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Fab Four at Sound Board, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Of the myriad Beatles tribute bands out there, you'd hope one that calls itself the Fab Four would be among the best

And that appears to be the case.

The quartet, formed by John Lennon portrayer Ron McNeil during 1997 in California, has established its credibility not only in venues across the country -- including residencies on Broadway -- but also on TV, where it won an Emmy Award for a its 2012 PBS special "The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute." The group also performed the motion capture for The Beatles: Rock Band game in 2009 and recorded three Beatles songs for the 2000 CBS movie "The Linda McCartney Story."

The Beat(les) goes on for the Fab Four, too, although McNeil tells us some changes may be in store for his crew of mop tops...

The appeal of a good Beatles tribute band does not surprise McNeil, who grew up a Paul McCartney & Wings fans before learning about the Beatles. "It's good music, first of all -- some of the best ever created. And the Beatles' personalities -- I think everybody can relate to one of the Beatles. They were just four working guys who exploded on the planet and left their mark. The music reflects the time and at the same time transcends that time as well. The themes are about love and peace, and I think as long as people are looking for love and peace in the world that music will still be relevant."

Ardy Saraf, the Fab Four's founding Paul McCartney, and Liverpool native Gavin Pring (George Harrison), have met a Beatle -- McCartney. But McNeil says the group is well-known in and to the Beatles universe. "We worked with Mark Hudson a bit, who produced Ringo for awhile. We know a lot of Paul's current band; When our Christmas CD came out they got a message to us, 'Hey, good job. We're listening to it in the bus.' I'm sure Paul and Ringo and George, when he was alive, have seen the show online. Whenever we play we approach it as if the Beatles were in the audience, watching, and what would they think? Hopefully they'd would have a good time and realize we're doing a respectful job of producing their music."

McNeil foresees a time in the near future when he'll phase himself out of the Fab Four, though still keep a controlling interest. He's even lined up a replacement, Adam Hastings, who also hails from Liverpool. "After 25 years, I want to be home a little more. But I'm still president of the company, and everybody who started this with me are still my business partners, even though only Ardy's still on stage. So it'll be carrying on, which his great. We've built our own little corporation and company. I look at some of the old 'Beatlemania' guys who aren't doing anything anymore, which is very sad. I didn't want to end up like that. I wanted to end up being on top of my game and having a business of Beatles impersonators rather than being The Guy and then when I'm too old, it's nothing."

The Fab Four performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. $30-$42. 1-866-782-9622 or visit soundboarddetroit.com.

Web Site: www.soundboarddetroit.com

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