‘‘THERE are three artists in the world who everyone knows what they look like – Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson,’’ says Andrew Hill, who’s played Paul McCartney for nearly 30 years.
‘‘Maybe Abba. But no one has a clue what the drummer from Deep Purple looks like. No one knows what Steve Miller looks like.’’
The Merewether native with a love of the Fab Four and more than a passing resemblance to one of them has been in tribute bands since the late 1980s, when he played the Duck’s Nuts, the Castle, and the Palais. You have to play most nights to do it for a living. He quickly ran out of pubs and RSL clubs and, rather than let it be, went abroad.
Hill’s band Fourever Four came together, right then, in the clubs of Asia, then worked it out in the helter skelter of Vegas. They have a residency, now, in Honolulu and play four days a week (not eight) to crowds of 2000. Plenty of Australians, even Novocastrians.
All you need is love, but details like left-handedness (as McCartney plays the bass) help when you’re playing someone iconic. You need to look like The Beatles. If you don’t, fans will say hello goodbye.
“You’ve got to have the symmetry The Beatles were known for, the two guys at a microphone singing. The guitars need to point the right way,’’ said Hill, who recently found time to get back to visit friends and family. ‘‘And no one wants to hear your interpretation of a great song. No one wants to hear that.’’
If you’re in Hawaii, you can catch Fourever Fab at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel. Please, love them do.
MARRAKECH, 2011. Sunset, dust swirling. Topics and the now Mrs Topics are looking for somewhere to eat.
Having grimaced through last night’s dinner in the ‘‘best restaurant in town’’ (at the urging of the cabbie), we decide no chances will be taken tonight. Out comes our Lonely Planet: Morocco guidebook. Taxi! This restaurant, please.
We arrive to find a softly-lit courtyard populated by wait staff and about 20 diners who, honestly, couldn’t be whiter.
Depressingly like us. All with Lonely Planets.
‘‘Hey man, can I look at your book?’’ asks a German guy with dreadlocks.
‘‘You’ve got the latest one.’’
The exoticness seeps away like air from a stricken balloon.
Such experiences lead Topics to gently dissuade Hunter winemakers from getting steamed up (Herald, September 3) about the valley’s omission from Lonely Planet’s Wine Trails supplement.
Seriously. It’s their book. Newcastle had a solid run in the Lonely Planet list of Top 10 cities to visit. In the age of the internet, won’t they find us anyway?
Perhaps it’s someone else’s turn to be a mecca for busloads of BO and selfie sticks.
Maybe cultivate a little mystery, give people a chance to miss us. Why not be a niche valley?
NEWCASTLE Exceptionalism: noun.
The idea that we’re an isolated mini-state whose complex ways can’t be grasped by an outsider from up or down the M1.
Except when said outsider gets the thumbs-up from a local legend. Then they’re in. Take Knights chief executive Matt Gidley’s endorsement of new coach Nathan Brown (who hails from the Far North Coast, and has coached from Wollongong to West Yorkshire) yesterday.
‘‘He understands Newcastle, he understands what’s important to us and our people, and he articulated that on a number of occasions really well,’’ said Gidley.
A few wins would do the trick, to be honest.
Email Tim on firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TimConnell or phone 4979 5944