More than 50 years after they first formed, the Beatles' music still permeates society.
People who attend "Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Celebration of Paul McCartney" in The Music Box at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on Sunday will listen to many Beatles, Wings and McCartney songs as they are rarely heard, with orchestral treatment by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony backing up a rock band.
Tony Kishman, formerly of "Beatlemania," plays bass, guitar and piano and is the McCartney look-alike and sound-alike in the show.
"I have such a good time doing it, and people have such a good time being there. I think one time just for kicks I said to the audience when I walked out on stage - We had just finished the first song, and the crowd was going nuts - 'OK people, I'm not really him,'" said Kishman, who developed the "Live and Let Die" show. "It's one of those things where I have a lot of fun with it, and the people just get right into it."
McCartney's big No. 1 hits will be performed during the show. There will be no obscure album tracks, Kishman said.
"If we do 'Uncle Albert,' there are some audiences that won't stop clapping at the end of that song. It's so cool to hear someone do that live," said Kishman, who also played McCartney in a production of "Legends in Concert."
Kishman said some big Beatles No. 1 singles, such as "Hello Goodbye," aren't as enthusiastically received as some solo McCartney or Wings tunes.
"'Uncle Albert,' not a lot of people have played that in front of them before, so they kind of go, 'Wow,' or the same with "Live and Let Die' for that matter. That's quite a production. To hear it done with every instrument that was used on the record and to have it unfold basically in front of you with a guy playing the role of McCartney is absolutely wonderful from the audience's standpoint," Kishman said.
Kishman has been playing McCartney since the 1970s. When the "Beatlemania" show arrived in London, Kishman met the Beatles record producer George Martin.
"Here was George Martin watching me do Paul McCartney in a Beatles tribute ... after the show, he came up to me. He came backstage, and he said, 'I just want to tell you that you did a wonderful job, and at times, I drifted thinking back to the days,'" said Kishman quoting Martin.
Kishman is not aware of McCartney ever seeing his impression of him live, but he remembers McCartney being quoted about the subject once.
"He was asked, 'What do you think of this "Beatlemania" show that is in London right now?,'" Kishman said. "His answer was, 'Well, it's kind of weird being portrayed while I'm still alive, but the guy that does me, the guy that plays me, is very good, and I wish him well.'"
Kishman doesn't play in casinos often. He performed three years ago at Borgata with "Classical Mystery Tour" with Bay-Atlantic Symphony.
Paul Herron, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony's executive director, first saw Kishman's show advertised in trade publications, followed by seeing a video, before booking Kishman's "Classical Mystery Tour."
"I thought they were tremendous. I started nosing around and talked with people we worked with in the industry. They said, 'They are great musicians. They give you a full show,' and they were right," Herron said. "All four of the guys they bring in are great musicians, and Tony sounds remarkably like a young Paul McCartney. It's really uncanny."
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If You Go
"Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Celebration of Paul McCartney" held 3 p.m. Sunday in The Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Tickets are $50 and $65 and are available at 866-900-4849, 856-451-1169 or theborgata.com or bayatlanticsymphony.org