There are countless Beatle tribute bands, and then there’s the definitive Beatles tribute band of all, The Fab Four. On Wednesday night, New Year’s Day, the local PBS affiliate, WEDU, based in Tampa, aired exclusively the television special “The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute” as part of their official tour dates.
During several obligated pledge drive breaks they asked for your donations. As an incentive you’d receive The Fab Four CDs, the restored DVD of the Beatles film “Help!” from 1965, and tickets to the Fab Four’s Tampa Bay appearance in May at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater.
If you’ve seen the film from 1981 “Beatlemania” the Fab Four follow a similar format going from the Beatlemania era to 1970. That’s where the similarities end. This tribute concert is truly like going into a time machine to when the Beatles were, and still are, fab. Their detail to costumes, sets, instruments, and music is stellar. Out of the four musicians, it was Gavin Pring as George Harrison who looked like his double. At times you thought it was Harrison on stage.
Musically they sounded almost exactly like the Beatles. It was uncanny at times. One of the highlights was seeing each of them with their solos. Paul (Ardy Sarraf) performed “Yesterday” complete with a string quartet, Ringo (Erik Fidel) sang “Yellow Submarine” featuring John’s sound effects, George did “Here Comes the Sun,” and of course John at the piano for his poignant “Imagine.”
Unfortunately this edition of “The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute” was edited due to the WEDU pledge breaks. During the one-hour it featured a number of songs from each era that opened with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by “All My Loving,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “A Day In the Life,” “Revolution,” and closing with “Hey Jude” to name just a few.
According to the Fab Four website's Tour link, their TV special will air again on WEDU. The date is Sunday, January 5. If you missed it the first time, here’s your chance to see The Fab Four once again.