The Fab Faux

The Beatles came very near creating the "concept" LP, but they did perfect it. I assume you are familiar with the idea, where all the tracks of a side or the whole record are tied together by a unifying theme or idea. It's a recording fad that has come and gone, having lasted about 10 years, from 1967 or so until the late 70's, when it pretty much went the way of the joy buzzer and the dribble glass. If you're unfamiliar with the whole idea, ask your Dad to dust off his copy of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" and listen to it all the way through. I'll wait.

Done? Good. It was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band" in 1967 that kicked off the craze that brought us such LP's as: The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds", the Moody Blues "Days of Future Past," (in production when "Sergeant Peppers" was released), and most notably The Rolling Stones' "Their Satanic Majesties Request,” that glorious, dark failure of a record. But go ahead and finish, I'll wait.

As time went on, The Beatles’ music got more complex, and less accessible, though it was still wildly popular. Incomprehensible, but popular might be a better way of putting it. Alas, neither "SPLHCB" or "MMT" have held up well, and with "The White Album" they came back down to earth a bit...until "Abby Road". Now I don't know about you, but "Abby Road" has to be high on my Top 10 list; just above "An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer,” (Poisoning Pigeons In The Park itself makes a completely different Top 10 list). ...and on that album is the concept referred to as "Side 2" "Because" and "Here Comes The Sun" stand alone, but "You Never Give Me Your Money", "Sun King", "Mean Mr. Mustard", "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" and "The End" can no more be separated into their component parts as I could be from a hash pipe in 1969.

Now there is no denying that it's a complex piece of music, with many, many overdubs and other technical things I don't understand. It's also a given that generally, bands, even Beatles tribute bands of which there are many...tend to

leave it alone. Well, enter The Fab Faux. Formed in New York City by David Letterman's bass player, Will Lee, the core consists of Lee, Conan O'Brian's (and Al Kooper's) lead guitarist Jimmy Vivino, drummer and New York session man Rich Pagano, session guitarist Frank Agnello, and keyboard/guitarist Jack Petruzzelli. They are complimented by the Hogshead Horns and The Cream Tangerine Strings, not to mention the ever-popular "Guest Artists," that have populated their ranks from time to time. What makes these guys different is they deal mostly in "newer" Beatles tunes, and NOT dressing up in costume. They don't emulate the Beatles, just their music. So early in 2010, the guys gathered at Sirius Radio studios and recorded the "Abby Road" medley live. No overdubs, no sweeting, no nothing. It is a wonderful work and one of the best tributes to The Beatles I have ever seen.

Now, I can't let the opportunity pass without mentioning The Beatnix. Australia is the home of a million cover bands.....think The Australian Pink Floyd Show for example.......mostly because the "real" groups don't tour there. Now in the early 90's the Australian TV show, "The Money or The Gun" had a running gag where they would have cover bands do "Stairway To Heaven" (There's a lady that's sure that all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to...enough, I think I'm gonna be sick. A Doors cover does a great job but one of the best comes from an Australian Beatles tribute band. Trust me. It's very good.