by Frank Goodman
When I first came to Nashville in the late 80s, it was full of amazing things to my eyes and ears. The number of great (and less than great) songwriters completely defied my preconceptions. There were bands of all description, in every style one could imagine. And a level of musicianship that far surpassed any scene I'd ever witnessed. Like so many newcomers do, I flipped my switch to Input, and became a sponge.
One of the more fun and exciting acts of the time was a band made of hit songwriters, producers and session luminaries who called themselves the Del Beatles. Sure, I'd heard lots of people do good versions of tunes from Rubber Soul or before, but it was quite different to hear tunes from Abbey Road or Magical Mystery Tour played and sung so well at a club, kind of shocking. And they were funny as hell between songs. And Beatles tunes were just the backbone of the show. As frontman Jim Photoglo (well, one of the front men--they have seven strong singers) shares in this interview, many other 60s gems were drawn from the vault and tossed out on the dance floor again.
I've come and gone several times, as have so many acts in Music City. It's a groove that some of the great bands have morphed and yet remain. The Del Beatles have stayed together and are now called the Vinyl Kings. They're all smokin busy with their separate careers, and only do this band for fun. But this year they actually made a record and wrote for it in the Beatles style, and it's fabulous. It's selling like hotcakes at CD Baby, and will be released formally here in a couple of weeks. You like the Beatles, right? Check out the Vinyl Kings on the Listen page, and buy it here.