Last night Dennis and I went to Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank to see The Fab Faux (http://www.thefabfaux.com) perform The Beatles “White Album” in entirety.
This was part of my birthday gift to Dennis (his birthday was back in January, which is when I gave him the tickets). And this was also special for me because the “White Album” was the first Beatles record I owned — at age 13 or 14. The album was released in 1968, but by the time I discovered it, it was the summer of 1976. Still a time where great music was banged out left and right, and the almost 10-year-old White Album held up to the time.
The double album is a masterpiece with a variety of songs of all styles (which is why it always blows my mind when people say they don’t like the Beatles. How can you not like a band that is so eclectic and changed so much in the short time of their career?)
This was my third time seeing the Fab Faux and they are always impressive. Again, not a band that is trying to be the Beatles, but rather capture their catalog of work and entertain the audience no matter how many people they have to get onstage to do it, including a horn section and harpist. After all The White Album wasn’t just the Beatles — it had a ton of guest musicians and session musicians playing.
The did each and every song, on the White Album, in order. Perfection is an understatement. They truly went above and beyond. But the moment I was waiting for all night was the second to last song — Revolution 9, an art piece written by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and George Harrison.
The Fab Faux pulled off this experimental piece brilliantly with tape loops and sound effects and spoken word vocals.
As a young teen, that sound always scared me. It was a creepy cool freak-out to go back to that place last night. This You Tube clip isn’t from the show we saw last night, but from just two months ago. I encourage you to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbIFK35bqYA
Followed by “Goodnight” written by Ringo Starr, the Fab Faux took their bows and then returned with two more Beatles songs that weren’t on The White Album, “Please Please Me” (I love that song! My husband’s band Pharoah played that song early in their career) and “Hey Jude.”
It’s such a blessing that we have musicians such as Fab Faux to carry on the legend of The Beatles. It breaks my heart when you see shows like American Idol and the young performers have no idea who The Beatles are. It’s tragic. Musicians should always know their roots and without The Beatles, we wouldn’t have a lot of music!
As a diehard Queen fan, I can hear so many of their influences in the Beatles music, especially The White Album.
The Beatles are the one band, where the production of their work is so pristine you can listen to their songs out of one speaker and still get something out of it.
And hearing, a live version of a record, played in order as it should be, was truly a euphoric experience that took me back to teenage years.
Bassist and founder Will Lee is my favorite Fab Faux. His energy is through the roof, jumping around, joking. He’s super great. Guitarist Jimmy Vivino plays in the house band for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He is also the brother of NJ legend Uncle Floyd Vivino. Other current members are: Rich Pagano, drums, vocals; Frank Agnello, guitar, vocals; and Jack Petruzzelli, keys, guitar, vocals. Plus a ton of guest musicians.
I was lucky, years ago, to have been backstage and interviewed them for The Montclair Times. It was on New Year’s Eve too, one of the most magical New Year’s Eves of my life! I had front row to see three Fab Faux performances. Jackie the Jokeman from Howard Stern show was also in the audience that night.
I look forward to seeing more performances from Fab Faux as they never disappoint!