EVER SINCE our formation in the summer of 1989, HELP! has been New England's premiere Beatles Tribute band, playing to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim.
From the start, our goal has been to emphasize the authenticity of the performance, capturing the sound, look, energy and spirit of the great Beatles catalog with as much accuracy as possible. We began by developing a repertoire which spanned from the early years in Hamburg through the middle albums... essentially the first half of the 1960s. Later, we expanded to cover the entirety of the Beatles' recording career, also adding vintage clothing and instruments to the show.
HELP! was born in the great mind of Founding Mother Michael Rolla of Maynard, Massachusetts, in the fabulous 1980s. By the end of the decade, Mike decided to give it a go and the initial line-up was set in the summer of 1989.
Mike initially wanted to play the John Lennon rhythm guitar/lead vocal part, but after numerous auditions, Chris Abouzeid of Boston filled that role and Mike took the role of Paul McCartney bass/lead vocals. Mike and Chris practiced together for several months, developing the original repertoire while they searched for a drummer and lead guitarist.
Both positions were filled by early August, with Mark Harrison of Acton, MA playing drums and Marc Hertzberg of Hopedale, MA on lead guitar. Serious twice-a-week rehearsals continued throughout the fall and early winter of 1989.
By the end of the year, HELP! was ready for their first performance on January 12, 1990, at the former Grille 62 in Maynard, MA. HELP! played a 26-song, 75 minute set to a packed house of friends and acquaintances.
In the summer and fall of 1990, two changes were made. Lead guitarist Hertzberg brought keyboards into use in the show, allowing the band to cover a wider variety of material. In September, drummer Harrison left the band, replaced by Kevin Moylan of Marlboro, MA.
The band stayed stable for the next year, getting gig experience and increasing the play list. But in the summer of 1991 the band again changed drummers, with Chris Hylander of Waltham, MA signing on.
In the spring of 1992, after 23 performances, rhythm guitarist Abouzeid announced that if he never played another Beatles song again, it would be "too soon," and also that he was leaving the band. He was replaced by Paul Lussier of Derry, New Hampshire, a change which would result in the longest period of stability to date.
It wasn't until late 1995 that the next change occurred, when founder Mike Rolla announced his "retirement" following a career spanning 92 shows over almost six years. After considerable thought, or soul searching, whichever you prefer, the remaining members decided to go on with the show, recruiting bass player and keyboardist Watts Biggers, Jr., of East Sandwich, MA to take over for Rolla.
Watts' debut show was on April 12, 1996 at Jack's Saloon in Uxbridge, MA, and a splendid time was had by all as Watts and the band put on a well-received performance.
In the spring of 1997, Paul Lussier announced that he was leaving the band after the summer schedule. Paul performed his 98th and final show as a permanent member of the band on August 20, 1997, at Hopedale Park.
After Paul's departure, the band remained inactive for seven months until deciding to replace Paul in the late winter of 1998. Advertisements in the Boston Phoenix and Want Advertiser drew 50 responses! Eleven prospects were auditioned, all extremely talented. On March 31st at 8:15PM, Mark Poulin walked through the door and the rest will be history.
HELP! played its first show of the Mark Poulin era on Saturday, May 30th to a receptive crowd at the Great American Youth Festival in Lowell. Keep an eye on the schedule for detailed information on upcoming performances.
Then some other stuff happened.
HELP! played a summer "Get Back" to our roots tour featuring Michael Rolla beginning in June of 2000.
Then we took a rest for a while.
Now we're back for the summer of 2001.
OK, so now it's 2002 and we're still going at it. Make that late 2003 and all is well.
Now it's 2004 and we are about to celebrate our 200th Anniversary (of performances). And our 14th year as HELP! - the premier Beatles Tribute in New England... possibly the World!
Alright, so it's 2009 and we're still going strong! And hey, we updated all the copyright notices on the site!
It's 2013 and yada yada yada, Paul is back in the band after Mark left to join the Reminisants. And the copyright notices have been brought up to date and should be good for several more weeks.
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