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Guitarist Wayne Riker's One Man Beatles Show

Guitarist Wayne Riker has put together a new Beatles tribute show, set to debut on July 28 at Swedenborg Hall.

Acclaimed guitarist Wayne Riker has put together a new Beatles tribute show, set to debut on July 28 at Swedenborg Hall.

The concert will consist solely of Riker with his Stonebridge acoustic/electric guitar. “Don't let that fool you,” he says. “The show will be a big wall of sound running through two amps with an array of pedals.”

Riker began playing East Coast clubs in 1967, arriving in San Diego from New York in 1980. While he’ll be the only one on stage for this show, over the decades he’s played with dozens of groups, most famously the touring version of bubble gum rockers Crazy Elephant (“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’” U.S. and U.K. #12, 1969) from 1973 through 1975, and, during the early 1980’s, hot jazz combo, Stone’s Throw. In addition, Riker has sat in or accompanied a legion of artists ranging from Steph Johnson to the Electrocarpathians. The author of several music books, Riker also writes an instructional column for Guitar Player Magazine, as well as teaches at his Clairemont Studio

For this show Riker will run through an instrumental medley of 23 Beatles songs, in alphabetical order, minus Q,V and X. He admits taking a slight liberty with the set list.. “It will open with "A Day In the Life," and after some artistic license on the spelling of the finale title, close with "Zergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band," he said. Riker plans to keep the show fresh by regularly changing songs within the medley. “As I do this show on a regular basis, I will start to interchange titles, so people that come back to see the show again, may hear "Revolution" instead of "Rocky Raccoon," or "Eight Days A Week" instead of "Eleanor Rigby." He likes the idea that “the audience can try and guess what song is on deck through the alphabet.”

The genesis for the show came during 2009 and 2010. “After performing house concerts with my original solo instrumental guitar pieces, I learned quickly that audiences will relate more to familiarity, and what could be more entertaining and popular than The Beatles?” he said

The full medley runs just over an hour. “What this is not, is a guy playing a bunch of Beatles tunes in a monophonic fashion, in one style.,” he explains. “I've arranged the twenty-three tunes in dynamic way, evoking rock, jazz, ragtime, folk, funk, R&B and World music roots.,” he says. “The arrangements will be very eclectic, ranging from the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Ravi Shankar, and Jaco Pastorius to Joe Pass, Tommy Emmanuel and Merle Travis.”

The night will include a psychedelic light show as a backdrop

Riker thinks this production has excellent potential for a theater tour and is hopeful this dry run will bear that out. He plans to take his one man Beatles show on the road, around Southern California to start, as soon as possible. He doesn’t worry that he’ll get tired of playing the same groups music night after night. “The diverse repertoire and compositional brilliance of The Beatles is unparalleled,” Riker mused. “Out of the hundred plus tunes they wrote, most persons can usually name only a few they don't like,” he said.

Courtesy photo by Steve Covault.

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Acclaimed guitarist Wayne Riker has put together a new Beatles tribute show, set to debut on July 28 at Swedenborg Hall.

The concert will consist solely of Riker with his Stonebridge acoustic/electric guitar. “Don't let that fool you,” he says. “The show will be a big wall of sound running through two amps with an array of pedals.”

Riker began playing East Coast clubs in 1967, arriving in San Diego from New York in 1980. While he’ll be the only one on stage for this show, over the decades he’s played with dozens of groups, most famously the touring version of bubble gum rockers Crazy Elephant (“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’” U.S. and U.K. #12, 1969) from 1973 through 1975, and, during the early 1980’s, hot jazz combo, Stone’s Throw. In addition, Riker has sat in or accompanied a legion of artists ranging from Steph Johnson to the Electrocarpathians. The author of several music books, Riker also writes an instructional column for Guitar Player Magazine, as well as teaches at his Clairemont Studio

For this show Riker will run through an instrumental medley of 23 Beatles songs, in alphabetical order, minus Q,V and X. He admits taking a slight liberty with the set list.. “It will open with "A Day In the Life," and after some artistic license on the spelling of the finale title, close with "Zergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band," he said. Riker plans to keep the show fresh by regularly changing songs within the medley. “As I do this show on a regular basis, I will start to interchange titles, so people that come back to see the show again, may hear "Revolution" instead of "Rocky Raccoon," or "Eight Days A Week" instead of "Eleanor Rigby." He likes the idea that “the audience can try and guess what song is on deck through the alphabet.”

The genesis for the show came during 2009 and 2010. “After performing house concerts with my original solo instrumental guitar pieces, I learned quickly that audiences will relate more to familiarity, and what could be more entertaining and popular than The Beatles?” he said

The full medley runs just over an hour. “What this is not, is a guy playing a bunch of Beatles tunes in a monophonic fashion, in one style.,” he explains. “I've arranged the twenty-three tunes in dynamic way, evoking rock, jazz, ragtime, folk, funk, R&B and World music roots.,” he says. “The arrangements will be very eclectic, ranging from the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Ravi Shankar, and Jaco Pastorius to Joe Pass, Tommy Emmanuel and Merle Travis.”

The night will include a psychedelic light show as a backdrop

Riker thinks this production has excellent potential for a theater tour and is hopeful this dry run will bear that out. He plans to take his one man Beatles show on the road, around Southern California to start, as soon as possible. He doesn’t worry that he’ll get tired of playing the same groups music night after night. “The diverse repertoire and compositional brilliance of The Beatles is unparalleled,” Riker mused. “Out of the hundred plus tunes they wrote, most persons can usually name only a few they don't like,” he said.

Courtesy photo by Steve Covault.

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