Tony Garofalo: John Lennon impersonator, Founder, Creator, Producer and Financier, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Piano, Mouth Organ, Lead Vocals.
Tony was born into a musical family, with a mother who was a professional dancer/ teacher and father who is both a 25 year guitar teacher and professional Carnegie Hall alumnist with the New York Mandolin Orchestra. Tony has been playing guitar since 1969, and is also trained in the fine art of classical guitar, mastering pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Sor, Julian Bream, and Andrew Segovia. He has also served as a veteran NYPD police officer for 20 years, and has risen to the ranks of both Detective and Sergeant in his career, with over 700 arrests to his credit and has worked in the central robbery unit, narcotics division, detective division, and internal affairs bureau. He was very well known by colleagues and police brass as the real Sergeant Pepper. Tony was also a key contributor in the September 11th rescue and recovery effort both at Ground Zero and the Staten Island Fresh Kill location.
Tony has continuously perfected the role as John Lennon throughout the 80's and 90's, performing with countless incarnations of Beatlemania, and has been grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with many broadway Beatlemania alumnist members such as: Billy Ray, Mark Vacaccio, Don Linares, Alan Lebouff, Glen Bertnik, and Peter Santoro, to name just a few. In 1991, Strawberry Fields was created by Tony in an effort to bring forth a complete Beatles performance package that was accessible to every type of audience and to every type of budget. This unique formula has proven successful over the years, opening the doors for Strawberry Fields to perform at almost any type of musical situation: amphitheaters, stadiums, theaters, car dealerships, weddings, bar mitzvahs, high school reunions, birthday parties, outdoor festivals… the list goes on and on.
August 16th, 2005, was a landmark event for Strawberry Fields, when the band was hand selected by the NY Mets and Shea Stadium, to re-enact the historic 1965 Beatles concert at Shea Stadium on its 40th anniversary, to an attendance of 45,000 fans. The band was announced by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Sid Bernstein (the original Beatles concert promoter for Shea Stadium). The band has also enjoyed a steady gig at the BB Kings Blues Club in Times Square, New York City, since the year 2000, and can be seen there weekly every Saturday at the Beatles Brunch. Tony's formula for success has always been to stay true to the Beatles' music with a dedication for perfection, always performing with top musicians, and giving the audience what they paid for, no matter how large or small the venue. Tony has been repeatedly cited by critics and news publications as one the worlds foremost John Lennon impersonator in the business and continues to consistently perform to crowds worldwide. Tony's career was further validated in July 2013, upon having a personal meeting with Sir Paul McCartney and his entire band, while being invited and attending Paul's after-concert VIP party at the Brooklyn's Barclay Center. Paul McCartney was gracious enough to even hold Tonys actual NYPD Police Sergeants badge in the photo shown below. It doesn't get better than that!!!