|Q & A with Bobby:
Q: How did you hear about BEATLEMANIA auditions?
A: I read an advert in the Calendar section,
L.A. Times. I was working at 20th Century Fox.
Q: Had you been impersonating or ever thought
to impersonate Ringo Starr before you heard about BEATLEMANIA?
A: No impersonation, but he was a big influence,
along with Dennis Wilson and Hal Blaine.
Q: What was your audition experience like?
A: It was at S.I.R. in L.A., there were hundreds
of guys there. I saw Reed and Randy and felt we were destined to do the
Q: How old were you when you were accepted into
A: 28, but a 10 year veteran, who had played
5 hours a night, 5 days a week, for those 10 years.
Q: Had you had professional stage experience before
playing in front of large crowds?
A: As I said 10 years professionally, including
a gig in 1967 on Broadway, at a club across the street from the Wintergarden
above the Brill Building, called Trudi Heller's Trik.
Q: What was your first experience on stage as
Ringo in front of an audience like? Was it the first for your other
band members as well? Tell us that moment right before you hit that
first note on IWTHYH?
A: It was in Boston, before the opening
on Broadway. I felt cool, collected, and confident, I knew we were real
Q:How many years were you with the show?
A: 3, I quit to reform Rain, with
3 of the original members after I returned from doing the show in London
for 3 months, when an English cast, as required by their rules, took over.
Q: Who would you like to play with but haven't
A: Paul McCartney, or my son Jeremy, who is an
incredible multi-instrumentalist , songwriter, and singer. I've played
with almost everyone else in the show.
Q:Were there ever any accidents on stage?
A: I remember when Reed and Randy sang the show
off stage while Mitch and Joey lip-synched, hilarious! We did our first
show on Broadway on August 16, 1977, the day that Elvis died.... easy to
remember, impossible to forget.
Q: If you had any, what was the most embarrassing
moment on stage? Power outage? Flubbed lyrics? Someoen forgetting
their trousers? Sneezes? etc. Anything funny?
A: No embarrassing moments. I remember we were
pros who took our craft seriously. It was hard work, but fun.
Q: What was your favorite part of the show?
A: I liked the last part, with the heavier, bluesier
songs: Come Together, Revolution, Get Back, and Let It Be.
Q: What was your least favorite?
A: It was all good!
Q: Who did you enjoy working with the most?
Reed Kailing was pretty well rounded in performing and the music industry.
How was the rest of your casts pre-Beatlemania experience, as far as acting
A: Bunk 2 were the unsung heroes of Beatlemania.
We were reviewed by the L.A. Times in New York, before the show went West...The
reviews were glowing, for which I'm proud. Randy Clark had been in
theatre productions while growing up in Scottsdale, P.M. Howard had done
Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar in Canada. They were very talented gentlemen,
one and all.
Q: Where did you enjoy performing with BEATLEMANIA
A: New York , Los Angeles, London, and San Francisco.
I used to record with Glen Burtnick and Marshall Crenshaw in San Francisco.
We took turns paying for the studio.
Q: Did you play vintage instruments and use vintage
equipment for the show?
A: I played new Ludwig drums, with custom ordered
Zildjian cymbals. I had dinner with Billy Ludwig III and he arranged an
endorsement deal for me.
Q: We know that supposedly none of the Beatles
ever saw the show live, but some people from the Beatles' camp did see
it. Do you recall who?
A: Not a clue. I did meet Elvis' drummer,
D.J. Fontana, and we hung out 'till the wee hours. I picked his brain.
Q: Did you ever meet any of the Beatles?
A: I stood right next to Ringo and George, who
declined an introduction, for some reason, they resented the show. That
Q: Do you still perform with other alumni?
Do you keep in touch with the producers and other production crew?
A: I've performed with different combinations
of just about everyone, all great guys, all great times.
Q: Are you still in the music business today?
What projects are you involved in these days?
A: I have just finished recording all original
songs with Larry Butler, who produced all of Kenny Rogers' big hits, and
was President of United Artists in Nashville.
Q: All in all, looking back how
was the BEATLEMANIA experience for you?
A: Nothing but warm and cherished memories.
We were on top of the world and it was a thrilling ride. Thanks,
and God Bless to all my rockin' brothers, and all the fabulous professionals
I had the good fortune to work with. I love and miss them all. I hope someday
we can all get together for a big reunion party....Hard Rock Hotel, Las
A lot of us would LOVE to see