George Harrison's Musical Legacy Will Be Celebrated at Beacon Theatre by The Fab Faux

George Harrison's Musical Legacy Will Be Celebrated at Beacon Theatre by The Fab Faux
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George Harrison's extraordinary musical career will be feted this coming Saturday at New York City's Beacon Theatre by the Fab Faux, dubbed "the greatest Beatles cover band" by Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke. Legendary rock critic and Sirius XM radio host Dave Marsh enthused, "Amazingly, they're so good at it you learn new things about the originals."

The Fab Faux (Used With Permission)
L to R: Rich Pagano, Frank Agnello, Will Lee, Jimmy Vivino, Jack Petruzzelli

The band, a labor of love born in 1998 when neighbors Jimmy Vivino (bandleader/guitarist for Conan O'Brien) and Will Lee (bassist for Paul Shaffer's CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman) came up with the idea during a communal elevator ride in their apartment building. Jimmy and Will are joined by lead-singing drummer/producer Rich Pagano (Rosanne Cash, Patti Smith, sugarCane cups), guitarist Frank Agnello (Marshall Crenshaw, Phoebe Snow), and keyboardist/guitarist Jack Petruzzelli (Joan Osborne Band, Rufus Wainwright).

Harrison would have been 70 years old this past February. The Fab Faux will be joined onstage for this show which celebrates his birthday (their biggest production yet, drummer Rich Pagano told me) by the Hogshead Horns, The Creme Tangerine Strings, The Weeping Atlas Singers, Erin Hill and Jim Boggia as well as Special Guest Jim Keltner. Keltner played drums for John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr on various solo works as well as for a multitude of other artists. Keltner was also, in fact, a huge influence on Pagano's career, ever since he first saw The Concert for Bangladesh at his local movie theater.

"My mother dropped me off with my best friend, in our hometown, at a matinee show of Bangladesh. We were huge Beatles fans and we sat in the second row even though nobody was there, there were maybe seven people in the whole theater," Rich recalled. "We sat in the second row so it was as if we were in the first row at the concert, and that was the first rock and roll movie I ever saw. . . I had just started playing drums, and I loved the feel of the double drummers and how they played off of each other." Keltner and Ringo had both shared the stage at those shows, bringing a powerhouse of percussive beats to drive that powerful event. Pagano credits the movie as the beginning, for him, as far as the love of playing live, how to present a live performance, and the feel of a band when they play live together.

This is the first time the Fab Faux have done a show that focuses solely on George Harrison's music. "We're five George freaks, especially his solo period. There are some deep cuts that really sounded great at rehearsal and they should translate well with the audience." Pagano went on to elaborate, "The sleeper of the night for us so far was playing "Living In the Material World" which really translated as a fun song to play at rehearsal. And then, mastering "Run of the Mill" which has got that strange meter - but I don't want to give too much away as far as the song choices!" However, fans of Harrison's masterful solo debut, All Things Must Pass, should be very happy with the set. Besides Keltner, the production will be further fleshed out by two extra players, Jim Boggia and Erin Hill, playing everything from percussion to guitars to backing vocals.

Besides Harrison's musical legacy, his love of Eastern spirituality deeply influenced the Western world. It might not be too much of a stretch to say that were it not for him, things like yoga and meditation would not be household words today. "I think of {George} when life gets tough and you have to find an element in your life that is going to center you and make it so you don't fly off the handle when certain adversarial elements are in front of you," Rich said. "I do see him as a bit of a role model when it comes to finding that core peace that you need to tap into when life gets rough." Another of George's tremendous contributions to the world was to bring in Indian music to his own work as far back as 1966, which was the nascent beginning of world music's acceptance in the culture. "He definitely brought Indian music to the west. Ravi Shankar said it too, if not for George, he couldn't really say how the world would know about the tabla and the sitar."

The band have Olivia Harrison's blessing to make this very special show a partial benefit for the Material World Foundation that she and George set up some years ago to encourage the exploration of alternative and diverse forms of artistic expression and to support diverse established charities and people with special needs.

For tickets to The George Harrison 70th Birthday Celebration at the Beacon Theatre, Saturday October 26th, visit Ticketmaster

For more on the Fab Faux and upcoming shows visit their website

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