Stroll Down Penny Lane Pays Tribute to Paul McCartney

Article Contributed by Karin Conn | Published on Friday, May 18, 2018

Stroll Down Penny Lane is a live concert of songs by the most iconic songwriter of our time. The music is embellished with stories, evocative images, a musical education of sorts, and animation. Stroll Down Penny Lane will play at the historic and elegant Bellevue Club on Lake Merritt.

While flying across the world, unraveling knots of white collar crime at the highest echelons, Prof. Stompensplatt, obsessed with Paul McCartney and in need of a diversion, went deep down the rabbit hole, seeking everything he could find about his idol.

Four years in the making, Stroll Down Penny Lane is the fruit of that obsession. Equipped only with a vision, a bunch of guitars, and a voice uncannily like McCartney’s, Prof. Stompensplatt set out to create a show to share. He assembled an outstanding band of musicians, an animator, and a video artist to create a unique concert experience. The show illuminates the creative process, musical tricks of the trade, the social climate of the times and McCartney himself. Running through it all is the sheer enjoyment of the music.

Says Prof. Stompensplatt, "What I know for a fact, is that our test audiences have found this show to be deeply moving. How do I know this? One example of this is seeing the guitar tech (for Neil Young) wipe a tear from his eye, as he sits there watching and listening -- because he is so moved. And then, in another test, you see a burly cinematographer, unabashedly, do the same - at the very same juncture. From this, we know we have something special."

Billy Cohen, of Labyrinth Management and Bill Graham Presents said to Joe Anastasi after a Stroll Down Penny Lane performance, "your voice has an uncanny resemblance to Paul's.”  “He has a nice sounding voice, and has captured Paul’s performance style here very well,” states Dan Krimm, of Marin Arts and Culture. “This band is tight,” has observed Joey Swales, sound engineer for Cal Performances.

Stroll Down Penny Lane line up: - Joe Anastasi aka Prof. Stompensplatt (lead vocals and  rhythm guitar), Winter ( lead guitar and vocals) and Mike Sugar (bassist, electric cellist, melodica, synthesizer, and vocals) and Mark Abbott (drums and vocals).

Professor Stompensplatt

Prof. Stompensplatt is the nom de plume of the producer/writer and lead singer/rhythm guitarist …he is also Joe Anastasi, a forensic accountant who resides in Piedmont, CA. His passion has been applying his forensic investigating skills to the music of Paul McCartney. Stroll Down Penny Lane is the result of Joe’s painstaking research, and the application of his writing abilities – using animation and other film devices – to explore what makes these songs so special.

Professor Stompensplatt is also the narrator in an upcoming series of children’s books, which take as their inspiration the animation imagery developed for this show. The first book is “Professor Stompensplatt’s: The Little Devil in Michelle,” which explores the inspiration for Paul’s song, Michelle – with a plot twist at the end.


Winter is a revered guitar player and the senior sound engineer at EMB Studios.

Originally from Kassel, Germany and he was first going to be a drummer, but then, when he was 12, he heard a boy in his building play Smoke on the Water on guitar, and from that point on, guitar playing was his passion.  Winter has produced and performed on numerous albums, and some career highlights include playing guitar for Blondie’s current album, Ghosts of Download (2014) and recording drums for Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament). He has also worked with Dwayne Wiggins (Toni Tony Tone), Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), Bill Ortiz (Santana), Sonja Drakulich (Stellamara), Amelia Hogan, and Jessica Star, among many others.

Winter has also worked on over 35 films, as both location sound mixer and sound editor. He is known for his dubious jokes, silly hats, and piratical demeanor.

Mike Sugar

Sugar has been bassist, guitarist, drummer, vocalist, keyboardist and digital effects provider/programmer for a wide variety of artists on stage and in the studio. He has recorded and produced genres from vocal jazz to screaming punk, Brazilian percussion to blues, hard rock to strumming singer/songwriters, ambient groove to aggressive electronica.

The DIY approach on his solo CDs is well-balanced by countless sideman gigs and sessions, collaborations and all out jamming. Born in New Orleans, an obsessive curiosity for music and instruments led Sugar to study basses, guitars, classical music, jazz, modern composition and music technology. In his formative years Sugar co-founded the band Jambay and hit the road. They played venues all over the states, giving rise to numerous bootleg tapes still circulating today. Jambay released albums, composed for film, and were the subject of a documentary DVD chronicling their tireless output. They also toured as Ken Kesey’s house band/opening act for his stage play “Twister”. Between gigs and sessions Sugar continues producing and composing for his own recording and performing projects.

Mark Abbott

Mark Abbott, Stroll Down Penny Lane’s drummer, almost never made it as a drummer. Mark’s right thumb was accidentally severed during a production of Hair at the University of California, East Bay. Surgeons successfully reattached the thumb using microscopes and laser technologies. He returned to the set bandaged and continued drumming in this musical production—using one hand. This set of circumstances impressed several other performers, leading to Mark’s inclusion in the formation of the band, Box Set. The band’s 1994 debut album was critically acclaimed by Billboard. In 1995, the band was named “Group of the Year” by the National Academy of Songwriters. Two years later, the band collected two “Bammies” (California Music Awards) for their critically-acclaimed third album. The band scored a deal with Capricorn/Polygram to release their 1998 album with producer Joe Chicarelli (producer for Tori Amos, American Music Club, and Frank Zappa, among others).

Mark’s drumming has been featured in DRUM Magazine. He has toured the country with Box Set several times (performing in every state except North Dakota) and the band sold out the historic Fillmore West three times.

Mark has recorded in some of the finest studios in the country. He has also been turfed out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for having: a) stepped over the rope, and b) proceeding to play on the Led Zeppelin drum kit, belonging to John Bonham. The physical ejection has left Mark undaunted, and unmarked.

About The Bellevue Club

Oakland’s unique private club overlooking the birds and boats at Lake Merritt. A premier social and fitness club in a stunning Beaux Arts on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bellevue Club is a non-profit and well known as a private social and fitness club with a variety of well-appointed rooms for businesses, visitors, celebrants and an ideal location for weddings. The Club’s delightful overnight guest rooms overlooking scenic Lake Merritt provide bed and breakfast comfort with on-site parking.

What:  Stroll Down Penny Lane tribute to Paul McCartney

When:  Friday and Saturday, July 6 & 7, 2018 at 8pm

Where: The Bellevue Club - 525 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610-5096

510-451-1000.  Next to Lake Merritt.  Early bird parking available.

Tickets:  GA $38 – VIP $85 (special seating, complimentary drink, snacks, and meet & greet with the band).