‘Beatles’ have a ticket to ride, are coming to town

The Return focuses on the Beatles’ early 1960s material.
The Return focuses on the Beatles’ early 1960s material. The Return

Attention Beatles fans: The Fab Four, or at least a pretty good facsimile, is coming to the Keys.

Expect to hear lots of your favorite songs from what many call the greatest rock band with tribute band The Return. It plays at the Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St., July 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $55. The show is for those age 21 and older.

The actual Beatles stayed in Key West in 1964 when a hurricane was threatening Jacksonville, where they were scheduled to play. To avoid it, they flew south and stayed overnight in the Southernmost City at a hotel on South Roosevelt Boulevard.

The Atlanta-based Return — Richard Stelling is John, Shane Landers is Paul, Michael Fulop is George and Adam Thurston is Ringo — got its start in 1995 when the four friends got together to play their favorite Beatles songs just for the fun of it. It wasn’t long before they played in front of an audience at the request of a friend and, as it turned out, were very well received. They decided to go ahead and make it official. They named themselves the Roaches.

As time went on, they began to polish up their act a bit and became fixated on the idea of striving for the highest level of authenticity possible. They wanted to recreate the early 1960s Beatles concert experience from the tiniest detail (John Lennon’s on-stage gum-chewing) to the biggest, most expensive details (using exact replicas of the instruments and gear the Beatles used).

While they were learning to comb their moptops just right and finding the right Beatle boots and black suits to wear, they were also learning each song note for note, rhythm for rhythm. They got an agent, changed their name to the Return and that began their touring all over the globe.

They’ve played thousands of shows — theaters, festivals, fairs, casinos, cruise ships, colleges and universities, weddings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs — as well as countless corporate events for companies like Coca Cola, ABC, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Volkswagen International.