SHIRLEY – One of the region’s well-known and loved tribute bands, Beatles For Sale, will be ending their impressive 15-year run with a concert on the town common on Aug. 26.
The performance is a full circle of sorts for band member Dan Kirouac, who was born at the old Army hospital in Shirley, Lovell General Hospital East on Fort Devens. Kirouac is one of four talented multi-instrumentalists and multi-vocalists with over 120 years of combined musical experience, musicians who were drawn together by their love of Beatles music and the desire to keep the iconic music alive.
Joe Budroe, Steve Caisse, and Mike "Mingo" Christian round out the band. All four grew up in Central Mass and currently live in and around Worcester.
“We’ve been so fortunate that people have been so kind,” Kirouac said of the response to the band over the years. “We always hear quotes like ‘brings back so many memories,’ and ‘you guys played that spot-on.’ I like that people can tell both when we're having fun on stage and when they know we're working hard at tricky material.”
He said Christian and Budroe had the idea to form the band “after working for many years in original and cover projects and wanted to try a tribute band after sensing a void for that in Central Mass. They put the word out for players and here we are.”
Their songs catalog consists of 26 number one Beatles hits, studio masterpieces, and not often heard B-sides including “Nowhere Man,” “In My Life,” “Come Together,” and “Eleanor Rigby,” among others.
“We're seeing familiar faces again and again, and at different shows miles apart,” Kirouac said. “I think that's a great testament to how well we're measuring up.”
Of course, like so many other musicians, Beatles For Sale had to take an unexpected hiatus from performing when the pandemic hit in March 2020. They hadn’t had a show since the year before as they don’t perform much over the winter months so a concert at the Franklin Opera house in the fall of 2019 was their last one for a while.
“We never did the virtual concert thing. We waited until we had the all-clear for the early summer outdoor shows to start back up,” Kirouac said, adding that they “got back to it” in June of 2020.
“Naturally we had a lot of disappointed followers, so it was tough to keep them waiting,” he said of those days. “But we realized that everyone was in the same boat at that time, and we could tell there was a real craving for people to be able to get out and hear live music again. We could also tell that we didn't have the usual momentum we would feel that would occur when we were playing steadily.”
While it may have taken them a bit to get their groove back, the band has been in full swing since getting back out on the road. They’ve performed all over New England over the years, including a concert at the Medallion Opera House in Gorham, New Hampshire in June, and have had other shows this summer in Charlton, Fitchburg, Holden, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Walpole, and more. Information on upcoming shows - Aug. 10 in Holden, Aug. 12 in Townsend, and Aug. 17 in Grafton - and more can be found at www.beatlesforsale.net.
“It's been wonderful,” Kirouac said about performing in front of live audiences again. “We just had a great weekend in New York and another great night in northern New Hampshire, all of them theater shows, and the enthusiasm was just overwhelming.”
Aside from their annual Shirley common shows as part of the summer concert series in town they also once did a concert for the Trustees at Farandnear Reservation “on a really hot day.”
When asked about how the band members are feeling about the bittersweet end to their decade and a half long time together, Kirouac said “a mixed bag.”
“On one hand, it never gets old and is always so much fun,” he said. “But knowing that it's time and that we worked hard for 15 years helps us to accept that all things must pass. I think within the band unit itself we were able to challenge each other and hopefully we are all better musicians and singers as a result. We'd like to think that as the universe aligns, there's the possibility for the occasional reunion concert in the coming years.”
Kirouac said they are keeping their fingers crossed for good weather for the final concert on Aug. 26.
“We hope as many people as possible can join us on our final night to make it really special.”