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We moved on to Boston, settled in, and began rehearsals. The Bunk 1 or New York cast rehearsed on stage daily. Rehearsals were mainly for the benefit of Mitch (the McCartney character) and Joe (the Lennon character), who were not really highly-trained vocalists. Rehearsal time also consisted of setting up multiple visual screens and scrims, as well as backdrops to project videos and still photos. All this was done to make Beatlemania a true multi-media event.

On the evening prior to hosting Coca Cola, a major sponsor, both Mitch and Joe had literally blown out their voices from overextending their vocal capacities. This was more the case for Mitch than for Joe; but both were vocally wounded. Sitting in the theater, I flinched during the rehearsal. I could hear Mitch’s voice give out. The band stopped, and everything came to a standstill. Steve Leber walked down the aisle toward the stage and said, “What in hell is going on here.” He reiterated that line at least three times. Behind him was the sound designer, Abe Jacob, who was one of the original designers to bring sound to the Broadway stage. I walked to where they were gathered at the base of the stage and overhead the problem at hand. Yes, both Mitch and Joe had blown out their voices. Leber was perplexed due to the fact he had the show for the Coca Cola folks the very next night, but he had no group. After some time had passed, I offered a suggestion. I said to Steve Leber, “We can fix this.” And Abe Jacob was all ears. I suggested, “If Abe Jacob can get a Neiman recording-quality microphone backstage for both Randy and myself, plus a camera and visual monitor in the back room, we could sing the songs backstage. Meanwhile, Mitch and Joe would lip-synch on stage. We could see them on stage from the back room.” Leber looked at Abe and asked, “Is this at all possible to do?” Without a doubt, Abe responded, “Yes.”

The next night arrived, and Randy and I sang for Mitch and Joe. I believe, to the best of my knowledge, that the show ran quite successfully. I doubt that anybody knew the difference. Joe made an amazing recovery, where as Mitch still had a severe vocal injury to contend with. I proceeded to perform the next eight shows without Randy, just for Mitch. They were total successes. Interestingly enough, although the shows were papered (freebies), Coca-Cola pulled out as a sponsor. This was due to the fact that the Come Together song, by John Lennon, contained the line “He shoots Coca-Cola” in the lyrics. Leber scrambled to obtain new sponsorship. To my understanding, at the very beginning, he had acquired his first major backing from CBS Records, which had the group Aerosmith. I believe Leber was able to get an advance to do the show based on the “face value” of Mitch Wiseman as a total look-alike for Paul McCartney. Finally our outfits were completed, and the show came to progress at a normal pace.

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