Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

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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