The Four Tops feature six or seven Christmas songs during their holiday shows, but Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the iconic Motown group's sole remaining original member, says fans can certainly count on hearing all the hits as well.
Mostly, doing the December concerts reminds Fakir of how he and his Motown mates used to celebrate the holidays during the company's heyday.
"A lot of us liked being home at Christmas time, because there were Christmas parties we all enjoyed going to," Fakir, 76, recalls. "And we'd do separate little parties with each other; Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Supremes and the tops would always get together the day before or the day after Christmas and have a little bash if we were in town.
"It was always very exciting."
These are also exciting times for Fakir and the Four Tops. The group plans to work with Ne-Yo on some new music in 2013, while Fakir will also be publishing an autobiography in the new year. And the group is gearing up for its 60th anniversary in 2014 -- though Fakir notes that landmark, as well as his 80th birthday, may also spell the end of his time as a Top.
"That might be my farewell tour," acknowledges Fakir, who expects the Tops to continue and has "a couple of people in mind" to replace him. "At the time of our 60th anniversary I'll be right near the age of 80. Energy-wise and physically I still feel great, but it doesn't seem I should be out singing and traveling around at that age.
"I haven't decided for sure, but in my head I'm thinking something like that, so we'll see."
The Four Tops "Hits and the Holidays" show plays at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $38 and $35.50. Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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