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Lightning strikes twice

November 2, 2007

When Sam Leach -- the original Beatles promoter from their Liverpool days -- saw tribute band American English perform, he said it was like lightning striking twice.

"Everything about them, the look, the sound, even the instruments, everything is authentic," he says in an excerpt on the band's Web site. "For those who never saw the Beatles, go see American English."

Fans can do just that as American English performs Saturday, Nov. 10, on the Blizzard Theatre stage at Elgin Community College's Visual and Performing Arts Center.

The band was voted No. 1 by thousands of Beatle fans at a Beatles fan fest for three consecutive years.

Today, Leach promotes and manages American English. Under his wing, the band was granted an honor never bestowed upon any other group. They traced the historic footsteps of The Beatles and performed on the hallowed ground of several original Beatles venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

In 2001, the band headlined the George Harrison tribute at the House of Blues in Chicago, where they were joined by several legendary Beatles/Wings related artists. This tribute was the first of its kind and the event made news headlines around the world. The band had the distinct honor to perform with the original Beatles drummer Pete Best.

Their crowning moment came in 2002, as they headlined International Beatle Week in Liverpool in front of a screaming crowd of more than 50,000. To top it off, American English recorded a concept album at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London. The fantasy album What If features songs that might have ended up on the next Beatles record, if had they stayed together.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Blizzard Theatre, located on ECC's main campus, 1700 Spartan Dr., Elgin. Tickets are $32 and $28.

Tickets for all performances in ECC's Arts Center are available online at or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847)622-0300.