BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Ardy Sarraf apologizes for the roughness in his voice. It is the result of being on the road week after week performing with the Emmy Award-winning The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute.

His voice is going to get another workout Sept. 17 as the Fab Four make a return trip to Bakersfield to perform at the Bakersfield Fox Theater. The two-hour show – that is a note-for-note live performance of Beatles’s classics – starts at 8 p.m.

The band – that includes Sarraf as Paul McCartney, Ron McNeil as John Lennon, Michael Amador as George Harrison and Rolo Sandoval as Ringo Starr – performs such tunes as “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Twist And Shout,” “Here Comes The Sun,” and “Hey Jude.” They dress in three different outfits during the show that reflect various points in the Beatles’ career.

Sarraf was a music fan long before he started performing as McCartney.

“I grew up in a house of music because my mom was a Gospel singer,” Sarraf says. “I was dragged around to some rehearsals with her so I was always around music. Then I started hearing her Everly Brothers albums. Barry Manilow.

“My sister is not musical at all but she got into the Beatles once John Lennon was killed in 1980. I was wondering why the whole world was so sad about this guy dying. That’s when I started listening to their albums and I was like ‘Oh. Now I know.’”

It was about that time that Sarraf saw a tribute band at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and was mesmerized by their performance. With his newfound appreciation of the band, Sarraf and several friends he had met through various Beatles conventions started performing Beatles music at battles of the bands. That finally morphed into the current version of the Fab Four.

Looking the part presented a special challenge for Sarraf. To play and portray McCartney, Sarraf – who is naturally right handed – had to learn how to play the bass with his left hand. Sarraf knew if the Fab Four was going to be the ultimate tribute band, he needed to fully commit to changing his playing style.

“I bought a left-handed bass and every single day I started playing one song at a time,” Sarraf says. “It is repetition and you have to want to do it. It definitely helped with the image for sure.”

The deep commitment to looking and sounding like the original Fab Four comes from a deep commitment and appreciation each member of the band has for the Beatles. The fact they love the music has meant that they have never gotten tired of Beatles record catalogue.

The band has discovered that passion for the Beatles continues to grow as new generations find the music. That means the audiences that turn up for their shows are a wide mix of young and old.

Each performance by the Fab Four includes 26-28 songs. One reason they play so many of the Beatles tunes is that the early releases are very short. Sarraf promises that the band will play the “greatest hits” but when they make a return trip to an area, they will occasionally perform songs that were on the flip side of the record that featured a major hit.

“You have to hit the audience with the songs they know and are familiar with,” Sarraf says. “We throw in songs from the B sides especially when we return to a city because we don’t want people to see the exact same show.

“We don’t do the exact same set so there will be some new songs here and there. But you can’t take out ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and throw in ‘Doctor Robert.’ At a Beatles convention, they will love that. But at a general public kind of show you have to stick with the hits.”

What Sarraf has found with each return engagement to a city the audience tends to be a 50-50 split of those who have seen previous performances by the band and those who are new to the show. He promises those who are seeing the show for the first time that it will be a fun experience.

They have taken that fun experience around the globe performing in Japan, Australia, France, Hong Kong, The United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Brazil. The Fab Four have headlined International Beatle Week in Liverpool, performing at the festival in 2004, 2008, 2011 and 2019.

The band provided motion capture performances for the Cirque du Soleil Beatles LOVE Show’s 10th anniversary revamp in 2017. They were hand-picked by director Robert Zemeckis to portray the Beatles in the performance sequences of the then-planned remake of “Yellow Submarine” in 2010. The numerous television appearances for them include “Entertainment Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Ellen DeGeneres’s Really Big Show.”

For ticket information, call (661) 324-1369.