Friday, April 24, 2009

Beatles Japanese Style

When my lovely wife and I honeymooned in Tokyo back in 2000, one of our most memorable evenings was spent at a Beatles' cover band club called The Cavern. (Skiing indoors in the middle of July and going to a baseball game were other highlights!) Thinking about it the other day led me to the website for the venue after a quick Google search.

The Cavern is a tiny intimate club that exclusively features Beatles tribute bands doing perfect covers of the Fab Four's catalog. Beatles tribute bands, of course, are a dime a dozen (we've frequently seen the Fab Four and Rain, two of the best known, and I saw Beatlemania in its original Broadway run back in the 1970s). But, of course, watching a Beatles cover band in Tokyo offers its own exotic twist.

The Cavern is located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo and though I'm sure it gets its share of tourists, it's primarily frequented by locals. (On the night we visited, I don't recall seeing any other "gaijin" other than ourselves). It was amazing and quite funny to hear the bands do their intros and "banter" in Japanese, then launch into a phonetic- and note-perfect version of a Beatles song.

A variety of these bands seem to make the rounds of these clubs, including those who dress the part à la Beatlemania. But on the night we visited it was a fairly straightforward band, though the guest performer who joined the band that night looked exactly like John Lennon from the Let it Be album—except he was Japanese! The band was taking requests (picked up by the hostesses), and our request was "And Your Bird Can Sing," one of my favorite Lennon-McCartney songs.

Our initial plan was to go club-hopping that night, but we were having so much fun, we stayed the whole night!

When Googling the Club, I ran across a blog link that mentioned that there actually are TWO such clubs in Tokyo, within a few hundred feet of each other, though I'm not sure whether that second club, Abbey Road, was there in 2000. Since there were some cool sample photos of Beatles cover bands at the blog link, I've provided a link to that here as well.

Photo credit: The photo above of the Silver Beats is reproduced from Stippy Friends.

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