Lewis was a keyboardist who co-founded Rain in the mid-1970s, although he said they weren’t a Beatles tribute band at first.
“We were writing our own material, and doing Beatles tributes was something we fell upon to make a living until the originals took off. We had some pretty lean years. There were a lot of cruise ships, clubs and fairs. We did pretty well considering how tough the music business is.”
In 2001, they landed a regular casino gig. From that stability and a renewed focus on staging, Rain evolved to the point where they appeared on Broadway and tasted mainstream success. This allowed Rain to play larger theaters and develop multiple casts (including the son of one of the original members) to play the Beatle roles. It also allowed Lewis to retire from performing.
“I’ve always handled the business, but about five years ago, we found a great programmer who was a Beatles fanatic and who knew every part, so I figured I could step down,” he said. “We’ve had several different casts. I just try to keep Rain moving forward, give people a reason to come back.”
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How to go
What: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnat
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 17
More info: 513-621-2787 or www.cincinnatiarts.org