A Stand-Up Guy for a Stand-in!

As many of you know, 1964 has been using a stand-in while Gary Grimes has been away on medical leave. But most of you know very little about him.

I have met and hung out with Todd on many occasions, and he is absolutely a "stand-up" guy! Probably one of the nicest people I have met since I can remember. His personality is a perfect compliment to the personality and character of the rest of the 1964 group.

Having what is quite conceivably, some of the biggest shoes to fill in the "Beatle Tribute Band" industry, Todd was well aware of the legend created by Gary Grimes' portrayal of Paul McCartney. Todd accepted his new post with much apprehension and trepidation. "I was really nervous about coming into this band, but all the guys have been great in helping me work through this and supporting me".

I asked Todd how different 1964 is from some of the other bands he has worked with? "It's true that no other band goes through the scrutiny and detail that 1964 does, its was really quite overwhelming". "I know there are a lot of true Beatlemanics out there watching everything we do, and expecting nothing less than perfection from this band".

"Coming into 1964 is one of the hardest things I have ever done". "In the beginning, I had a real difficult time adjusting to  the different way 1964 does their monitors, so my singing was a little off". "It took me quite a while to adjust, but I think I'm doing okay now".

"I know I could never replace Gary Grimes, I just want to be the best that I can be, and put on a good show for everyone."

I have included the bio which appeared in the NYC playbill (courtesy of Mark Johnson) for your perusal.

Todd vividly remembers the first Beatles song he heard - “I Saw her Standing There” - when he was 4 years old. Shortly after, he got his first guitar and his Mom taught him 3 chords - G, C and D. Later in life he frequently found himself at Karaoke night in local establishments where he sang mostly Beatles songs, often “Long Tall Sally” and “She’s A Woman” - a couple of his favorites.

In 1996, Todd answered an ad that read "John and George looking for a Paul and Ringo to form Beatles tribute act". Todd responded, and that led to them forming the Detroit based show called "Shout!”. In 1997 the band performed at Beatlefest in Chicago, where they won the festivals battle of the bands. “I played right handed bass”, he says. “After being mobbed for pics and photos after the show, I was inspired to enhance my portrayal of "Paul" by learning to play left-handed and to see what could come of this new found hobby of performing in a Beatles tribute act”.

Shortly after, Todd’s bandmates told him of a national Beatles show that they wanted him to see. The show they were referring to was 1964 The Tribute"!! After seeing 1964 in Kalamazoo, MI at the State Theater later that year, he says “I was blown away as are most people who see them”. Ironically, the following year Todd would get a call from Mark Benson asking him to fill in for Gary Grimes in this very same venue! I would be asked several times in the future to do so Todd recalls, and now - here I am at Carnegie Hall!

In recent years, Todd performed in several Beatles shows before joining 1964. He currently lives in Mount Morris, MI on a 10 acre horse ranch with 3 horses and numerous other farm animals. He also spent many years as a masonry contractor, and notably, renovated Aretha Franklin’s home in Detroit. His musical influences include The Beatles (naturally), Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Ted Nugent.

Todd has a 7 year old son named Nicholas.

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  • 1/31/2010 7:51 PM mario kyriakides wrote:
    Todd; Ive been playing with one bass string all this time!
  • 1/31/2010 8:14 PM Nancy Ayles wrote:
    I have seen many many Beatles tribute bands and like you I know 1964 is the world's best. I have seen Todd play a few times now and he gets better every show. I am very critical of Beatles tribute bands, none live up to 1964's standards so I am happy to say, my husband and I like him a lot!
  • 1/31/2010 10:05 PM mario kyriakides wrote:
    1964 The Tribute, Ive seen more than 20 great Beatles Tribute acts, listen to the harmonys and correctly played instruments. 1964 #1 Tribute on any Planet!
  • 2/1/2010 2:28 PM Stephen James wrote:
    At first I was put off to the fact that I was going to see 1964 with Todd as Paul. I never saw him perform in person, but once they came on stage and He counted off the first tune I knew it'd be all right. Todd's a great guy, a nice guy to talk to about music and everything. I first saw him with 1964 back in October 2009 in Worcester, MA. since then I've seen 1964 4 times and after every show got to talk to Todd backstage. He's just an overall great guy. I don't know if anyone else could fill-in Gary's spot as good as Todd. He has the look and the sound to make it possible. Every time I see them, Todd gets better and better... He just kills on "I'm Down" and "Long Tall Sally"... Dead on!
    Thank you for posting this wonderful article about Todd and hope I get to see him again soon.
    -Stephen James
  • 2/1/2010 7:23 PM Talia wrote:
    Todd brings so much magic and energy to this show. Every time I get to see him perform, I want to get up and dance the whole night through. I didn't have the great chance of growing up in the Beatles era, so when Todd hits that stage as Paul McCartney, I feel like I got that chance after all. As a person, Todd can't be touched. Not only is he a joy to be around, but he will easily make you smile
  • 2/4/2010 7:45 AM John Sell wrote:

    We have seen 64 almost 20 times in the past 14 years. The last show (Oct) was the first time we had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Todd and as the article states... he's a stand up guy!. Gary's shoes are not easy to fill -he too is a great guy with incredible vocals (just check out the video link above) but if someone had to "fill-in" I'm thrilled it was Todd. He is as genuine as it gets -an all-around awesome guy, one who really cares about what he does, whether its family, music or meeting the fans of the band. Thanks for such a great time --until the next time ---John, Wendy, Christian and Justin!
    The FB video above is a slideshow of our T64 concerts over the past 14 years put to T64s music.
  • 2/6/2010 4:01 PM Scott wrote:
    Just wanted to say to Todd...
    We recorded some Beatle tracks together in the mid 90's
    I can send you those recordings if you like.
    All my Best
    Scott (RINGO)
    Beachwood Ohio
  • 2/6/2010 10:17 PM Martha wrote:
    I saw 1964 recently, and Todd is doing an excellent job as Paul. I didn't have the opportunity to meet Todd after the show, but I'm looking forward to doing so next time.
  • 2/10/2010 2:51 AM Becky wrote:
    I just 1964 last Friday night and of course, they were GREAT!!! Even Todd knows me now. He gave me a big ol hug backstage. I hope Gary gets well enough to go back on the road and performs again. I miss him.
  • 2/16/2010 12:50 PM The 1964 Team wrote:
    We within 1964 are very fortunate to have Todd filling in for us, he has worked very hard over the months and is doing a wonderful job. His personality and manners are exactly what we could have only hoped for!

    The "1964" Team!
  • 2/19/2010 2:49 PM amber and todd wrote:
    we saw todd at tangiers in akron and wow!!! 1964 is the best Beatles band on earth!! many prayers for gary hope you get well soon!!!
  • 2/19/2010 5:09 PM mario kyriakides wrote:
    Great job Todd, I know Gary is being prayed for by many,that is great. On a personal level is there anything fans or Other tribute acts could do to help Gary financially, treatment is very expensive.I would gladly donate time and effort to raise money in any way to help Gary get through this....Mario K. Beatles tribute drummer MI.
  • 2/19/2010 10:56 PM Tony Martini wrote:
    I met you at the Paramount in Middletown last month, with my 2 sons, and you and ringo stated you liked my younger sons beatle hair cut, he got a kick out of that. I saw you last year also,very good Paul.
  • 2/20/2010 2:21 AM Tony Martini wrote:
    Martha,I have had a similiar health problem, Gary is going to be fine.
  • 2/22/2010 9:52 PM Jackie wrote:
    I saw you perform with 1964 at Lock 3 in Akron this past summer...you were fantastic! You guys ALL were! Todd, you came down and spoke to us after the show and gave me a guitar pick! Thank you again! I'm a huge Beatles fan..in fact, I just heard that PAUL just announced two U.S. dates and there may be more! Fingers crossed! I hope to see you guys again this summer!
  • 2/22/2010 10:20 PM BURN wrote:
    I was at a 1964 concert back in may of 2009, I told my friend next to me "Paul is a new guy?!" and my friend was like "hope he is good", so as the concert went on I for got that Paul was a guy, he did a awesome job.
    I just saw them last Saturday at the K-zoo state theater and I didn't even realize that Paul was the new guy till about the 4th song, I just want to say that Todd is really great for what he does, he's so awesome!!
  • 2/23/2010 6:37 AM michelle wrote:
    todd i have seen u at the cotillion in wichita kansas and also emporia kansas at emporia state university u were great i gave u the valentines gift at the cotillion show and u gave me a big hug thanks and like i said u were great keep it up
  • 2/25/2010 9:09 PM SaraFriendship wrote:
    Cool! My best friend! You go, Todd!
  • 3/2/2010 10:26 AM Paula wrote:
    I've had the immense pleasure of meeting Gary on several occasions and he is one hell of a guy. I’ve never forgotten just how approachable and warm Gary is. His fans are all thinking of him and sending nothing but positive thoughts his way.

    To Todd, congratulations! You are indeed one of the best! Looking forward to 1964 coming back to Toronto.
  • 3/7/2010 12:45 AM Courtney wrote:
    We were in the 7th row in Pittsburgh. We thought you were brilliant, (Todd) and, it being our first experience seeing 1964:The Tribute, actually, had no idea you were subbing for Gary until reading the band's blog.


    And to the rest of 1964: Thanks for putting on an incredibly entertaining and accurate portrayal of the Beatles at the Benedum Center. I'm 32 (grew up listening to the Beatles) and my entire family are now fans of the group. And our 5 year old had the time of his life. Thanks for giving him a guitar pic. He came home and slept with it all night.
  • 3/8/2010 12:40 PM David wrote:
    I saw you over 20 years ago and numerous times in Pgh., including March 5. Immediately, I recognized a "new Paul" and was apprehensive. I didn't know about Gary and wish him a complete recovery. Todd blew me away on Long Tall Sally, I'm down and Yesterday. Amazing show as always.
  • 3/9/2010 5:34 AM Martha wrote:
    I've heard that the guys did a "meet and greet" following the Benedum Show. I hope they do more of those, and hopefully we can meet Todd and talk to the band after the show.
  • 4/1/2010 7:58 AM Tanya Wielhouwer wrote:
    I saw 1964 The Tribute in Orillia, Ontario at the Beatles Festival! Todd is an awesome Macca! You guys are great! I'm 27 years old.. and it really did feel like I was in 1964. It was lovely traveling through time with you guys! Love it! xoxoxo *faints* LOL
    1. 5/20/2010 12:54 AM Becky wrote:
      How's the weather up there? WHen's your birthday? How long you've been a Beatlesfan? I will see them next month on June 25th.
  • 4/7/2010 3:08 PM Eddie Stair wrote:
    Wow! It's been forever since I posted anything but I have been a lurker. Hope everyone is well. Hoping to see an announcement soon for an East Tennessee 1964 appearance. Hopefully AC Entertainment will sign the lads up again. We saw Todd with the guys last year and he does add a lot of energy to the group. Whatever configuration the band has, they are the best! Name any other tribute band that has gone this long and you'll have a very short list. Best wishes for a great spring and summer to all you "64" fans and to the guys and thanks for the friendship from everyone! God Bless!
    1. 5/6/2010 5:35 PM Karla wrote:
      They'll be at the Tennessee Theatre on July 9th!!
  • 5/19/2010 5:33 AM Al-Khair University wrote:
    Thanks for the amazing post, Now I will read time to time that...
  • 5/23/2010 1:06 PM Joan Newcomb wrote:
    I went for the first time with my son, James(17 years). We had a blast. Thought it was awesome. Did not know Todd was in for Gary. He did a super job. We are planning on going every year that they come to Salt Lake City or any where else we may be when they play. Thanks for a great show!!!!
  • 5/24/2010 8:09 PM K aka John wrote:
    Hey Todd..

    It's "John" of "John and George looking for Paul and Ringo" fame LOL

    How are you doing? Remember our Ringo in that group? He was a very interesting guy!!

    Glad to see you've made a name for yourself in 1964. I remember going to see them with Rae and going backstage to talk with "John" and "George"

    Remember when we did the Battle of the Bands at Chicago? it was great!!!!!!

    Hope to see you in 1964 someday soon.

  • 5/26/2010 10:17 AM Todd Rainey wrote:
    This is for everyone who has taken time to post these very nice comments for me.As you all know there has been great pressure being here filling in for Gary. He is huge talent who is very loved and respected out there and well he should be. I've come to know him well enough to agree completely. But. you need to know that these encouraging messages have made a huge difference in my being here. I've met a lot of you. "1964" fans are the best!! Which isn't surprising to me because I have the honor of playing with the best..."1964"!! Please know that I will continue to do my best to make the rest of the shows that I am involved in as much fun and enjoyable as I can.Finally,this is to Mark,Gary,Tom,Terry,John,Mike,Dave,Steve and Lisa, Elaine, Mark J and yes, YOU TOO CHARLOTTE!! I want to thank you all especially for your patience and efforts in making this experience one I will always cherish.... Todd Rainey.
    1. 6/2/2010 12:59 AM Roy Evans wrote:
      We first saw Todd as Paul with 1964 at Carnegie Hall in January 2010(we traveled from Virginia just to see them in that venue). We had seen 1964 twice prior to that with 2 different "Pauls". Now, this was the 3rd one in 3 shows.
      Todd looked as if he was very nervous and wasn't going to impress me that much that night. He did improve as the bight went on and had won me over by the end of the show.
      We saw 1964 again last night in Roanoke, Va. The Todd that showed up for this show blew me away!! He was definitely ON!!! The harmonies with Mark and Tom were fantastic. Todd has the McCartney screams down completely.
      As far as I am concerned, if Gary decides to give it up someday, Todd is the man to replace him, not that I am ready for that to happen anytime soon.
      We had a chance to talk with all the guys last night at a "meet and greet" after the Roanoke show. All of the group seem to be very personable guys and even carried on with my wife who kiddingly told them that if they would give her their cell numbers that she would take them out to dinner when they play Carnegie Hall this coming January!!! They got a kick out of it. Yep, we are going again.
  • 6/28/2010 9:58 PM Gail wrote:
    It was great meeting you Saturday night in Middleburg Heights Ohio. Courtney and I really enjoyed the show. I am a huge Beatles fan and I though you did a great job. I hope I get a chance to see you again some day.
  • 6/29/2010 1:25 AM Becky wrote:
    How old are you? I saw them the night before you did.
  • 7/1/2010 12:40 AM Amber wrote:
    Hi Todd. Just wanted to thank you for making my kids feel really special after the concert in Tulsa. They are HUGE fans! And look forward every year to coming back, and to hopefully meeting you year after year. A restraunt one year...the elevator the next year! They are still talking about it! They have the pictures from both years on their nightstands. I love it that they love the music as much as I do. Alot of that is because of you! Thanks again, and see ya next year?!?!?!
  • 7/9/2010 11:56 PM barbinbrooklyn wrote:
    46 years, I have waited to see The Beatles. I closed my eyes, and there in Angola Indiana, 1964 The Tribute
    appeared. What a magical performance. I sang and danced and got lost in the past.
    We are so grateful to have such talented musicians among us. Todd is truly Paul, thank you for YESTERDAY. We need to see you more often. Looking forward to concerts in Michigan.
  • 7/16/2010 1:57 PM Lise wrote:
    My brother saw 1964 a while ago and thought it would be a great place to bring my kids since they love The Beatles. Was he ever right! He took us to see you last night at the show in NJ and you guys were great! If you remember the little girl & boy in the front row, you know how excited they were to see your performance!
    And Todd, I had no idea until I read this page that you're the 'new guy;' you were amazing! I was never a big Paul fan until last night! Looking forward to the band coming back this way again!
    1. 7/18/2010 6:58 PM Lisa wrote:
      Glad you had a great time. I saw all of you up front by the stage, and on the meet and greet line. The band, and many in the audience, were so impressed with your kids. And they are cutie patuties. Hope you all see the band again. Maybe think about the show at Carnegie Hall on 1/15/11. It's a orchestra show, and an amazing show.
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