Yesterday and Today drummer Michael Naimoli’s love for the Beatles started decades ago in 1978 when he saw the musical “Beatlemania” at the Winter Garden Theater. His passion has continued into the 21st century.
His license plate reads “4Beatles,” he named his son Lennon and his wife is Japanese (like John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono), but “that’s not why I married her,” he said with a laugh.
Naimoli’s passion for the Beatles is clear, and with a little help from Queens’ favorite Fab Four tribute band, residents can also groove to some of the best known lyrics worldwide at Tudor Park on Saturday.
“Come forget about your problems for a few hours,” Naimoli said.
Rich Fried, Rich Chodes, Robert Hannan, Naimoli and Ed Wittel don’t look like John, Paul, Ringo and George, but they sure do their best to sound just like the iconic quartet.
“The music is what’s important,” Naimoli said. “We want to be accurate to the records.”
The group formed in 2005, hailing from Queens, Brooklyn, Rockland County and New Jersey. They have day jobs: a teacher, an occupational therapist, a Verizon technician, and etcetera, but the Beatles’ music is the glue of their friendship.
They use the same instruments as the Beatles: a Ludwig black oyster pearl drum set, a Hofner violin-shaped bass, and red Gretsch and black Rickenbacker guitars (and they added a keyboardist to the mix, as the Beatles did at times with Billy Preston).
Hundreds of people come to their shows and they have an email list of 400 people. They play crowd favorites such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and, just like Paul McCartney often does at his concerts, Yesterday and Today always ends the show with the song everyone can sing along to, “Hey Jude.”
They play about two gigs a month from private parties and catering halls. (These family men take a break around the holidays.)
However, their favorite locations are outdoors. Naimoli, a Ozone Park native, said the bandshell at the park hasn’t been utilized since it’s construction. So with the help of Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), the band will bring some life to the park’s stage.
The Beatles started their historic rock ‘n’ roll reign in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, but they also loved outdoor performance spaces, Naimoli said. The Beatles were the first band to play at Shea Stadium, in August 1965, and their last show as a band was on a London rooftop in 1969.
When: Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. Rain date: Aug 5 at 2 p.m.
Where: Tudor Park, Ozone Park, 133rd Ave. and 81st St.