While the Beatles officially broke up in the spring of 1970, that didn’t stop more music coming from John, Paul, George and Ringo.
In fact, according to Adam Boc, the founder and one of the driving forces behind the tribute band, AfterFab — The Beatles Solo Years, if anything, there was even more to be heard from the Fab Four after they went their separate ways following a decade spent together as a group.
AfterFab, who specialize in the post-Beatles era works of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are one of the 30 groups scheduled to appear in the Forest City between Sept. 23-25 at The London Beatles Festival.
“The solo Beatles actually had more Top-40 hits than they did as a group,” said Boc. “There’s a large number of songs that were popular and penetrated people’s memories, but weren’t kept alive by oldies and classic rock radio, so sometimes there is a little gap in their memory and we fill that.”
Based out of the Boston area, Boc started putting the group together in 2012 but it wasn’t until the fall of 2013 when they actually played their first gig.
Referring to themselves as a tribute or ‘reverence band,’ and not a cover band, Boc said a lot goes into getting the music just right.
“We spend a lot of time and effort into breaking down the studio tracks and matching what’s on the record.”
Even though it may not be 100 percent accurate to what’s on the recordings, “That’s acceptable as long as what you’re doing doesn’t violate anyone’s memory or expectation of what’s on the record,” he said.
For a tribute band like AfterFab to be successful, one area that Boc points to specifically is the vocals. “It needs to be the exact melody, the exact words and exact phrasing. The reason being because people are singing along and they don’t want to be thrown. Pretty much the same goes for signature riffs and lead-instrument parts and things like that.”
A Beatles fan since the age of five or six after being given a copy of Meet The Beatles by his dad, Boc said it seemed only right to concentrate on the post-Beatles years when forming AfterFab.
“Everything about the Beatles group material is burned into my memory. It seemed unapproachable to play Beatles songs — it could never be right. But the solo stuff seemed more approachable in a way, even though it’s more difficult to execute.”
The music plays to people’s memories and emotions.
“People just love it, they eat it up. It’s amazing. The specific reaction is, ‘Man, I forgot how many great songs they produced during the solo years.’ I think the chief reason for that is just the way classic rock radio has evolved. In the U.S. at least, every station in the country seems to be programmed out of one office in L.A. and it’s a fixed playlist. You only hear about a dozen of these things whereas there is a greater variety of Beatles group material that’s still played and stays alive that way through classic rock radio.”
While Boc isn’t about to give away their whole set list for the London show, he did note they have been spending a lot of time mastering Live and Let Die, originally written by Paul and Linda McCartney for the James Bond movie of the same name, and performed by his band Wings. Giving a lot of credit to AfterFab keyboardist Doug Alexander who likes to replicate the sounds as close to real as possible, Boc said the biggest challenge in performing that particular piece is making it sound big with six-piece band, not an entire orchestra.
AfterFab—The Beatles Solo Years are performing both Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Wolf Performance Hall as part of the London Beatles Festival.