The Back Pages have been performing for more than 30 years, but they still love it.
“We wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t fun,” vocalist John Tinloy said.
The San Francisco-based band first came together in 1988. Tinloy and the other original members were mainly playing in bands that did their own songs — all trying to be rock stars, he said. But he met a drummer who enjoyed playing covers, especially 1960s rock, and they met more fans along the way.
Eventually, the band members — who all grew up listening to 1960s on the radio — decided to form a cover band of their own.
“We wanted to focus on the rock and roll aspect of the ’60s, and to capture kind of the spirit of the times, and in doing that be faithful to the music,” Tinloy said.
The current lineup is Tinloy on vocals and guitar, drummer David Carroll, bassist Doug Paterson who also provides high vocals, vocalist and guitarist Steve Love, and “J.B.” Brenneis on keyboard, harp, cowbell, Zydeco tie and truck.
“I learned of The Back Pages in about 2013,” concert promoter John Zurflueh said. “My first impression of this group was, ‘Wow, these guys have it down!’”
Zurflueh has worked with a number of tribute bands, but what makes the Back Pages unique, he said, is that they don’t just focus on a single band.
The Back Pages started out focusing on 1960s folk rock, Tinloy said, but soon expanded to include the British Invasion, then surf rock, then psychedelica.
Their sprawling set list now covers the Byrds, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Buffalo Springfield, the Beach Boys and the Yardbirds, among many others.
“The Back Pages have grown into a legitimate, polished and professional band where the audience can re-live so much of the great music of the 1960s,” Zurflueh said.
The band also covers a lot of one-hit wonders, Tinloy said, though most who grew up with the music would recognize the songs.
“We wanted to capture that spectrum of ’60s rock and roll,” he said.
Not every band or song is performed at every concert — but local rock fans will likely get to enjoy at least one local favorite.
“We would love to play ‘Lodi’ in Lodi,” said Tinloy, who lives in El Cerrito just a couple of blocks from where the Fogerty brothers grew up.
Audiences of all ages have a great time at the Back Pages’ concerts, regardless of the set list. The band loves to play high-energy songs, and work hard to stay authentic to the music, Tinloy said.
“Almost anything by the Beatles or the Stones tends to get a good reaction,” he said.
One of Tinloy’s favorites is “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds. The English rockers were known for blowing out the endings of their songs in concert, and the Back Pages have taken that challenge and run with it.
“We kind of put our own thing into it, so at the end we kind of extend it and rave it up,” Tinloy said.
This will be the Back Pages' second time in Lodi. They previously played at Jellystone, but they’re looking forward to their first concert at Hutchins Street Square.
“We hope people will walk away feeling like they saw a concert — a 1960s concert,” Tinloy said. “It’s gonna rock.”