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And the Beatles Goes On

September 18, 2008 By:
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I'm a Pepper, he's a ... It's "She Loves You!" arriving soon in Philadelphia.

She loves you ... yadda, yadda, yadda.

Okay, it's "yeah, yeah, yeah," but, yes, haven't we heard all this cover band banter before?

Not like you're about to hear it now, contends Brit Robert Butters, whose bread and butter is bringing "She Loves You!" to adoring audiences worldwide in a tribute of a treat for Beatles fans.

Let him take you back ... Society Hill is his Strawberry Fields, where he's fielding Fab Four fill-ins for an open-ended run of a concert at Society Hill Playhouse, beginning Sept. 24.

It's been more Abbey Road than long and winding road to this path of success, contends the producer. But one thing it's not is a pedestrian road; indeed, avers Butters, it's been a great crossing of cultures from past and present.

To Sir, with love: Paul is very much alive on stage -- or at least his likeness is -- as are the other simulated Moptops mopping up adulation and acclaim as they run through the singers'/composers' songbook that needs no help in helping itself to a serenade of screams. Are audiences yearning and yelling for the Beatles or the upbeat impersonators onstage? "There is a certain suspension of belief," says Butters of the spread between the real and realistic.

"I'm always amazed at the end of the concert, how people come up to the four guys and ask them for autographs" in their rockers' roles.

Butters himself rocks, albeit with a busy business background. Long involved in the financial world, the 45-year-old phenom staged his own success story without holding anyone's hand; he went from years of being a business development CFO for the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber to a senior veepee position at SFX Entertainment, through its acquisition by Clear Channel, to clearly his best move: establishing his own business.

Bikes and Buses

And that's just the beginning, as he's handled clients such as Harley Davidson and scooted right over to the Brit Bus Tour, a double decker bussing the past and present with the singular purpose of touring the States "promoting British music and culture (top speed 45 miles an hour)."

Gas 'n' go-go of the '60s: And though Butters grew up recalling "grandparents who only spoke Yiddish," his own mamaloshen is moored in a world of moneymaking successes.

Class act all the way, he talks of the current concert staged in two acts: the first, in black and white, pre-1967, followed by the more colorful era of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

"That's when their whole image changed."

Imagine a world without people remembering the Beatles. "I'm amazed how the younger people who didn't live through that era know all the songs."

Easy to see why Butters believes in yesterday. "The Beatles and, to some degree, the Stones touched a moment in time."

And he's bringing it all right back. But will Butters be arriving for the opening by Harley or by hitting up a ride with a double-decker bus? Butters laughs. "I'll be arriving in style," proclaims the producer who truly is the quintessence of what it means to "speak British, think Yiddish."

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