American English ‘twists and shouts’ for fundraiser


American English, a Beatles tribute band, preforms songs Sept. 26 at St. Mary’s Memorial Hall, 322 Waterman St. The group helped fundraise for the Sycamore History Museum.

By Darius Parker

American English, a Beatles tribute band, blended nostalgic tunes and pleasant vibes to fundraise for the Sycamore History Museum Sept. 26.

The group, which is marketed by original Beatles promoter Sam Leach, delighted a full house at St. Mary’s Memorial Hall, 322 Waterman St. The members brought the audience to their feet as they performed hit after hit.

The group’s rendition of “Twist and Shout” excited the crowd: The audience danced through the song and got a special shout-out from John Lennon as portrayed by Young Hines. The back area of the room was certainly the life of the party, as elderly audience members danced under a stream of white lights, laughed and enjoyed the concert.

The Sycamore History Museum will put donations from the event toward its mission of “Enriching public knowledge of Sycamore for people of all ages,” according to its website.

Hines said a love for the Beatles and a desire to recreate their music brought the members of American English together.

“There’s all kinds of Beatles fans,” Hines said. “Some Beatles fans don’t play music; they just love the music. We’re the ones that love the music and play instruments … . And so that right there led us all together, I think.”

The chemistry of the group and commitment to the craft kept me entranced. Their signature Beatles’ suit and tie and colorful costumes lit up the room.

When asked about the Paul McCartney death hoax, Hines said, “Well, this is the real one here. We gave the Beatles the fake one,” motioning to Eric Michaels, who portrays McCartney. The other band members laughed and Michaels looked around the room with his eyes wide and a smirk as if Hines had told the ultimate secret.