Last Founding Member of the Four Tops Says He Will Retire Soon
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 12.09.2012
To coincide with their 60th anniversary...
Billboard reports that the last founding member of the Four Tops, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, is planning to retire from the group soon. Here are the highlights from the interview:
Regarding their upcoming 60th anniversary in 2014 and that being his "farewell tour": "I know about that time I'll be right at the age of 80. It doesn't seem I should be singing and traveling the world at that age. Energy-wise and physically I still feel great, but I don't know -- in my head I feel like that may be the right time [for him to retire from the group]."
Regarding the group continuing with Lawrence "Roquel" Payton, Jr. (son of the original Top), Ronnie McNeir, and Harold "Spike" Bonhart: "[The Group is] set up to go on. The other three are really great singers and really live and believe in the legacy."
What Fakir is looking for in a replacement: "[I'm] looking for a guy that sings tenor like I do...[I have] a couple people in mind. So the legacy will go on."
Regarding the group doing some recording in 2013 with Ne-Yo: "He's always liked the Four Tops. He and his manager have seen us out at Chastain Park in Atlanta. He feels very confident he could do something for us. It will sound like the Four Tops; (Bonhart) sounds quite a bit like Levi (Stubbs), the way he sings. So vocally, harmonically it will sound the same. The type of songs we'd do is debatable. We'd do some A-C, I'm sure. It won't really be hip-hop, but it might be close to that if (Ne-Yo) would join us on a number. I have in mind what I'd like to hear. (Ne-Yo) has in mind what he'd like to hear. It's just a matter of finding the right songs and doing them in the right way."