STROLL DOWN PENNY LANE Offers Multimedia Tribute To Paul McCartney
Stroll Down Penny Lane is a live performance with beautiful accompanying films of the music of the most iconic songwriter of our age: Paul McCartney. The show includes songs spanning McCartney's career - from early influences, to the Beatles, through the Wings period, and beyond. All performed by some of the Bay Area's most sought-after career musicians. You'll also hear songs that have never been performed in concert - anywhere, by anyone!
Live, in concert, experience McCartney's music and influences, from early rock and roll - like Little Richard - until now, spanning sixty years of music. Explore the ballads - a form McCartney adopted when he was a teenager. He became it's acknowledged master - no one else in the world can compare.
At the heart of the show is a amazing band paying tribute to some of the most amazing and beloved music of the past 60 years. The musical experience is enhanced with stories, evocative images, a musical education of sorts, and animation. Stroll Down Penny Lane will play at the historic and elegant Empress Theatre in Vallejo.
While flying across the world, unraveling knots of white collar crime at the highest echelons, Prof. Stompensplatt, obsessed with Paul McCartney and in need of a diversion, went deep down the rabbit hole, seeking everything he could find about his idol.
Four years in the making, Stroll Down Penny Lane is the fruit of that obsession. Equipped only with a vision, a bunch of guitars, and a voice uncannily like McCartney's, Prof. Stompensplatt set out to create a show to share. He assembled an outstanding band of musicians, an animator, and a video artist to create a unique concert experience. The show illuminates the creative process, musical tricks of the trade, the social climate of the times and McCartney himself. Running through it all is the sheer enjoyment of the music.
The show's sold out debut performances this past summer delighted audiences, who sang along, were mesmerized by the films, they laughed, they cried. They were transported to the origins of the songs. They were transported to their memories associated with the music.
Stroll Down Penny Lane line up: Joe Anastasi aka Prof. Stompensplatt (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Winter (lead guitar and vocals) and Mike Sugar (bassist, electric cellist, melodica, synthesizer, and vocals), Mark Abbott (drums and vocals) and Matt Twain(Keys and vocals).
Prof. Stompensplatt is the nom de plume of the producer/writer and lead singer/rhythm guitarist ...he is also Joe Anastasi, a forensic accountant who resides in Piedmont, CA. His passion has been applying his forensic investigating skills to the music of Paul McCartney.Stroll Down Penny Lane is the result of Joe's painstaking research, and the application of his writing abilities - using animation and other film devices - to explore what makes these songs so special.
Professor Stompensplatt is also the narrator in an upcoming series of children's books, which take as their inspiration the animation imagery developed for this show. The first book is "Professor Stompensplatt's: The Little Devil in Michelle," which explores the inspiration for Paul's song, Michelle - with a plot twist at the end.
Eric Pomert | Creative Consultant and Video Editor
Eric started life as a theater and film kid. A specialist in humor and music, he worked as a major brand tv commercial editor for 15 years before starting narrative work with his first feature "Love, Ludlow," the runner-up for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards.
In addition to a slew of short films, he has edited hundreds of commercials for clients including Mercedes Benz, Heinken, Diet Dr Pepper, and Puma. His spots have won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the British International Advertising Festival, and have aired on the Super Bowl and around the globe. Eric has collaborated as an editor and producer with top directorial and technical talent including the Oscars Awards team, and he has had the pleasure to work on projects featuring stars such as Will Ferrell, Usain Bolt, Barbara Walters, Rob Corddry, Mike Myers, Lauren Bacall, and Paul McCartney. "Barry and Joan," (www.barryandjoan.com) a feature documentary he edited and produced, is currently in festival submissions.
It's simple, but not easy, according to Eric: "Nuance of character, storytelling rhythm - that's where the magic lies."
Avi Ofer | Animator
Avi is an illustrator and animation director who specialized in a whimsical style of hand-drawn animation. He has animated projects for a variety of media, including book and editorial illustration as well as direction of animated films, both commissioned and independent. He has exhibited in art shows and screened in festivals around the world. His animation is frequently featured in TedEd videos.
Winter is a revered guitar player and the senior sound engineer at EMB Studios.
Originally from Kassel, Germany and he was first going to be a drummer, but then, when he was 12, he heard a boy in his building play Smoke on the Water on guitar, and from that point on, guitar playing was his passion. Winter has produced and performed on numerous albums, and some career highlights include playing guitar for Blondie's current album, Ghosts of Download (2014) and recording drums for Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament). He has also worked with Dwayne Wiggins (Toni Tony Tone), Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), Bill Ortiz (Santana), Sonja Drakulich (Stellamara), Amelia Hogan, and Jessica Star, among many others.
Winter has also worked on over 35 films, as both location sound mixer and sound editor. He is known for his dubious jokes, silly hats, and piratical demeanor.
Sugar has been bassist, guitarist, drummer, vocalist, keyboardist and digital effects provider/programmer for a wide variety of artists on stage and in the studio. He has recorded and produced genres from vocal jazz to screaming punk, Brazilian percussion to blues, hard rock to strumming singer/songwriters, ambient groove to aggressive electronica.
The DIY approach on his solo CDs is well-balanced by countless sideman gigs and sessions, collaborations and all out jamming. Born in New Orleans, an obsessive curiosity for music and instruments led Sugar to study basses, guitars, classical music, jazz, modern composition and music technology. In his formative years Sugar co-founded the band Jambay and hit the road. They played venues all over the states, giving rise to numerous bootleg tapes still circulating today. Jambay released albums, composed for film, and were the subject of a documentary DVD chronicling their tireless output. They also toured as Ken Kesey's house band/opening act for his stage play "Twister". Between gigs and sessions Sugar continues producing and composing for his own recording and performing projects.
Mark Abbott, Stroll Down Penny Lane's drummer, almost never made it as a drummer. Mark's right thumb was accidentally severed during a production of Hair at the University of California, East Bay. Surgeons successfully reattached the thumb using microscopes and laser technologies. He returned to the set bandaged and continued drumming in this musical production-using one hand. This set of circumstances impressed several other performers, leading to Mark's inclusion in the formation of the band, Box Set. The band's 1994 debut album was critically acclaimed by Billboard. In 1995, the band was named "Group of the Year" by the National Academy of Songwriters. Two years later, the band collected two "Bammies" (California Music Awards) for their critically-acclaimed third album. The band scored a deal with Capricorn/Polygram to release their 1998 album with producer Joe Chicarelli (producer for Tori Amos, American Music Club, and Frank Zappa, among others).
Mark's drumming has been featured in DRUM Magazine. He has toured the country with Box Set several times (performing in every state except North Dakota) and the band sold out the historic Fillmore West three times.
Mark has recorded in some of the finest studios in the country. He has also been turfed out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for having: a) stepped over the rope, and b) proceeding to play on the Led Zeppelin drum kit, belonging to John Bonham. The physical ejection has left Mark undaunted, and unmarked.
Matt Twain's home has always been the Bay Area. Born and raised in Oakland, he grew up in the studio as a child talent, singing and doing voice-overs for numerous commercials including C&H Pure Cane Sugar, Levi's, The Gap, Visa, and many more. As he grew older, he enjoyed both acting as well as musical directing in both universities and community productions of such classics as Hair, Pippin, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, and many others. He then decided that his true calling was playing in bands and recording music. He has played in many bands over the years, including being the founding member of Box Set, which then later morphed into The Fall Risk. He also sits in with Highwater Blues, and is currently recording and performing with the band The Sky Kings, of which he has been a member for over 25 years. When he isn't performing with bands or doing a solo gig here and there, he also enjoys his other creative outlet as a professional graphic designer/contractor."