By Steve Palec Special to OnMilwaukee Published Mar 17, 2015 at 5:06 PM

With all the excitement surrounding this Thursday’s announcement of where and when the Rolling Stones will play in Milwaukee, you might not have noticed the announcement today that Ringo Starr will also be making a stop in our city this October. It brings up those age old memories of the ‘60s debate in which people were relegated to being a Stones fan or a Beatles fan.

I got the connotations then about the inherent differences, but I loved them both … and still do.

That’s why a great way to celebrate the Stones announcement with a little bit of Beatles pleasure would be a trip to Kohler this weekend. The American Club is hosting their second annual celebration of the joy of the Fab Four with a Beatles Celebration Weekend.

This is one very cool package whether you want the full album or some awesome individual events if you are more into the singles.

Either way, the music of the Beatles is timeless, and the joy that accompanies it transcends every generation. You can’t have an event like this without Beatles music, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more respected tribute than Liverpool Legends – if only based on their inclusion as the only musical performer in a recent Grammy nominated documentary by Jerry Bruckheimer or their appearance last weekend in a sold out 16,000 seat show in Mexico City.

The band is the pet project of Louise Harrison, the sister of George.

"It’s a great privilege to be part of the biological family of The Beatles," Louise told me on the phone today. "My parents were very supportive of the lads. My mum was mum to George, John and Paul. John and Paul lost their mothers in their teens."

Louise moved to the United States just a bit before the her "kid brother’s band" invaded the United States. In fact, George made his first U.S. visit to Illinois to see her prior to Beatlemania.

"My husband was a brilliant engineer," Louise explained. "We were in Canada, South America and came to the U.S. in 1963. My mum said it is up to us as the biological family to give back the love and so that has been my role in life."

Part of the Beatle love in Kohler this weekend includes the chance to have tea with Louise on Saturday, March 21 at 1 p.m.

"Having been born in that family and being given the kind of personality that makes it easy to relate to people, why would I do anything else?" Louise said. "It’s so satisfying. As the family, we appreciate the support of fans all over the world."

The band that she put together to share the music, Liverpool Legends, play regularly in Branson and have endorsements from Bill Clinton to Paul McCartney. Marty Scott, who plays the role of George in the band, left a job as a floor trader in Chicago in 2001 to become a full time George after Louise saw him playing in a Beatles band.

"Right after George died, I was playing at a Beatle convention, and she was the guest speaker," Marty said. "She saw me play and got emotional. We hit it off. A week later, she brought me to meet Paul McCartney. I’m sitting on a couch with Paul. It was like, holy crap!"

The accomplished musicians are able to both convey the joy of the Beatles' music to their audience as well as see the joyous reaction of the crowds.

"You get a little taste of what it maybe was like to be a Beatle for a second, " Marty told me. ‘Then the next day you play for the Iowa Dental Association with people eating dinner and not paying attention."  

Liverpool Legends will play a live concert in the Grand Hall of the Great Lakes at The American Club on Saturday night at 8 p.m., going through an anthology of timeless Beatles music including some solo selections.

"At the beginning of the show, we are 20, and at the end, we are 30 years old," Marty said. "The Beatles are as cool now as ever, maybe even cooler. It’s still relevant. And at our shows, we even get eight-year-olds that know everything about the Beatles."

The weekend also includes a Sunday brunch in which the band gets to provide an intimate experience with an acoustic set.

The celebration weekend will be sure to evoke memories that every Beatle fan carries with them. For me, my mom was from London and made sure that I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964. Their music became the soundtrack of my adolescence, and as they grew both musically and socially, they gave me the roadmap to follow.

While most of us old enough saw them on TV that February night, Louise was right there in the TV studio as her younger brother helped to change the world. She also got to say goodbye before his death in 2001. He told her he was ready to leave the planet, and she said, "He was ready to get on the next adventure."

Louise recalled that "my dad used to say when we were kids … have sympathy for the rich people because they never know who their true friends are." Louise is trying first hand to enrich the lives of Beatles fans who appreciate their music and have insatiable desire to continue the legacy. It’s her accomplished and admired band that provides the music, and she will sit down and answer all your questions with a humble sincerity. That same sincerity prompted her to not so gently remind me to tell people, "The shows DO sell out. Make sure people get their tickets early."

It’s been a long cold lonely winter. This sounds like an ideal weekend.

Friday, March 20

  • 8:30 p.m.: Beatles Karaoke at The Horse & Plow

Saturday, March 21

  • 1 p.m.: High Tea with Louise at The Wisconsin Room. $42 inclusive to join Louise Harrison for a traditional British High Tea. Enjoy specialty tea, treats and a Q&A session with Louise. Call 855-444-2838 for reservations. 
  • 8 p.m.: Liverpool Legends live concert at The Grand Hall of the Great Lakes at The American Club. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 22

  • 11 a.m.: Beatles Brunch Unplugged at The Great Bays Ballroom at The American Club (exclusive to British Invasion package guests). Enjoy a speciality brunch from the Kitchens of Kohler while the Liverpool Legends provide an intimate concert experience.
Steve Palec Special to OnMilwaukee
Steve Palec, the host of WKLH's "Rock and Roll Roots" wrote a letter to every radio station in town when he was a sophomore in high school. He offered to sweep floors.

Two responses came back, including one janitor position. Steve took the other: the opportunity to hang out at WUWM.

After that, he worked at WAUK, then WQFM, then WZUU, then back to WQFM ... and finally worked afternoons at WKLH for a little while.

"I gave up Eddie Money to earn money in 1986," says Steve, who eventually entered the world of commercial real estate.

"But 23 years ago WKLH offered me the chance to wake up early every Sunday morning," he says. "I mean every Sunday morning. I mean like 5:30 am. I mean no matter what I did on Saturday night. Live every Sunday morning. I love it."