Imagine what it would be like to spend a few hours with John Lennon - right now - listening to him sing, watching him perform and hearing him tell stories about his life. Well, your chance to see the former Beatle and music icon has come ... so to speak.
Tim Piper will transform into Lennon and take the audience through the times of Beatlemania and share insights into Lennon's life, during the performance of "Just Imagine" at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
Piper, a native of New York who now calls Los Angeles his home, has traveled the world for more than a decade, bringing Lennon back to life for audiences in Chile, India, Japan, Canada, North American and, of course, Liverpool, England, to name a few.
Tim Piper, center, will transform into John Lennon and take the audience through the times of Beatlemania during the performance of “Just Imagine” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.
"The pretense is, what if we could have John back for one more concert, and you are there," Piper said. "We go through the whole arc of his life in a couple hours ... It's very intimate and interactive ... This is more like having John in your living room. Part story, part rock 'n' roll band."
Piper has played in numerous Beatle tribute bands and has held roles in "The Linda McCartney Story" on CBS, "John Lennon Story" on E!, "Beatle Wives" and also has lent his vocals as the singing voice of Lennon for "In His Life - The John Lennon Story," NBC Movie of the Week, according to the "Just Imagine" website.
Piper said he tries to make the performance as realistic and authentic as possible by looking and talking like Lennon. Performances may vary a bit from show to show, but he always follows a timeline and structure, he said. He likes to make it feel like it's "in the moment," as he shares emotions, memories from before Lennon's superstardom and during Beatlemania, his solo career and other important points in Lennon's life with the audience.
Piper's band, Working Class Hero, represents the type of band they think Lennon would have been a part of after his time with the Beatles. All members, including Piper, grew up in the 1960s and Piper said he thinks that helps with the genuineness of their performances.
Working Class Hero is Tim Piper; Greg Piper, bass; Don Butler, lead guitar; Morley Bartnoff, keyboards; and Don Poncher, drums and percussion.
Tim Piper is the writer and producer for the show; Greg Piper, Tim's brother, also is musical director and producer. Others involved with the show include Casey Piper, Tim's son, who controls sound, and Steve Altman, who is director, writer and producer for the show.
"If you were around in those days (of the Beatles), it's like a trip back in time," Piper said. "If you're younger, it's like a history lesson. It tells a story in a unique way ... I think that people will find it interesting and more realistic than some of the tribute shows. You actually walk away learning things."
Piper said he was 7 years old and in second grade when he first saw the Beatles perform on the "Ed Sullivan Show," and was immediately taken with them.
Beginning his musical career playing cello in his school orchestra, the Beatles movement made him "lose the cello and grab a guitar."
He remembers how exciting the Beatles were for him. Little did he know, 40 years later, he would be touring the world, emulating his idol and the band that became a worldwide phenomenon.
Piper feels lucky to have received a lot of positive feedback from audiences about the show and said when he sees people enjoying themselves, that is what makes it worthwhile for him. He also enjoys doing meet-and-greets with fans whenever possible.
"Audiences leave with a pretty good experience," he said. "What's interesting is, the people feel like they know you. They will come up and tell you stories about themselves."
During "Just Imagine," audiences will enjoy hearing familiar tunes and will receive a unique perspective on Lennon's life and relationships, stories behind the songs, and more.
Tickets range from $5 to $30 and are available at the CAC box office or online at caclive.com/in dex.php/music/justimag ine.
For more information, visit www.justimaginetheshow.com.