NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of New York musicians is planning to do what the Beatles never did — perform the songs the Fab Four might have recorded as their final album had they stayed together just a little longer.
The Beatles tribute band The Fab Faux — made up of some of the New York’s leading professional musicians — will perform the songs they think would have been on that album on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The performance at New York’s Webster Hall consists of material from the original Fab Four’s early solo careers.
All of the tracks will be performed with distinctive Beatles-type arrangements, rather than the spartan feel of Lennon’s early recordings and McCartney’s first solo effort, recorded at his home almost as a demo tape.
“It’s totally on a lark because it didn’t happen. It wouldn’t have happened,” keyboardist and guitarist Jack Petruzzelli said.
The Fab Faux’s set will include the John Lennon songs “Jealous Guy,” “Instant Karma,” “Mother,” “Remember” and “Gimme Some Truth.” From Paul McCartney comes “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Every Night,” “Another Day,” “Hot as Sun/Glasses” and “Oo You.” They’ll also perform George Harrison’s tunes “All Things Must Pass” and his solo hit “My Sweet Lord” and “What is Life.”
And no late Beatles album would be complete without a Ringo Starr song, in this case, “It Don’t Come Easy.”
Many of the songs were tried out by the Beatles while they were together. But the Fab Faux chose December 1970 as the cutoff date for when a song had to be started to give them the best material to work with. The Beatles officially split in April 1970, when McCartney said he was leaving the band.
The Fab Faux was dreamed up a decade ago, by musician Will Lee, who has played with all four Beatles and whose regular gig is playing bass in the house band on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” He wanted to start “the greatest Beatles band that anyone has ever seen.”
Within a year, four other musicians joined the project. There was Rich Pagano, who has toured with Rosanne Cash and Patti Smith, and whose love of the Beatles dates back to playing in a Beatles-tribute band as a teenager.
Petruzzelli, who has played with Joan Osborne and Rufus Wainwright, was also added to the lineup. So too was Jimmy Vivino, Lee’s neighbour and the guitarist for NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” band. Guitarist Frank Agnello, who had toured with Marshall Crenshaw and Phoebe Snow, rounded the Fab Faux out as the fifth member.
“We’re not a wigs and noses Beatles band,” said Vivino. The band’s obsession with detail sets them apart from mere pretenders, he said.
“We look at it totally, totally from the music side, the way a chamber orchestra does Mozart or Beethoven.”
Lee, who once telephoned Ringo Starr to check his theory of how a certain drum sound was produced, said advances in music technology makes their job easier.
“We know the tricks. We know how to get the sound,” he said.
The Fab Faux hopes to create the magic that the other three Beatles would have brought to each member’s solo work.
“The flavour of what we do is such that it really does satisfy somebody who wants to groove at an event, wants to move and stuff, and it also is just as palatable to those who just want to sit and watch a show, just listen to music,” Lee said.