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.