Stones tribute to move like Jagger in Tiffin
“Gimme Shelter,” “Paint It Black,” “Honky Tonk Women” and “Ruby Tuesday” are just a handful of Rolling Stones classics that rock fans can expect to hear at 7:30 p.m. April 6 when The Ritz Theatre hosts Satisfaction The International Rolling Stones Show.
Based in Shreveport, La., the band was founded by Chris LeGrand in 2001. Since then, Satisfaction has become an international touring show dedicated to the “World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band.”
LeGrand, who also portrays Mick Jagger, said the band does more than 125 shows per year.
Having grown up in Texarkana, Texas, LeGrand said he loved being a musician, but he realized he might never be able to make a living at it. He went to college and earned a business degree.
“In my 20s, I decided to get a real job,” he said.
LeGrand moved to Shreveport, worked in sales and got married. In his 30s, he went through a divorce, but he also got back into the music business, playing bass and singing classic rock. About that time, he noticed all the touring tribute bands that were springing up, but no group was doing Rolling Stones music. He decided to organize one with himself in the role of Mick Jagger.
“I was a pretty big fan and knew quite a bit about the group. I read a lot of the bios over the years,” LeGrand said.
Still, it was easier said than done. The first three or four years was “a real struggle” as personnel kept changing. In 2004, the band lost its drummer, Rick Ward, to liver disease; however, good things also started happening.
After performing with “Legends in Concert” in Las Vegas in 2005, the group was invited to give their critically-acclaimed show in numerous clubs and performing arts centers, such as The Ritz.
A few years ago, they played at Walt Disney World.
The regular cast includes LeGrand on lead vocals, Wade Fowler as Charlie Watts (percussion), Dominick Lanzo as Ron Wood (guitar), John Wade as Bill Wyman (bass) and Jim Riddick as Keith Richards (lead guitar).
LeGrand said each musician was expected to learn as much as possible about the person he was to portray and obtain his own authentic instruments and costumes.
“You have to really cast yourself into study and research on – music video and anything you can … Everything has to come together to mold yourself into this character. It’s not something you stop working at. You work at it all the time,” LeGrand said. “Authenticity is the most important aspect of our show. It’s the look, the sound … all the details. If you let one thing slip, the audience is going to notice it and point it out.”
The drummer, Fowler, grew up in Texarkana with LeGrand, but the other musicians come from all over the United States. LeGrand said they have a list of people who can fill in when a regular cast member is not available, but that has only happened a handful of times.
Satisfaction has had limited contact with the Rolling Stones.
“We’ve brushed elbows with Keith Richards and Ron Wood a couple times and some of their backing musicians and crew. We’ve been some of the same places they have been at times … it was a quick handshake. They’ve never seen us perform,” LeGrand said. “But as far as Mick Jagger, he’s pretty tough to catch.”
In choosing the music to perform, the band learned the Stones’ 60 most popular songs. They cannot play that many in one show, but LeGrand said it gives them some leeway to tailor their show to the kind of audience in attendance.
He said the band prefers smaller venues, such as The Ritz, where they can do a couple of costume changes and an acoustic set. An older crowd may want to hear more of the early hits.
“There are about 12 or 15 songs we have to play every night because they’re A-list hits,” LeGrand said. “I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned is a deeper appreciation for the music, because the Rolling Stones cover country, rock, soul, blues and ballads. I guess the most amazing thing to me was to sit down and realize all the different genres and sounds of music they’ve done over the years.”
Ticket prices range from $10 to $25. For tickets and information, stop at the box office, 30 S. Washington St., visit www.ritztheatre.org or call (419) 448-8544.