Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Exclusive! Beatles tribute bands wage war!
All you need is love? No way! At least not in ultracompetitive Beatle Tribute Land, where two of the foremost groups of Beatles imitators are at war-- with a “Ringo” in the middle.
The world of dead ringer, note-perfect copycats is being rocked by the animosity between Fab Forever and The Fab Four, a battle of the bands that began with the alleged attempted theft of a drummer.
At the center of the scandal is Jerry Peluso, known as the Brian Epstein of Tribute Groups (though he’s not gay or Jewish and, as far as we know, never spent a dirty weekend with his Lennon character). In the late 90s, Peluso managed the Fab Four and took them from low-paying gigs to the toppermost of the imitators’ poppermost with an extended stay at the Las Vegas Hilton in 2000. But at the peak of their success, according to Peluso, the Fabs booted him to the curb “and got away with it because we were working on a handshake deal.”
Peluso responded by digging deep into the Beatles tribute underworld and gathering the four best individual Beatle players in the country-- including Peter George, who plays John Lennon (we know, this gets confusing) and drummer Greg George (no relation), who performed as Ringo in the popular tribute group, 1964 The Tribute.
Through intense rehearsals, Peluso whipped the new group into top shape, turned them into Fab Four rivals, and is now taking them to ultimate Tribute heights with an all-out theatrical production that takes the audience through “A Musical History Tour” of the Beatles.
And that’s when things got ugly. After he secured some high-end gigs for the new Beatles band, Peluso got wind that the Fab Four’s NeoLennon (Ron McNeil) was secretly trying to recruit the Fab Forever’s drummer.
“I took four schnooks who don’t even resemble the Beatles, I take them to the pinnacle of the Tribute world, bigger than the Thai Elvis, even—and they screw me over twice!” Peluso told Tabloid Baby in an exclusive interview. “Some thanks.”
The tug-of-Ringo led to more intrigue, as the Fab Four’s prosthetic-nosed drummer, Rolo (dubbed by Peter Noone “the Polynesian Ringo”--fitting in well next to the groups’s “Mexican George” and "Iranian Paul") had no idea that he was on the verge of becoming the Pete Best of drumming impersonators!
“Greg (Fab Forever’s drummer) is such an honest guy, he called me immediately to say he was being scouted and lured by the competition,” said Peluso. “In a way, it’s a compliment. The Fab Four has been around for more than a decade. And they’re feeling the heat from a project that was just launched in February.”
Peluso says he was moved by his new Ringo’s honesty. “After the way those ungrateful Fab Four midgets screwed me, it’s great to be working with a group that’s as honorable as they are talented.
“And by the way, Ron better not think of stealing our Lennon— Oh wait, if he did, then he’d have to replace himself.”
Expect the competition to get even more fierce. With the success of the Cirque du Beatles show, “Love,” at the Mirage, Beatles acts are hotter than Elvis in Las Vegas.
And after turning down lucrative offers in Branson and Atlantic City, Peluso is about to settle on a very fab deal to place the Fab Forever on the Vegas Strip.
Dueling Ringos: Greg and Rolo, with actual schnozzolas.
Fab fact #1: Fab Forever’s Peter George appeared as a John Lennon imitator in the classic comedy film, Vegas Vacation (a Tabloid Baby Top 10).
Fab fact #2: No member of Fab Forever has an ex-porn model estranged wife like the real Paul McCartney does, but they do have a porn star fan in Monica Mendez, who’s been seen at their gigs!