Written by: Francesco Vincenzo Iacono
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if members of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors joined forces to create one incredible supergroup? Introducing Magical Mystery Doors, a tribute act that blends and layers the music of these three legendary bands to create something new and unique for music fans everywhere.
For those attending a Magical Mystery Doors performance, they can expect to hear timeless classics from each of these iconic bands. These are all incredible songs we all know, these songs we all love, and these songs we sing to at the top of our lungs!
Throughout the show, Magical Mystery Doors combines some of these classic compositions in ways that leave the audience both surprised and delighted. The melody from The Doors’ “Hello, I Love You” laying atop Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop.” The pounding beat of Zep’s “When The Levee Breaks” coupled with the serene strumming of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” Equally, Magical Mystery Doors enhances the audience experience with a captivating visual presentation including modern video screens and a stunning array of lighting which truly makes the performance come to life.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, we caught up with Jeff Tomrell from the Magical Mystery Doors Tribute band and we asked him a few questions about his musical influences, his career in a tribute band, their set list as well as their past and upcoming performances.
The Creative Spotlight: At what age did you become interested in music? And, who or what inspired you to pursue a career as a musician?
Jeff Tomrell: I started playing the piano at the age of 6. Early on, my father was my biggest influence. I stood at the edge of our piano and watched him play. I tried to add parts to the songs that he was playing before I really knew what I was doing. Beyond that, my mother always pushed me to perform in public. Anytime we saw a piano, she sat me down and I started playing. The reaction people gave me following my performances made me feel good. This is where my desire to perform began.
TCS: Can you share with us how you decided on the band name?
JT: This band is a hybrid tribute to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors. Our original name was going to be “Beatles On Led Doors” but it just didn’t feel exciting enough. So, one night, I sat down with a notebook and just started writing down anything to do with these acts. Song names, album titles, members, etc. After an hour or two, I realized that Zeppelin had an album named “In Through The Out Door.” That obviously could work with “The Doors.” And then I saw “Magical Mystery Tour.” Putting all of that together, the name was going to be “In Through the Magical Mystery Doors,” but that just felt too long. We landed on Magical Mystery Doors and figured it was good enough!
TCS: Can you introduce us to the Magical Mystery Doors lineup?
JT: The band lineup consists of:
- Vinny DeRenzis (Lead Vocalist)
- Jeff Tomrell (Producer/Keys)
- Brendan Marro (Guitar)
- Greg Reigle (Bass)
- Mike Intelisano (Drums)
TCS: So how long has the tribute band been playing together and how did you get started?
JT: The idea for this band started in 2018. Before we played our first show in April of 2019, we worked on the concept for 14 months. All members were currently playing full-time in other acts, so we could only do a few shows here and there. Our plan was to really push forward in 2020….and then…well, you know what happened. All progress was halted. We lost a few members in this period as well. It was such a difficult time. But we made it through and here we are today.
TCS: Why do you think tribute bands have become so prominent within the last couple of decades?
JT: People enjoy listening to bands and songs from their past. It brings back a lot of memories. Unfortunately, you can’t see these three legendary acts perform anymore. Honestly, most people have never seen them perform live. So, tribute acts can bring a piece of that nostalgia back to life.
TCS: What do you feel sets Magical Mystery Doors apart from other tribute bands?
JT: Truthfully, many things set us apart from other similar tribute bands. We put a lot of time, effort, and money into our visual display. Our versatility as musicians is another key factor. You’ll see many, many instrument switches throughout the show. But the main thing is our arrangements. We’re taking songs from 50-60 years ago and doing something new and different with them. It’s the surprise factor of our show that really makes it special.
TCS: Have you ever met any of the band members from one of the three bands? If yes, please explain to us where you met and how did that encounter go?
JT: Unfortunately, I have not had that privilege. My mom was once at an award ceremony for Ringo Starr from The Beatles a few years ago. That’s the closest I’ve gotten!
TCS: What’s the hardest aspect of re-creating a live show for The Beatles, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin?
JT: The hardest part WOULD BE nailing the vocals, but when you’re in a band with Vinny, that part becomes really easy!
TCS: What are the most requested songs from those bands at your shows?
JT: At our shows, people always want to hear more Led Zeppelin. Honestly, I think it’s because Vinny does such a great job with those Robert Plant’s challenging vocals.
TCS: Of the songs that Magical Mystery Doors plays, which are your most and least favorite? Additionally, is there a song that you and the band loves that is not included in the set.
JT: Honestly, this changes on a weekly basis. Lately I’ve been enjoying “Riders On The Storm” from The Doors. But other times, it’s “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin. I think it ultimately depends on the crowd’s reaction sometimes. If people are smiling, we’re having a good time. As for song’s not included in the set, we are always working on new arrangements now. We have a few lined up that we believe the crowd will LOVE.
TCS: Annually, how many gigs does the band play and which venues are among your favorites?
JT: As I mentioned earlier, we’re still in a building phase. However, our recent performances at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ, have been very, very special and meant a lot to us. We would play there any time. The staff and everyone involved has been fantastic to work with.
TCS: Could you tell us about any strange experiences you’ve had while playing live?
JT: We haven’t really experienced anything too strange just yet. Maybe we’ll go with one of Jim Morrison’s classic songs with The Doors when he says, “People Are Strange.”
TCS: What advice do you have for new tribute bands trying to get established?
JT: Do something different. Do something unique. The tribute market is completely saturated right now. Seemingly every band has a tribute. Therefore, you must do something that will get people talking. You can’t do the same set as other tribute acts and expect it to succeed.
TCS: What’s the future look like for the Magical Mystery Doors tribute band?
JT: The future looks bright. There is a lot of excitement surrounding this band now. We feel like we’re ready to “Break On Through (To The Other Side).”
To stay connected, please join us on the following:
- Magical Mystery Doors Website
- Magical Mystery Doors Facebook
- Magical Mystery Doors Instagram
- Magical Mystery Doors Twitter
- Magical Mystery Doors YouTube
About Francesco Vincenzo Iacono
Since 2012, Francesco Vincenzo Iacono has served as the President and CEO of The Creative Spotlight, the ultimate destination for unearthing a wealth of undiscovered musical talent, reading exciting interviews, releasing new music and sharing exclusive videos.
Every good story needs a good storyteller. And, The Creative Spotlight has truly provided a quality forum for revealing those great stories. Through the years, the online publication has featured national and local musicians such as Ash Costello from New Years Day, Williams Honor, Stacey David Blades, Screaming For Silence, Ages Apart, Roxy Petrucci, Peter Beckett, We The Kings, Everything Falls, Rod Black, Derek Crider, Daniel Mason Band, The Rockin’ Krolik, Michelle Leigh, Jessie G., Karen Mansfield and Hillbilly Vegas.
Additionally, The Creative Spotlight has also focused on historic Pennsylvania-based paranormal venues such as the Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Paranormal investigator Kitsie Duncan, Spirit Medium Tiffany Rice, the Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride, well-known actors and actresses, published authors, professional artists, local businesses, consultants, trainers, speakers and more…
Francesco earned a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he also received a Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.