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Ron McNeil of Beatles tribute band talks soundtrack and Monty Python

A one night tribute dedicated to a legendary band that spans generations. The Emmy award-winning Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four have traveled around the world, performed in Vegas, and have entertained audiences for almost twenty years. They play the entire Beatles songbook and take requests!

See Emmy award-winning Beatles tribute band, 'The Fab Four' at Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road in Worcester, Massachusetts.
See Emmy award-winning Beatles tribute band, 'The Fab Four' at Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Courtesy of the Fab Four

Take the family and spend an evening with The Fab Four at Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road in Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday, August 23. To get tickets to this unforgettable night, visit indianranch.com and for more on the Fab Four, visit thefabfour.com. See the slideshow for more facts about The Fab Four!

I had the honor of speaking with founder and the John Lennon of the group, Ron McNeil about the group’s beginnings, their upcoming performances at Indian Ranch, and what happened when they collaborated with Monty Python’s Eric Idle. For the full audio interview, click here.

I wanted to ask you about the founding of the group. Did you just get a group of people together for this or was there an audition process? Did you feel like you looked a lot like John Lennon? I’m sure that there’s got to be a little bit of pressure to depict such a character.

I went to a local Beatles convention here in LA. I’ve been a musician, but I was there as a fan of the Beatles watching Beatles films and buying Beatles t-shirts. As part of that convention, they have a sound alike contest. Do you sound like one of the Beatles?

Ardy Sarraf was up there with his band. Just an amateur contestant and he sang a song by Paul McCartney, and I just could not believe it. This guy sounds exactly like Paul McCartney! We got together a couple years later and decided to form the band.

As far as myself choosing John Lennon, I can play bass, keyboards, but Ardy had decided to play Paul and go left handed for the show. Paul McCartney is left handed. I’m right handed and so is Ardy. When he made that decision, I thought ok we got Paul. I’m not doing that, that’s dedication.

I do a lot of different imitations, my teachers, my parents, the Beatles, the Monkees and whoever else is in front of me. My vocal imitation of John Lennon was pretty good, and I thought that would suit me better. My face kind of lends itself more to John than any of the other Beatles so with a little bit of makeup, it all helps.

I understand that you have The Fab Four TV special and the Ultimate tribute TV special soundtrack.

You can buy that online, which we are very proud of as well. People have been asking us all the time where can I buy a CD of your show? Before we would say, “Just go buy ‘Abbey Road.’ Go to iTunes and buy ‘Sergeant Pepper.’” They want to hear how we do it. We’re real happy to have a recorded live show that people can purchase.

That must be ridiculously flattering.

For years, we didn’t have anything. Why would you buy us playing the Beatles, why not just buy the Beatles? I think there is that curiosity factor. How close can it sound and a lot of times people want to take something home from the show to remember how we do it or the show as we perform in it.

Absolutely. You mentioned that at Indian Ranch you’ll be performing the hits.

That’s correct. Basically, our show starts with what people remember 50 years ago, 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' We have a gentleman that comes out and performs as Ed Sullivan. He’s Jerry Hoban and he performed as Ed Sullivan in the motion picture, ‘Pulp Fiction.’ So we are excited to have him on as well. Then we go through all the changes that the Beatles did - Their psychedelic years and then into Abbey Road when they were splitting up. We take the audience through the 60s.

What I found interesting about the Fab Four is that you pay tribute to the Beatles, but I believe that you also parodied them through Rutlemania in 2007.

That’s right! You did your research for sure.

How did you talk to Eric Idle from Monty Python? I think it’s so fantastic that you’d be willing to also parody yourself and do a wonderful tribute too.

Being here in LA, we get calls from a lot of different celebrities. We performed at Dave Grohl’s wedding. We played for Paul Stanley from KISS and we played his 50th birthday party, which was also a blast! Gene Simmons and everybody were there. Eric Idle had called us to do his wedding anniversary and that was a lot of fun.

We thought just as the Beatles, it would be fun to perform a couple Rutles songs. Then he called us on the anniversary of the Rutles to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea to put the show together and spoofing Beatlemania, calling it Rutlemania. Would you guys mind being the Rutles for a little while?’

It was a blast. Eric was great to work with. He was so creative and just on the spot. It’s great to see somebody working just right off the top of their head and making the show great. We played three weeks here in LA and we played three weeks in New York. It was just a blast to get to meet one of the Pythons and working with those people was amazing.

Monty Python is just so wild anyway. I can’t imagine what the kind of humor that went along with doing that kind of a show.

He was so clever. We never would have been able to come up with anything like that. My name is Ron and I got to play Ron Nasty so that was fun too.

What are your future plans with the Fab Four?

We have a couple of projects. We have a new CD project that we are working on right now. I just got back from the studio last night and I’m going again today.
I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic show on Saturday, August 23rd. It’s been wonderful to talk to you today.

It’s great to talk to you and remind everyone to bring the family. It’s a family show and be sure to bring everybody who likes the Beatles. We’re looking forward to seeing you out there.

For tickets, click here and for more information on the Fab Four and their current soundtrack, visit thefabfour.com.