Long-time Clerk/Recorder Administrator gets nod for $350,000 a year post; Mitchoff withdrew application
By Daniel Borsuk
By leveraging 24 years of experience in the Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder-Registrar of Voters Office, Deborah Cooper unanimously earned the nod of approval from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to become the next Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters.
But it wasn’t a smooth ride to convince the five supervisors in selecting the longtime Clerk/Recorder Administrator to the top Clerk/Recorder-Registrar of Voters’ position.
Supervisors instructed County Administrator David Twa to have criminal and personal background checks conducted on the career Clerk/Recorder Office Administrator so that supervisors can put their final stamp of approval on their selection at a meeting on February 4.
Cooper, a Danville resident, outlasted four other candidates for the elected post that became vacant October 30 when former office holder Joseph Canciamilla of Pittsburg, resigned when a California Fair Practices Commission audit uncovered that the former state assemblymember had illegally spent $130,529 in campaign funds for personal expenses. Canciamilla has paid a $150,000 CFPC fine, but still faces potential criminal charges and forfeiture of his state pension.
Cooper said she is willing to run for the elected office in three years, unless the supervisors change the office from an elected to an appointed post during the interim. The longtime department administrator remarked that expanding voter outreach and relying on current department IT personnel to ensure election security and safety will be among her priorities if she is permanent Clerk/Recorder and Registrar of Voters.
“You currently have someone who has held an important position in the office for 24 years and knows how to maintain control,” said former County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of voters Steve Weir, who endorsed Cooper for the full-time top post.
Competition for the $350,000 a year post was intense, especially from former California Assemblymember Catharine Baker of Dublin, who, even though she resides in Alameda County, said she “held the keys” to a residence in Contra Costa County that would help her meet the residency requirement by the February 4th date when Supervisors are expected to officially approve the finalist.
“I’d bring a sense of transparency to the office,” said Baker, who ran into a rough patch of questions from District 1 Supervisor John Gioia concerning her interpretation of the State Voter Identification Law. “I support the policy that requires voter ID,” Baker said. But Gioia responded “There is nothing in the voter ID law that discourages people from voting.”
Also in the competition for the top post were former El Cerrito Mayor Mark Friedman, who pledged to use his philanthropic fundraising skills to bolster the Clerk/Recorder Office’s functions; Deputy Registrar of Voters Scott Kopanaseke, who leveraged his extensive elections IT and cybersecurity expertise; and Lafayette resident Kristin Connelly, President and CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council, who said she has the leadership skills to bring changes to the department where voting at polls is on the decline while voting by mail is on the rise.
On the initial vote, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, herself a candidate for the position until she withdrew her application on January 16, citing “personal reasons” for pulling out, sided with District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover to appoint Cooper to the post for the next three years. Both Glover and Mitchoff liked Cooper’s experience and knowledge of the department and what needs to be done immediately.
Supervisors Gioia and District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis initially voted for Friedman and Board Chair Candace Andersen called former Assemblymember Baker “my first choice,” and described Koponaseke for “doing amazing things,” wound up voting for Cooper’s appointment as did Gioia and Burgis on a second vote.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Bisa French, the interim Richmond Police Chief delivered a speech at the 42nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors chambers in Martinez on Tuesday. French, a Richmond native, spoke about her experiences growing up in Richmond, her ordeal while undergoing police cadet training, and how she rose through the ranks to where she is today. Also honored at the ceremony were Tamisha Walker, who is co-founder and executive director of the Safe Return Project, a Richmond organization invested in securing the freedom of formerly incarcerated individuals. Concord High School student Christina Mazzi, a 17-year-old Ugandan-American, founded ProjectWOC, an Instagram based community organization working to inspire the younger generation of girls of color. Christina has a 4.1 grade point average at Concord High School.
Make It Easier to Build Granny Units
In other business, supervisors adopted an overhauled ordinance to create regulations permitting procedures for accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units. The new ordinance puts the county ordinance in compliance with the state ordinance, Stanley Muraoka of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development said. The updated ADU ordinance aims to encourage residential property owners in unincorporated Contra Costa County to build ADU’s as the state undergoes an affordable housing crisis.
Among some of the changes are the elimination of requirements setting minimum lot size and maximum lot coverage. For the first time, junior ADU’s are permitted of up to 500 feet within an existing single-family dwelling and can be combined with or in addition to a regular detached ADU on the same lot.
Accept Grant for Sheriff-Coroner Forensic Unit
Supervisors also approved a Sheriff-Coroner Office’s consent item to accept a grant of $408,854 for the Sheriff’s Forensic Services Unit to buy a Liquid-Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Instrument starting October 1. The LC-MS/MS will allow the Sheriff’s Office crime laboratory to provide more information on driving under the influence of drugs and drug facilitated sexual assault cases without the need of outside testing.
The Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in the number of newer or “emerging drugs” inclusive of fentanyl analogs, designer benzodiazepines, synthetic cannabinoids and “bath salts.” A LC-MS/MS would aid the crime lab to increase the variety of drugs that can be tested and eventually provided the law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution purposes.
Allocate $1.2 Million for Walnut Creek Area Park Landscaping
Supervisors also approved allocations of $1.2 million in total Park Dedication Funds for landscaping projects at two public parks in the Walnut Creek area. The Public Works Department plans to spend $800,000 to install and maintain landscaping at Walden Green along a half-mile stretch of the Iron Horse Trail Corridor. The Public Works Department plans to spend $400,000 at Fox Creek Park, 118 Anthony Way, in Walnut Creek to upgrade the park by replacing some of the landscaping with more sustainable landscaping and increasing American with Disability Act accessibility.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at about 11:07 AM, Valley Station Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to the Union Bank on the 3100 block of Danville Boulevard in Alamo for a reported bank robbery. A woman apparently fled with some cash after threatening a bank teller.
During the investigation, 37-year-old Chelsea Michelle Smith of Fairfield, was identified as the suspect. Sheriff’s Office Detectives determined she was in the City of Fairfield and notified the Fairfield Police Department, which detained her.
Detectives later responded to Fairfield and arrested Smith who was then booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on a first degree robbery charge. She was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Smith has since bailed out.
Smith appears to be linked to two other robbery incidents that occurred in Contra Costa yesterday. One was in Pleasant Hill and the other was in Martinez.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Unit at (925) 313-2600. Tips could be emailed to: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at about 8:43 PM, Bay Station Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a report of a person with a gun at a home on the 2400 block of O’Toole Way in the Tara Hills neighborhood near San Pablo in unincorporated Contra Costa County.
A person apparently brandished a weapon and possibly fired some shots. There were no injuries.
Deputy Sheriffs attempted to make contact with the person but were not able to. At about 11:30 PM, the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and negotiators responded to the location. According to a KPIX CBS5 news report, the deputies surrounded the home.
Negotiators continued trying to make contact with him. The SWAT Team later this morning entered the home and detained the man.
The 30-year-old resident is not being identified. He was later taken to the hospital for evaluation.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Defendant charged with creating video of sexual contact with nine-year old
OAKLAND – A federal grand jury indicted Daniel Joseph Feliciano charging him with producing and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.
According to the indictment, Feliciano, 29, of Pleasant Hill, Calif., is alleged to have coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce a visual depiction of the conduct. Feliciano is also alleged to have knowingly possessed child pornography. (See related article).
According to a criminal complaint filed December 12, 2019, in connection with this case, this investigation began with a series of tips sent in October and December 2019 to the CyberTipline maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The tips, referred to as CyberTips by the NCMEC, contained reports from internet service providers to NCMEC as well as the actual files from the accounts being reported. Investigators from the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force traced the files, that included depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, to an email account and an IP address in defendant’s name.
According to the complaint, the first CyberTip came from Dropbox in October 2019. It contained a report and approximately 182 files, including three videos of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators discovered that the last IP address used to access the account could be traced to Feliciano.
In December 2019, several CyberTips alerted NCMEC regarding child pornography stored in a Google account. The files included two videos of a 9- to 10-year-old child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators traced the Google account and the videos to Feliciano.
The indictment charges Feliciano with one count of production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2).
Feliciano is next scheduled to appear on February 18, 2020, at 1 p.m. before the Hon. Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Judge.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted on the production of child pornography charge, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment, a minimum sentence of 15 years, five years to a life term supervised release, a fine of $250,000, a special assessment of $5,100, criminal forfeiture, and restitution. If convicted on the possession of child pornography charge, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, five years to a life term supervised release, a fine of $250,000, a special assessment of $5,100, criminal forfeiture, and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Suspected child sexual exploitation may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678. Indeed, a NCMEC tip led to the investigation in this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lee is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kay Konopaske and Kathleen Turner. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the HSI, the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Pleasant Hill Police Department.Read More
Lied about medical condition
SAN FRANCISCO – Nicholas King Beyer was convicted in United States District Court today of making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on pilot medical certification forms, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Special Agent in Charge James Wahleithner; and U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General Regional Acting Special Agent in Charge Susan Ocampo. The verdict was handed down today following a half-day bench trial before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge.
Judge Breyer found Beyer, 34, of Discovery Bay, Calif., guilty on two counts of making false statements to the FAA, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and two counts of falsifying, concealing, or covering up material facts by trick, scheme, or device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1).
According to his Facebook page, Beyer is a flight instructor at SkyView Aviation, LLC, worked at USS Harry S. Truman, is a former ABH at United States Navy and former Navy firefighter at NALF Fentress, studies at ATP Flight School and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and attended Liberty High School in Brentwood, CA.
Evidence at trial showed that Beyer made false statements on applications for an airman medical certificate, FAA Form 8500-8, which he submitted to the FAA in 2016, and again in 2018. The FAA’s airman medical certificate process is the mechanism by which the FAA evaluates whether pilots are mentally and physically fit to fly. The evidence showed that Beyer falsely stated on both of his Form 8500-8s that he had never been diagnosed with, did not have, and had never had a mental disorder of any sort; when in fact Beyer had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2016. The evidence also showed that Beyer falsely stated on the forms that he was only receiving disability benefits for knee and back injuries from the VA, when he was also receiving disability benefits for Major Depressive Disorder.
A federal grand jury indicted Beyer on August 23, 2018, charging him with two counts of making false statements to the FAA, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and two counts of falsifying, concealing, or covering up material facts by trick, scheme, or device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1). Judge Breyer convicted Beyer on all four counts.
Judge Breyer scheduled the defendant’s sentencing hearing for April 22, 2020.
Beyer faces maximum statutory penalties of five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2) and each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1). However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Shepard and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ward are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Hector Lopez. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Contra Costa County voters can watch local “Election Preview” forums on CCTV and the Contra Costa Television YouTube Channel beginning Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. through Election Day. This programming offers Contra Costa voters a chance to be informed on candidates and issues before casting their ballots.
Bob Butler, KCBS reporter, is the moderator for the Measure J, State Assembly District 14 and County Supervisorial District 5 forums.
The broadcasts will air on Contra Costa Television (CCTV), Comcast Channel 27, Astound Channel 32, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. They will also live stream on the County website at www.contracosta.ca.gov. Contra Costa County Elections Division partners with the County’s Office of Communications & Media and Contra Costa Television (CCTV), the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, and the League of Women Voters of West Contra Costa.Read More
For the sixth consecutive year, the East Bay Regional Park District will host two Youth Job Fairs designed to raise awareness of employment opportunities for youth in the East Bay. The fairs are scheduled in Hayward on Saturday, January 25, 2020, and in Pleasant Hill on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Both events offer attendees an opportunity to learn about the specific Park District jobs available and interact with current employees to get insight into what it’s like to work for the Park District. Positions include: Interpretive Student Aides, Public Safety Student Aides, Recreation Leaders, Lifeguards, Gate Attendants, Park Services Attendants, Student Laborers, Field Interns, and Interns.
The Youth Job Fairs also include general information sessions on resume writing, application submittal, and job interviewing for youth looking to enter the workforce, whether at the Park District or elsewhere.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest employer of youth in the East Bay, hiring over 400 Bay Area youth each year to work in the District’s 73 regional parks and ten visitor centers. The Youth Job Fairs are key to filling seasonal summer positions, especially Recreation Leaders and Lifeguards.
2020 Youth Job Fair Details
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 121,000 acres in 73 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and nature learning.Read More
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, today, following is the complete text of his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. (Listen to the audio, by clicking here.)
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”Read More
About 5:40 p.m. officers were dispatched to a welfare check for a man standing in the middle of the road holding two suitcases in his hands, causing traffic to drive around him, according to Oakley Police Sergeant Rick Grubaugh.
When the officers arrived, “the subject immediately punched one officer in the face a couple of times,” he stated. “That turned into a 700-foot chase on Delta Road, which ended at Elvis (Lane). The first officer had tazed the suspect and the second officer tazed him a second time.”
A couple other officers arrived on the scene, Sgt. Grubaugh continued.
“We believe, due to a mental health condition, the man put up a struggle before officers were able to bring him into custody,” he said. “Delta Road was closed, and it took about 30 minutes to clear the scene.”
According to a witness, who lives in Knightsen and was on his way home at the time, about 10 police cars and multiple ambulances were on the scene and Delta Road was closed between Brentwood Blvd. and Sellers Road.
“Both the suspect and the officers were treated at the scene,” Grubaugh shared. “Then both officers were transported to John Muir Walnut Creek. The suspect was seen at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez and then booked at the county jail.”Read More
WALNUT CREEK – The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been going on ever since they first crossed paths on the charts 54 years ago. The argument at the time, and one that still persists, was that the Beatles were a pop group and the Stones were a rock band: the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock. So who’s better? These two legendary bands will engage in an on-stage, throw down – a musical ‘showdown’ if you will – on February 17 at the Lesher Center courtesy of tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show. The Abbey Road band has performed to capacity audiences at the Lesher Center in the In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles production.
Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the county’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They face off against renowned Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion.
Where did the idea for the show come from?
“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” said Chris Legrand, who plays “Mick Jagger” in the show.
“Now, music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”
The Walnut Creek show is part of a 125-stop tour of the U.S., Australia and Canada and has been touring since 2011.The show also performs long term residencies for a number of the Harrah’s Casino properties. The production includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers and covers the scope of their musical careers, although the set list for Satisfaction usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s.
“They certainly have more pop songs but we’re a really great live show. The fans are in for an incredible night of music,” says LeGrand.
During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, trading places in quick set changes and ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. The band members have their outfits custom-made, since avid fans know exactly what the Beatles and Stones wore onstage during different time periods in their careers. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.
“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Chris Overall, who plays “Paul”.
“There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard.”
The audience naturally enjoys top shelf tributes to two legendary bands in the same evening. Like The Idaho Statesman said: “If you see only one tribute show, see this one…smart and loads of fun.”
“It’s just a fun time and a cool back-and-forth nonstop show,” Overall said.
“We’re going to bring it all. It’s going to be an evening of high-energy music,” said LeGrand.
Calendar: Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown comes to the Lesher Center for the Arts on Monday, February 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $45/$55/$65 and may be purchased at the Center Ticket Office, by phone at 925.943.7469 or online at www.lesherartscenter.org. The Center Ticket Office is located adjacent to the main entrance of the Walnut Creek Lesher Center for the Arts at 1601 Civic Drive. The show is appropriate for all ages.Read More