Hard Day’s Night come together for Kent BeatleFest


Photo courtesy of Lenny Pete Photography

Patrick Williams

Frank Muratore has picked up on a thing or two since he started impersonating Paul McCartney in the mid-’90s. First, he learned a good chunk of McCartney’s vocal, bass, piano and guitar work with The Beatles. Then he re-taught himself how to play bass, McCartney’s main instrument, left-handed, not an easy switch from his natural right-handed technique.

“He bobs his head a lot,” Muratore said of McCartney. “He moves up and down a lot, like he’s riding a horse.”

It’s all part of the act Hard Day’s Night, which is headlining the first Kent Beatlefest.

Bob Burford and Deborah Frazier of Crooked River Fine Arts Council, the local nonprofit that hosts the Kent Blues Festival and Reggae Meltdown every year, put the festival together in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America.

Musicians will play free shows of The Beatles’ songs at locations all over Kent Friday, and tickets are on sale for Hard Day’s Night at The Kent Stage Saturday.    

“Hard Day’s Night has chosen to recreate The Beatles, which is the hardest thing to do in the world of tribute bands,” said Tom Simpson, owner of the Kent Stage. “Recreating the harmonies and multi-track recordings of The Beatles is almost impossible, but Frank and the boys do a fine job. I truly enjoy listening to them.” Muratore, the only remaining original member of Hard Day’s Night, brought his son, Michael, into the band to play John Lennon in 2005. Lennon and McCartney were the premier songwriters in The Beatles.

“That just goes to show you the wide appeal of The Beatles’ music,” Muratore said. “It goes from father to son sometimes.”

The two got a chance to go to Liverpool, England and play at The Cavern Club, an early stomping ground of The Beatles, and play with Pete Best, the band’s original drummer before Ringo Starr.

The Beatles ended up making radically different styles of music from when they started in Liverpool, and Hard Day’s Night is following that tradition by playing later songs such as “Revolution,” “Hey Jude” and “Get Back.”

“These guys work very hard to emulate all segments of The Beatles’ career,” Simpson said.

On Friday, acts around town will approach The Beatles’ music from many different angles, said Mike Beder, owner of Water Street Tavern, Venice Cafe and Tree City Coffee & Pastry — locations that are all featuring performances.

Opus 216 will have cello and violin renditions at Tree City, while local musician Ryan Humbert and others will lead an electric jam at Venice Cafe.

Danjo, an 18-piece jazz band, will play at Ohio Music Shop, store manager Jeff Seefong said.

“I know this is just for the 50th anniversary, but there’s been enough interest that I can see this being an annual thing,” Beder said.

Muratore said he is excited to play The Kent Stage, although a typical performance day for Hard Day’s Night takes about 12 hours.

“The easiest part we do now is the playing,” he said. “The rest is all work.”

It’s a hard day’s night.

Contact Patrick Williams at [email protected]