Jewish George Harrison Joins the Rolling Stones at the Gordon Center

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Zak Schaffer, far right, plays George Harrison in Abbey Road, a Beatles tribute band. Abbey Road will perform alongside Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction at the Gordon Center on April 14. (Provided)

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are getting together for a reunion show. Well, sort of.

The tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction will grace the stage of the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts on April 14 as part of the Beatles vs. Stones East Coast tour.


“In the tribute world, somebody figured out that there’s a synergy with using two bands instead of one,” said Zak Schaffer, a Los Angeles-based Jewish musician who plays George Harrison in the performance.

The debate about which British Invasion band is superior has been going on for decades. Not surprisingly, Schaffer, is on the Beatles side of the fence.

“I was a Beatles nerd from the time I was 8 years old,” he said.

Schaffer did, however, admit that his favorite Beatle is not George Harrison, but Paul McCartney. Even though Schaffer auditioned to be Paul McCartney, he and the other members of the group felt he would be better suited to embodying George Harrison.

“Each of the Beatles has their own funny little energy. Paul has that can’t-keep-a-smile-off-his-face thing, and John had these zoning out vibes, but George’s more sedate energy suits me.”

Depending on the venue that books the Beatles vs. Stones tribute show, the bands will trade off two or three 20-minute sets, complete with costume changes representing the different eras of the bands’ careers.

During a phone interview, Schaffer asked his 4-year-old if he was a Beatles fan. Although the toddler replied ‘no,’ his father later coaxed him to admit that he is fond of “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Schaffer recalled the time his then-3-year-old son saw Abbey Road perform. “He wanted my wife to ask the band, ‘Can you turn the lights on and turn the music down?’”

For those unafraid of the dark, the show will have plenty of appeal, Schaffer said, as a love of the Fab Four is practically universal.

“The appeal of the Beatles is like the appeal of water. Everyone seems to like it.”

cgraham@midatlanticmedia.com

 

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