As Beatles beat, so Rain reigns

Apr 04

As Beatles beat, so <i>Rain</i> reigns

Mark Lewis never really intended to become the crown prince of Beatles tribute bands. As a young keyboardist/singer/songwriter in Los Angeles, Lewis wanted to perform his own songs, and to that end, he was part of a band called Reign.

"We all wrote songs and wanted to put out hit albums just like a million other bands," Lewis says on the phone from his home in Reno. "We chose the name Reign because it was basically a cool name – like reign over a kingdom. At one point we came close to a deal with Casablanca records and had put our hearts and souls into the recording process. We thought we were on our way to stardom. But the deal fell through, and it broke our hearts."

So the band fell back on plan B, which involved the Beatles covers they'd occasionally do in addition to their original material. Audiences at it up, and bookers started to call about doing all-Beatles shows. The band morphed from Reign into Rain not in reference to the Beatles song on the flip side of the "Paperback Writer" 45 but because no one could spell the name correctly. Everyone, from the guys who put up the marquees to the people who wrote the press releases, touted the band as Rain, so that's what they became.

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Oct 02

I need to get the embarrassing details out there here at the start: The first versions of Beatles songs I ever grew to love were – gulp – on the double-album soundtrack of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 1978 disaster starring Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees, Steve Martin, George Burns, Aerosmith and Earth, Wind & Fire. Yes, it’s true. I...

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