Beatles fans sway to the sounds of LA Cast of Beatlemania
■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
It was a sweet homecoming for Todd Frahm as he played for his family and friends in the Ramona Bowl Thursday night, July 19, as part of the LA Cast of Beatlemania tribute concert, which finished off the Ramona Bowl summer concert series.
Frahm, who impersonated Paul McCartney in the Fab Four, playing to a packed house, has been a guitarist since he was a teenager. When he’s not touring the country with his friends from Beatlemania, he is a practicing Murrieta attorney who lives in Riverside.
At 51, Frahm is not too old to learn new tricks since he had to learn how to play the bass guitar left-handed to mimic Paul McCartney’s southpaw actions on stage. For those fans who have come to know and love tribute bands at the Historic Hemet Theatre, the LA Cast of Beatlemania is perhaps the most meticulously accurate tribute band currently on the entertainment circuit. Every shake of the head, every trill of the voice, every shake of the guitar has been studied with excruciating precision from Beatles tapes and movies.
Frahm is a 1984 graduate of Hemet High and actually played in another Beatles tribute band previously called Rubber Souls. He also is the son of Bob Frahm, longtime owner of Park Hill Nursery, which is now closed. Frahm says he enjoys balancing his family life with his singing gig and law practice telling an interviewer once that he happiest when he is most busy.
The band’s performance Thursday night was stellar – and was particularly romantic as the band played under a rising moon that came up over the San Jacinto Mountains during the performance. While the adult audience swayed and clapped to the sounds of Twist and Shout, From Me to You, Baby It’s You, and Do You Want to Know a Secret, the most enjoyment was shown by the youngsters in the group who, unlike their parents, were experiencing Beatles music for the first time in their lives and dancing their heads off in front of the stage. Undoubtedly, it was a transformative experience, as it was for most of us older music fans when we first heard the band from Liverpool back in the mid 1960s.
While Capitol Records’ Meet the Beatles was released in the U.S.market on Jan. 20, 1964, a competing album on Vee-Jay Records titled, Introducing the Beatles, had come out just 10 days earlier. The albums wound up as number 1 and 2 on the pop charts that winter for 11 and nine consecutive weeks respectively. It is perhaps the songs on the Meet the Beatles album that today’s seniors remember best as they are the first ones we first heard: I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Saw Her Standing There, This Boy, It Won’t Be Long, All I’ve Got to Do, All My Loving, Don’t Bother Me, Little Child, Till There Was You, Hold Me Tight, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Not a Second Time.
It was a trip down memory lane for many of us to hear Todd Frahm and the LA Cast of Beatlemania, and it’s a three-cheers hoorah for Lori Van Arsdale and the volunteers who arranged for the group to play for Hemet residents this year at the Ramona Bowl.