Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Music · The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES
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The ‘Return’ of THE BEATLES

Beatles fans don’t take their tribute bands lightly.

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

When any foursome takes the stage and starts playing as John, Paul, George and Ringo, one false note can ruin the magic. Fortunately, four guys from Georgia aren’t just playing around – they’re serious as Sunday about the sound, look and mannerisms of the Fab Four.

EVERY LITTLE THING

The Return – Michael Fulop (“George Harrison”), Shane Landers (“Paul McCartney”), Richard Stelling (“John Lennon”), and Adam Thurston (“Ringo Starr”) – has been playing Beatles’ music since 1995.

“When we first started, it was just for the fun of it,” said Fulop. “It took many, many years for this to evolve into what it has become today.”

When Fulop and his bandmates began making an effort to replicate The Beatles’ performances, they had no idea what they were in for.

“We didn’t realize just how difficult reproducing some of the finer details would be,” Fulop said. “We figured we already knew the songs – although mostly incorrectly – so we just needed to get some black suits, comb our hair down, and we’d be ready.

“Boy, were we wrong!”

I WANNA BE YOUR MAN

Part of The Return’s appeal is their attention to detail. They’ve managed to outfit themselves both visually and musically in a way that captures much of The Beatles’ sound and image.

“Off stage, we don’t look like them at all,” Fulop said. “But I think the audience cuts us some slack – the look definitely matters, but they know we’re not The Beatles.”

Yet the polish they put on their act shows off both their fandom and musicianship.

They use exact replicas of the instruments that The Beatles used, and went back through their set list of Beatles songs with a fine-toothed comb, learning each part note for note.

They also spent countless hours practicing the signature movements and details of each Beatle, right down to Lennon’s habit of chewing gum onstage.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

But even with all of that careful curating, it’s really the four Return bandmates, Fulop says, that incorporate John’s wit, Paul’s singular vocals, and Ringo’s quirky style.

“And as for myself as George, I’ve been playing music longer than the rest of the guys, so I’m able to help break down the songs and figure out some of the final details,” he said. “I think we have a great mix of guys in the group - as musicians, individuals, and friends.”

WHEN I’M 64

Songs like “Twist and Shout” and “Hey Jude” are The Return’s favorite songs to play live because of the crowd participation, Fulop said.

But even though those are probably easy tickets to ride as far as getting fans to love their sound, The Return remain their own toughest critics, often recording video of their shows so they can go back and review.

“It’s difficult to sound like someone you’re not – but it’s nice to see how much better we’ve gotten through the years,” Fulop said.

Though the care and attention the group gives to their act attracts multiple generations, Fulop said they sometimes worry a bit about their future longevity.

“In the back of our minds sometimes that fear pops up: Are people still going to be crazy about the Beatles in 10 years?” he said. “But all I have to do is listen to a Beatles record, and that reassures me that the answer is yes, yes they will.”

The Return will be in concert on Friday, July 18 at 8pm in Gaylord as part of Alpenfest. For more, visit thereturnonline.com. For a complete Alpenfest schedule, visit gaylordmichigan.net.

 
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