Bill O’Boyle

Bill O’Boyle

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WILKES-BARRE — Sunday night was my night — I was going to a Beatles concert.

Well, John, Paul, George and Ringo weren’t going to be there, but “The Fab Four” was going to perform all those great songs, and I was anxious to hear them all.

I never got to see The Beatles in concert — my only view of the mop-topped kids from Liverpool was on TV.

But seeing The Beatles really wasn’t all that important — it was hearing them. From transistor radios, 45 vinyl records, to 8-track car stereos, to cassettes, to CDs.

Beatles’ music had a back beat you just couldn’t lose.

The Beatles changed our lives — mine for sure.

So Sunday night at the F.M. Kirby Center, I would be sitting and singing along and remembering how the original Fab Four changed everything.

And to make it even better, the tribute Fab Four was going to play most, if not all, songs from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album — my second favorite Beatles’ album. My favorite is Revolver, with all other early Beatles albums tied for third.

Songs like “If I Needed Someone,” “In My Life,” “Norwegian Wood,” Nowhere Man,” and “You Won’t See Me” are just a few of the amazing tracks on the album.

And as amazing as this is, I remember the words (almost exactly) to all of them. Be glad you weren’t sitting next to me at the Kirby.

To prepare myself for this experience, I dialed up some of The Fab Four’s videos and I must say, they are damn good. The sound is there. Look, nobody could ever replicate The Beatles, but these guys come awfully close.

In addition to playing “Rubber Soul” in its entirety, they were also going to play a selection of The Beatle’s greatest hits.

Whatever songs they play, my hope is that they make me think that I could be watching the real thing. I am certain they will have accomplished that.

You see, when The Beatles arrived, kids like me were stunned. They music was so awesomely different, I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. So my parents paid for lessons and I learned enough to be a pretty good strummer.

My pals were on the same page — George Miklosi learned to play the drums and his cousin Steve Miklosi also took guitar lessons. Gary Pringle played lead guitar and he could sing. Our band — The Uncle Agents — was born and we went on to far less fame than The Beatles, but we did play some school dances.

George’s dad owned the Mountain Inn and the family lived above it. Our band practiced on the second floor covered porch — much to the dismay of the neighbors.

George was quite a drummer. He had a champagne sparkle set of Slingerland drums and he could really play and keep any beat. Plus he even sang “Hey Little Girl.”

Well, Gary, Billy, George and Steve added Jack Edwards, a heckuva keyboard player, and the UNCLE Agents broke onto the scene, man. But not for long.

George tells me he still has his drum set. I wish I still had my Caribbean blue Goya Rangemaster — a beauty with six buttons that adjusted the sound that would emit from my Premier amplifier.

Kids actually did dance to our music. It was always fun, even though we would never get too far or too popular. We didn’t change the world — but maybe we changed our world a little.

The point is that when The Beatles arrived on the scene, kids like us just wanted to emulate them. We took lessons, we learned what we could, we chose our instruments carefully and we formed these less-than-iconic bands. And we had fun as our music reverberated though our neighborhood.

My pal Wayne Bevan sang with a lot of groups, one was Museum — they even recorded an album or two. But Wayne was too good for The Uncle Agents. We were a garage band, so to speak — always in for repairs.

But on that porch was where we had our most fun. We were just a bunch of kids trying to find our way in the world, and we dreamed.

I think we knew that most of our dreams were unattainable, but we were determined to try and we persevered.

We just wanted to experience a little bit of what it would be like to be a rock and roll star. Even if our dream began on a covered porch over a bar and ended at a CYC dance, or a Wilkes or King’s dance.

Alas, in my mind, The Uncle Agents opened for The Fab Four Sunday night and they wowed the Kirby crowd.

And thanks to The Fab Four, I finally saw The Beatles in concert.

Imagine that.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.