet installed in all 8 seats so that we could enjoy watching the cars behind us dodge goodies through our state-of-the-art, rear view mirrors. Did I mention the air conditioning? Obviously not, it would be here in this paragraph if I had! HA HA HA!!!
I took the first shift driving, so everyone TRIED to sleep, but that wasn’t happening. Not on my watch. Between the excitement we all felt about going to New Mexico, and the pedestrians that I ran over from time to time… sleep was not an option! Alright, alright, I’ll get serious. It was great! We listened to our favorite stuff and told stories of previous trips. Ultimately, there were no problems all the way there! Luis didn’t even get stopped by the cops! How ‘bout that?! Along the way we stopped to admire Meteor Crater in Arizona. That meteor did some serious damage to the surface of the earth. I wondered what it had against us. Why would it want to hit us at 27,000 miles per hour with 150 million pounds of pressure per square inch? Why oh WHY!? The wind created from that crater was threatening to sweep Robert into the depths of crater-hell!
We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once we arrived. The rooms were fantastic. We were getting used to the idea of having maids clean up after us all the time and not one of us could keep the television from flying out the window! I don’t know what they put in those things these days! I ran into Tyson’s room and tried to help him stop that thing from flying out, but it was SOOOOOOOOO stubborn! And out it went! Mark (Brian Epstein) was so upset because all he really wanted to do was watch the TV as it sat on his dresser. But despite his best efforts the stupid thing went flying out his window with absolutely NO warning!!!
The following morning at 10:30am (New Mexico time) we set out to grace the Venue with our presence. On the highway we saw signs depicting four familiar gentlemen from a band commonly referred to as, Britain’s Finest! We finally set foot on the property of San Felipe Casino Hollywood and we were greeted by a perfect representation of what ALL gigs should be. First off, it was clear that our rider was followed to a tee. We were really treated too well for a bunch of loudmouthed slackers! Secondly, (and more importantly) the shows themselves were excellent because they were attended by the greatest people in New Mexico! Everyone knew how to have a good time. The second show had some interesting moments. During “Back In The USSR” I was apparently enjoying the sound of my own voice so much that I wouldn’t let Robert play his solo. I sang right over it. THEN when it WAS my turn to sing I started to sing over his solo AGAIN! We couldn’t help but laugh. It was so fun and the audience laughed right along with us… or was it AT us? I don’t know.
We loved our trip to New Mexico and we can’t wait to do it again. We’re just gonna keep begging until they let us come back! The rest of the story is wrapped up in a long drive home. We never even stopped to go to the bathroom… we just went in our seats! Or not…
-True Stories From
If you’ve never been to Las Vegas before, I’m about to fill you in on the kind of fun you may be missing out on! For one, when you stroll into the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel, you might just find yourself overwhelmed with the kind of excitement that only rock star clothing can bring you! I mean, you look around and see nothing but instruments and trinkets that were worn and loved by artists such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Beatles themselves…and the list goes on and on! It was awesomeness overload!!
Upon checking into our rooms, we were pleasantly surprised by our mini-suites that were fit for a king! They even gave us FRESH SHEETS!!! Yeah, I mean, usually we have to bring “Raid” and spray for cockroaches and such… but not in Vegas, baby… Not in VEGAS! We each had our own bar of soap and, even though we all shared one bed, we had a television to help us forget about the fact that we were all squeezed together under one comforter. JUST KIDDING!! Ha-ha, you believed it! No we had the best accommodations! We love you Hard Rock Hotel!!!!
Sound-check was a little on the hot side, being that it’s nearly summer and again, we’re in LAS VEGAS… hottest place in the world… second only to Death Valley perhaps. We were all out there whining about it and I even borrowed sun-screen from Robert so that I wouldn’t turn into a life-sized lobster. After about ten seconds the lotion was melting into my eyes and the other guys couldn’t figure out why I was so sad with all these tears in my eyes. However, we all lived to tell the tale.
SHOWTIME!!! 7:30pm. Once we hit the stage, the crowd began dancing and cheering. Certain undergarments may, or may not have been thrown at Tyson… no one can say for sure… Luis just smiled and took it all in as we played to an excited crowd of Delta Airlines staffers who went wild by the pool side with other celebrity look-alikes including Tina Turner, Lady Gaga, Prince (Prince is everywhere I go… I don’t know why! Stop yelling at me!) and even Elvis Presley!
We ended our very short set with “Twist And Shout”, which was a great crowd pleaser and we took our bows. I’m fairly certain that Britain’s Finest were feeling great about the show and I think we all may have assumed that our night was done (excluding, possibly, Tyson…) But! BUT!! Boy, were we wrong! A DJ was spinning all the hits from the 50s all the way to now and the dancing would not let up. So after we changed back into our street clothes, some of the dancers came back to our dressing room and invited us out into the crowd where we could eat, drink and mingle with the Delta Airlines officials! Man, I even dived into the swimming pool wearing only my boxer shorts! We danced and laughed and took tons of pictures to document it! Everything was complimentary and we partied like it was 1999 (yeah, that’s right, I said it… PRINCE!).
Okay, so you get the idea… Vegas was a blast. Now, let’s fast forward to the Rancho Santa Margarita, “Rancho Fest” on Memorial Day weekend! Oddly enough, when I started loading my car at home in Glendale, it was very warm… bordering hot. And those of you who know me, KNOW that I hate being hot! So I drive to the Rancho Fest in my crummy car that enjoys torturing me with its lack of air-conditioning. I cried all the way. However, once I was in the vicinity of the place I noticed several dark clouds looming in the sky! I applauded.
Our Show with Chris Carter from "Breakfast with the Beatles"
One more thing I’d like to mention is the show we played in Sherman Oaks at the SFDS Fair. Chris Carter of Breakfast with the Beatles brought us up with a GREAT welcome. It was cooking out that day, but we were rocking in the shade of the stage’s canopy thingy! And even though, in that kind of heat, it’s difficult to put out the energy, people danced and sang and kept our spirits high! We had a blast! So we just want to say THANKS to ALL of you for your support at EVERY show!
-Hope to see you guys at our summer shows at Knott’s Berry Farm!!!
-Love Benny and the whole gang!