CWU alum helps bring back The Beatles as a member of The Fab Four

  • March 27, 2024
  • Joshua Packard 

The Beatles were, and arguably still are, one of the most influential bands of all time. Though we sadly can no longer see the original group perform, a Central Washington University alum plays a key role in keeping The Beatles’ spirit alive.

The Fab Four is a Beatles tribute band that has paid homage to the famous 1960s band for over 20 years. CWU alumnus Jon Fickes (’06) plays an essential role in the band, impersonating the band’s founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist John Lennon. 

The Emmy Award-winning band has garnered prominence throughout the world, playing everywhere from Japan to Brazil to Australia. They perform every song in The Beatles’ discography and even dress as the band did, such as wearing the uniforms The Beatles used during the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band era. 

cwu-jon-fickes-beatles-main.jpg“Aside from the Emmy Award, we took part in a motion capture for The Beatles Rock Band video game, a motion capture for Beatles Cirque du Soleil, and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, among others,” Fickes said. 

Fickes, who grew up in Moses Lake, looks back fondly at his time at Central. He studied in Hertz Hall and was there to see the construction and opening of the current music building, McIntyre Hall. He reminisces about some of his past professors and how they helped shaped him as a professional performer.

“I was lucky enough to have attended during the tenure of Dr. Peter Gries, chair of the music department,” said Fickes, who earned a bachelor's degree in guitar performance. “He was a wizard, bringing clarity and understanding to all subjects. I loved singing in the choir with Professor (Vijay) Singh, music theory with Dr. (Chris) Bruya, and music history with Maria Roditeleva-Wibe. Hours and hours were spent practicing in the music building. I practiced so much, hunched over my guitar, that my chest would crack!”

Fickes says his time at CWU was invaluable, shaping both his passions and path in life.

“CWU was an easy decision for me,” he said. “My parents met while attending Central in the '70s and my brother went there. So, when it was time to go to college, Central was the obvious decision. I wouldn't be half the musician I am today without my years spent studying music there.”

After graduating from college, Fickes had the opportunity to join The Fab Four in 2019. 

“I’ve loved The Beatles forever,” he said. “They got me into music, so it’s been a lifelong passion.”

The band continues to make an impression on the world, just as The Beatles did almost 60 years ago, revitalizing some of the most acclaimed albums and songs, like "Hey Jude” and “A Day in the Life.”

The Fab Four can be found playing across the country throughout the year, even playing Christmas specials.

If you’re a fan of The Beatles, there’s nothing better than experiencing the classical group in concert before your eyes, even a half-century later. And if you’re unfamiliar with The Beatles, give The Fab Four a listen. Who knows, you might catch a case of Beatlemania as so many others did. 

Tour destinations and dates can be found on The Fab Four’s social media pages. Tickets are available through

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