The Beatles vs. Uncle Bonsai: An Honest Comparison
by Andrew Ratshin of Uncle Bonsai
(reprinted with permission from Victory Music Review)

OK.....so no one's going to confuse Uncle Bonsai with The Beatles. First of all, there were four Beatles, if you don't count the Revolution-9-post-crash "Paul" as a separate person, and all four of them had hair. Also, the Beatles sold over 184 million records...which is pretty good, if that sort of thing is important to you. On the other hand, the Beatles never sang about a guy named Doug, the state of Iowa, someone who thinks she's corn, or -- as far as we know -- fat boys! And, more importantly, the Beatles never reunited!

So much for the differences. Most people don't realize, however, just how many eerie similarities there are between the two groups. In fact, it's so strange, that I've compiled a list. You'll soon agree that, in many ways, it's almost impossible to tell the groups apart..again, if you discount the incredible effect on history that one group has had; I'm not saying which one.

THE BEATLES

UNCLE BONSAI

10 letters in name

10 letters in name

Grew up in Liverpool

Ashley grew up in Riverside

Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor - Ashley's Daughter

Had Album Cover Banned1

Had Album Title Banned2

Used Barnyard animals on Sgt. Peppers

Used Barnyard Animal Toys in "In the Still of the Night"

Sang in front of less than 100 people in a basement club

Sang in front of less than 100 people in a basement club

The Fool On The Hill

Doug At His Mom's

Had a manager die

Had an A&R man die

Ringo not real name

Arni not real name

Seafood Motif: Octopus's Garden

Seafood Motif: Day Old Whale

Played at Shea Stadium

Andrew passed Shea Stadium many times4

Did songs about body parts.3

Did songs about body parts.5

Had fans chasing and stalking them

Had a fan come to the early AND late shows

Rode a bus around with strange characters

Drove a motor home through the midwest and the south

"Piggies"

To Market, To Market (Pigs)

John and Yoko's "Two Virgins" released with plain brown wrapper

Released a CD called "Plain Brown Wrapper"

Revolution 5: A longer version of Revolution 1

Sponge Boy: A 14-minute version of a 3 minute song

Paul McCartney: left handed vegetarian

Ashley O'Keeffe: left-handed, likes vegetables

Released many compilations after the group broke up

The Inessential Uncle Bonsai, 1991

QUICK FACTS: BOTH GROUPS

Played at the Seattle Center!
Disbanded while at the top...well, near the top! (OK..Uncle Bonsai were almost on the top floor of the hotel.)
Were succeeded by Southern Democrats named Johnson! Oh wait...that was Lincoln and Kennedy.
Both groups use a guitar, although one just strums.

FOOTNOTES:
1-Butcher Cover of Yesterday and Today
2-The title, Boys Want Sex in the Morning, wasn't announced on Seattle radio
3-I Want To Hold Your Hand
4-Andrew grew up in Forest Hills...where the Beatles played!
5-Penis Envy

So, there you have it. I could go on an on but I think you get the idea. If you disregard the fact that Uncle Bonsai is a Seattle-based trio, featuring two women and myself, doing original songs, singing three-part harmonies, backed by a single acoustic guitar, and still together after all these years -- and that The Beatles were four British guys -- the similarities between these two groups is staggering. In fact, if you were a fan of The Beatles, and there's a shameless plug coming up after the next comma, you might as well come see Uncle Bonsai's Reunion 2004 Concert at The First Baptist Church in Tacoma on November 19th...of the one in Kirkland on November 20th. We won't be doing any of their songs but we'll probably be done by 10:00.

- Andrew Ratshin