What do you get when you mix the pop-rock music of the Beatles with the riff-laden metal of Metallica? Obviously you get Beatallica of course, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based act that has been performing as a gimmicky mash-up of the two bands since 2001. Comprising members operating under the monikers "Jaymz Lennfield," "Grg Hammetson," "Kliff McBurtney" and "Ringo Larz," the band initially formed to record the EP A Garage Dayz Nite as a one-off joke for Milwaukee's annual Spoof Fest concert. A copy of the record found its way to the internet, where a community of fans soon grew large enough to convince Beatallica's members that it might be wise to keep up the act. Sixteen years and seven releases later and it's still going strong.
It Was Lars? Predictably, Beatallica has seen its share of legal issues. Sony, which holds the rights to most of the Beatles catalog, served the band with a cease and desist notice in 2005. Help came in an unlikely form: that of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, whose rabid distaste for file-sharing in the days of Napster earned him an enduring reputation as one of music's more litigious artists. It turns out Ulrich is a fan; he offered legal assistance to the band and even spoke with Metallica's longtime attorney about defusing the situation with Sony. Thanks to his help, Beatallica marches on — and is even able to release physical copies of its music.
Listen to "The Thing That Should Not Let It Be" below:
7 p.m. Sunday, April 23. Fubar, 3108 Locust Street. $12 to $15. 314-289-9050.