Downtown Crowd

Not Quite Fab

Not Quite Fab is the only Beatles tribute band in Northwest Florida and they’ve been performing live in Beatles wigs, boots and suits since 2001. You might’ve seen the four at Evenings in Olde Seville this summer, or down at Bands on the Beach. There’s Dickie Williams as Paul McCartney, Jim DeStafney as George Harrison, Jeff Fitzpatrick as Ringo Starr and Glenn Vignolo as John Lennon. The band agreed to meet up with the Downtown Crowd at DeStafney’s Blues Angel Music, where they were already rehearsing for the upcoming show on August 16 at Wahoo Stadium.

How did the Not Quite Fab four meet?

It started out as a fun thing and just getting together and playing the songs. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it, because we already have daytime jobs we don’t like. Dickie and Jim knew each other, but it was awhile before Jeff and Glenn joined. Glenn was the last to join—six or seven years ago.

How did you decide who would represent what Beatle?

Oh, it just happened and fell into place. The good thing about us is we just have to learn one part. Jim learns George, his vocal and guitar work—he’s got the country, rockabilly, rock styles that George Harrison did. Jeff learns vocals and Ringo’s drumming—Jeff’s even left-handed and plays on a right-handed set like Ringo. Dickie’s favorite Beatle was Paul anyway—he learned Paul’s vocals and bass. And Glenn works John Lennon’s lead vocals, harmonies with Paul, and his guitar.

Favorite concert or show you performed?

Glenn: Apalachicola was a lot of fun because we all dressed up in Beatles appropriate costumes. We were treated like rock stars and I kept thinking, “We’re really just impersonators.”

Jim: That was a good one. But I always like Bands on the Beach. I think as far as feeling good afterwards—exhilarated, feeling like a rock star—those always do it. It gets dark and the audience just goes crazy and it’s always a large number of people—we’ve gotten a crowd of 5,000 out there.

Dickie: One of the ones that was my favorite, and this goes way back to the beginning, was when we played down in Baytowne Wharf. They were going to cancel the show because it was raining. They asked if we would move our venue to The Rum Runner, a restaurant club. So we went inside and it was a tiny stage but we all cramped together and they fit about 500 people in there wall to wall. It reminded me of when The Beatles played at the Cavern Club and everyone was right on top of them and that place was rocking.

Jeff: For me, my favorite was when we did a show that was sponsored by Gretsch guitars called Twangorama. The Beatles played Gretsch guitars in some capacity for their entire 10-year run. We were the first band to go on but we had to share the stage with some extremely talented musicians and ultimately the show ended with a cover band of The Romantics.

What can you tell me about your upcoming show at Wahoo Stadium in August?

Oh man, it’s unbelievable. For August 16, we knew it was going to be the 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium—the biggest Beatles show of all time with 55,000 screaming people. So we’re going to have Ed Sullivan introduce us, we’re going to have a police escort leading us out, and we’re going to run through the field to get up on stage to do the 12 songs they played live all while wearing matching Shea Stadium jackets. We’re going to be joined by other musicians who do tribute performances—we’ll have someone portraying Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis and even Gene Simmons performing a few songs with The Beatles. It’s gonna be a big shindig.