The Beatles are the most popular band in the history of music. While that statement is up for debate, many people would tend to agree and the fact that a band that broke up in 1970 and is as popular today as it was at the peak of their career is amazing and powerful. In the midst of their profound success, there have been a number of musicians that have done covers and created tribute bands but when we use words like “amazing and powerful,” one tribute band stands out from the crowd and that would be the famed “Toppermost.”
The band that start 10 years ago as an afterthought have become one of the most successful Beatles tribute band in the country and have developed a following that rivals that of most groups that are producing songs that are currently rising up the charts. With over 70 shows a year and holding full-time day jobs of which they have all attained success in their professional lives, one has to ask what motivates Toppermost to have such a hectic schedule and continue to evolve after playing together for over a decade with shows that last between 2-3 hours and sometimes commands more than one show in a night with tedious travel. We were lucky enough to have an opportunity to sit down with the group and learn more about them.:
We Love Ann Arbor (WLAA): What are the names of the members? Your website had some amazing material but I didn’t see actual profiles of your team.
Toppermost: Due to our professional lives outside of music we kept the names off of the website but here is who we are: Ron Lockhart whom plays George Harrison, Tom Diab whom is Paul McCartney, Tony Iadipaolo whom is John Lennon and Mario Kyriakides whom is Ringo Starr.
WLAA: How did this all start?
Toppermost: Ron started the the group with an ad in the newspaper. The idea was to make a little extra money on the side because Ron had children going to college and the next thing you know we were traveling across Michigan and to different places across the globe.
WLAA: Are most of your shows in Michgan?
Toppermost: We have a fanbase in Michigan so that is where we predominatly play but we have been to various states and also been engaged to play in different countries.
WLAA: Would you say that the Beatles are still a large draw outside of the United States?
Toppermost: It’s funny, whether you go to Canada, India or the Netherlands, everybody knows and love The Beatles. The amazing thing that people in the United States say is how the 12 year- old child and the 65 year-old adult enjoy the music together but in other countries, no matter what walk of life or socioeconomic position one is in, The Beatles seem to transcend the world.
WLAA: What is your inspiration to keep performing and travelling so much with your day jobs?
Toppermost: It’s definitely the energy of the crowd. Nostalgia is a huge thing that brings us all together and The Beatles represent cohesiveness and stability.
WLAA: On your website, there is some original music. Do you plan to release new songs in the future?
Toppermost: It’s something that we have considered but our main goal is to make people happy and there is no question that The Beatles do make people happy. There is no question that going to a Toppermost show is an experience that is difficult to describe. Across the Internet, the general commentary is that “Toppermost is Broadway on the road. This is the closest thing to going to see the real Beatles and when you go to their shows, you need to get ready to have a good time.”
Toppermost generally does 16 songs per set and have 5 costumes that span the career of The Beatles. The group truly lives the part and provide a sense of energy that is rarely seen in 2017. The passion and commitment to the music is what has made Toppermost evolve into such a strong force while the rest of the world is changing. To quote George Harrison when asked about The Beatles breaking up, “The Beatles didn’t change, the world changed.” Those words are very profound and leave a lasting effect. When asked my Toppermost has become such a vital part of the Michigan community one long-time fan coined words similar to George Harrison and may have said it best: “As the world changes and we get lost in who we are, we find that very few things can bring us back to a better place. Toppermost is one of those things and for that, I am forever grateful.”
To learn more about Toppermost visit their website at: http://www.toppermost.info/. It is also important to mention that Toppermost will be performing on Friday August 11 during “Dexter Daze” and a full copy of their tour schedule can be viewed at: www.toppermost.info/schedule.
Bill Amadeo is a partner at the law firm of McManus PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also owns and operated BAT Tutoring in Lansing, Michigan. Bill is a contributing writer for “We Love Dexter” and “We Love Ann Arbor.” He can be reached at: [email protected].