Jerry Hoban was not exactly the graduate deemed Most Likely To Play Ed Sullivan With A Beatles Tribute Band when he attended Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills.
“I wasn’t so much into it in high school, even though my theater teacher tried to get me into doing more stuff,” says the Detroit-born Hoban, 56, who portrays Sullivan for the Fab Four, which is considered one of the top Beatles tribute acts in the world.
“It wasn’t until I went to college that I started getting into theater production and stuff,” Hoban adds, “but it was something I did on the side more or less. But I started doing characters and impersonating famous people.”
Hoban’s “break,” in fact, came while playing Sullivan in an Elvis Presley tribute act, holding the audience’s attention while the Presley impersonator changed costumes, and later starred in a Sullivan tribute show. Hoban — whose acting resume also includes the film “Pulp Fiction” and the TV series “Growing Pains” and “Magnum, P.I.” — hooked up with the Fab Four about 12 years ago and now serves as an emcee of sorts, recreating Sullivan’s pivotal role in the Beatles’ career and again building in time for the band members to change outfits.
“They really do a high-end job,” says Hoban, who now resides in Arizona but still has aunts and cousins back in the Detroit area. “They’re really sticklers about making it sound just like the records, and everything is done live on stage. There’s no tricks to it, nothing pre-recorded.
“And people who never saw the Beatles get to watch it live, as it’s happening. They do all the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ stuff, the ‘Abbey Road’ songs that (the Beatles) never did live. It’s a really great thing to be part of.”
The Fab Four and Steve Acho perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 23, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $20 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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