Simply Fab, simply a Beatles musical tribute

Simply Fab, simply a Beatles musical tribute

By Denyse Bayer

By Denyse Bayer

Entertainment Writer

Simply Fab, Rockford’s first Beatles’ tribute band, simply pays homage to one of the most famous bands ever. Paying great attention to the look, sound and feel of the Beatles, the members of Simply Fab painstakingly recreate the performance of the Beatles’ music circa 1963-1966. The band guarantees you get your “Beatles’ worth” in every performance.

The idea for Simply Fab originated a year ago when Jeff Keefer (John) and friend Paul Church (formerly George) of local band Foam Foot decided to play a gig just performing Beatles’ songs. As Keefer explains, “I was looking for a band to open for 420. I called Paul Church about doing some Beatles’ songs. We had always wanted to do that anyway. It wasn’t really a band, it was just us. Some other folks said they were interested in hearing more Beatles’ songs, so we hired Dave Robinson, or Ringo, to play drums.”

After a few gigs as a trio, Church left to focus on his prior musical commitments. Keefer and Robinson went on to add Doug Janicke as George and Scott Carlson as Paul. With the foursome in place, the band decided to make their look, sound and feel as authentic as possible. But the members of Simply Fab discovered recreating the Beatles’ sound and look was simply challenging.

According to Keefer, “I played with all these guys before in bands, and there was a certain comfort level there. I knew they were big Beatles fans, which is a prerequisite for this. It’s tough music to play, and it’s very challenging. Everybody and their brother knows what it’s supposed to sound like, so you can’t get away with much. In most bands, you’re only working with the music. We’re used to that. But having to deal with all the other production stuff, that’s kind of new.”

A great deal of effort goes into the production of each performance. Claiming they spend as much time discussing the placement of the buttons on their jackets as they do the songs they perform, Simply Fab concentrates not only on the theatrics of the show, but the clothes, the hair, the accents, and they even play replicas of the instruments that the original Fab Four used. According to Carlson, “I’m not sure all of us thought we would go to this extent. I wanted to do it because I love the music. It’s been fun tying all the stuff together and picking apart their performances. There are a lot of

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helps out there too.”

Keefer adds, “It’s keeping with the live appeal that you would have heard at a Beatles’ concert. It’s easier to set the fantasy when you do all the production stuff. If they have seen us before, and they haven’t seen us in a while, they will be very surprised.”

Recently, Simply Fab won the coveted Best of Rockford Award from On The Waterfront. As a prize, the band received a time slot on the Oldies Stage during the On The Waterfront Festival.

According to the band members, they realize not just their talent helped them win, but an ever-present “Beatle mania” that exists in the hearts of music fans. Keefer states, “Winning Best of Rockford for the On The Waterfront was a big surprise. It’s more a record of the Beatles popularity, not ours. It’s the Beatles that we are selling. We’re selling the Beatles’ popularity and the fame of their music. I hope people enjoy the fantasy.”Catch Simply Fab at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, September 1 on the Oldies Stage at On The Waterfront and Thursday Aug.30 at Media Play for an Acoustic Show at 7 p.m.

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