On Monday, May 10, WingsBand transported us to the 1970s, post-Beatles, Paul McCartney LIVE on AXS.TV The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands hosted by Katie Daryl. Ardy Sarraf’s portrayal of McCartney was seen season one in the Fab Four. Now, Ardy, with an uncanny resemblance to Sir Paul and vocals to match, explores a decade of prolific hits like Silly Love Songs, Jet, Band on the Run, and the theme song Live and Let Die from the James Bond movie of the same title.
Before hitting the world famous Whisky a go-go stage, we got a chance to chat with Ardy about his early years, the Fab Four, WingsBand and the Beatles.
As a young boy Ardy was exposed to the Beatles through his mother and older sister, but his real interest didn’t peak until after John Lennon’s murder; he wanted to find out why the “whole world was sad …” Ardy explains, “So I started looking into the albums . . . then I started listening and reading the words and go, oh, okay, now I know. Now I know why they loved this guy so much.”
While attending Beatlesfest conventions in Los Angeles, Ardy and his high school friends started competing in the battle of the bands. “I did battle of the bands. Didn’t try to dress up, didn’t try to talk, played right-handed bass, just had fun,” explains Ardy, “and we won four years in a row over the Beatle bands that dressed up like we do now.” It was then Ardy, along with Ron McNeil (John Lennon) and Rolo Sandoval (Ringo), decided they wanted to put together a really good Beatles show.
“So I bought myself a left-handed bass guitar, taught myself how to play left-handed and kind of the rest is history,” Ardy recounts. A monumental task for most, Ardy painstakingly spent months retraining himself to play left-handed. “It was about six or seven months, just a little bit at a time. One song at a time. ‘Love Me Do’ dum-dum-dum-dum. Just one at a time . . . you have to be kind of crazy, you know,” Ardy quips.
With the Fab Four already established as the foremost Beatles tribute band, Ardy and members of the band started dabbling in solo material like a George Harrison tribute and a couple of John Lennon anniversary shows, but it was WingsBand that eventually won out. “Obviously McCartney was pretty much the most successful of the four in terms of solo stuff,” Ardy tells us. WingsBand seemed like a natural progression.
Striving for excellence in performance and authenticity, attention to detail is important to the Fab Four and WingsBand especially from a “Beatles purist” perspective. “We’re very detail oriented. We try our best to give it that level of professionalism and all the little things. The guitars, the stance, the talking, everything.” From the beginning Ardy and the band wanted to be the type of band they would want to see and that’s how they approach everything they do.
As our interview was winding down, it was evident Ardy was pumped and ready to get out on stage, but we had one last question we really wanted to know: had he ever met Paul McCartney. “I met Paul,” Ardy says. “It was very brief. It was cool. It was very surreal . . . about 30 seconds.” And what did he say to Sir Paul we wondered? “What could you say to him he hasn’t heard?” Ardy answers with a smile.
Ardy Sarraf – Paul McCartney (lead vocals, bass, keyboards, acoustic guitar)
Ron McNeil – (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Michael Amador – (vocals, guitar)
Rolo Sandoval – (drums)
Christine Rosander – Linda McCartney (vocals, keyboards)
Wendell Kelly – (horn band section leader. Trombonist, composer, arrange, conductor)
The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands on AXS.TV hosted and produced by Katie Daryl, provides a platform for otherwise unknown tribute bands to perform LIVE on national TV. Now in its third season bands perform live on the world’s famous Whisky a go-go stage in West Hollywood, Monday at 8PM (PT). To see the show IN PERSON get your tickets at EVENTBRITE.