Photos © 2016 by: Roman Sobus
ABOUT THE FAB FAUX:
With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire, The Fab Faux treat the seminal music with unwavering respect, and are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Far beyond a cover band, they play the music of The Beatles so impeccably that one must experience it to believe it. Imagine hearing complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Because”, “Nowhere Man”, and “Paperback Writer”, reproduced not only note-for-note, but with extra vocalists to achieve a double-tracked effect.
The musical virtuosity of The Fab Faux – in actuality five of the hardest working musicians in NYC – completely up-ends the concept of a Beatles tribute band. Far beyond being extended sets of cover versions, their astounding shows are an inspired re-discovery of the Beatles’ musical magic, as The Fab Faux tackles the group’s most demanding material live onstage in a way that has to be experienced to be believed.
Calling them, “the greatest Beatles cover band – without the wigs,” Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke wrote, “the Faux invigorate the artistry of even the Beatles’ most intricate studio masterpieces with top chops and Beatlemaniac glee.” Approaching the songs with the intent of playing them live as accurately in musical reading and in spirit as possible, The Faux’s breathtaking performances tend to dispel all concertgoers’ previous notions of a Beatles tribute act.
The Fab Faux are a labor of love that was born in 1998 when neighbors Jimmy Vivino, guitarist/Musical Director for Conan O’Brien and Will Lee (who’s played with all 4 Beatles), bassist for Paul Shaffer’s CBS Orchestra on the Late Show With David Letterman kicked around the idea during an elevator ride in their NYC building. Rounding out the line-up are lead-singing drummer/producer Rich Pagano (Rosanne Cash, Patti Smith, Ray Davies, etc.- in ’97, Will had been playing in Europe with Pagano and they too were toying with the idea of creating the greatest Beatles band upon their return to the states), guitarist Frank Agnello (Marshall Crenshaw, Phoebe Snow, etc.) and ace keyboardist/guitarist Jack Petruzzelli (Joan Osborne Band, Rufus Wainwright). All five principals contribute vocals, making the Faux’s soaring harmonies as resonant as their multi-instrumental chops, which are further enhanced by the four-piece Hogshead Horns (with Blues Brothers, Blood, Sweat & Tears and SNL band alums) and Creme Tangerine Strings.
The Faux’s high energy shows have generated serious buzz not only at top NYC venues including Hammerstein Ballroom, the Beacon Theatre and Radio City Music Hall – with Beatles fans, movie stars and world class musicians in attendance – but at major dates in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Park City, Utah (Sundance), Philadelphia and Toronto, among other locales. They’ve headlined 4 of the last 5 years at Liverpool’s annual Beatle Week, playing before 35,000 Beatle fanatics – while in England, they had the rare honor of recording an original song at Abbey Road Studios – and also delighted the masses performing live on the Howard Stern Show. Benefit and corporate dates have included events for JVC, the N.B.A. and the Michael J. Fox Parkinsons Research Foundation.
“It’s not just a cover band,” says the Faux’s Pagano. “This is the greatest Pop music ever written, and we’re such freaks for it.” Imagine the instrumental complexities of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life” performed part-perfect with an orchestra. The lush, multi-layered harmonies of “Because,” and “Eleanor Rigby” sung note-for-note. The adrenaline rush of “Helter Skelter” and “Paperback Writer” delivered spot on, down to the barnyard sound effects…