rca vote now

Rick Saba: Moves Like Saba: How White Liquor frontman Rick Saba goes from Rolling Stone to Realtor

Mick Jagger is one of the last great living rock icons — he’s got a slew of hit songs, a spot in the Hall of Fame and a knighthood to show for his decades behind a microphone.

But let’s face it: the guy couldn’t sell a house to save his life. Advantage, Rick Saba.

That’s because the silky voiced frontman for White Liquor, Hilton Head Island’s preeminent Rolling Stones cover band, leads a double life as one of the island’s most visible Realtors. Yes, when he’s not channeling Mick Jagger surrounded by his longtime bandmates, you’ll find Saba’s face smiling back at you from any number of ads showcasing an array of stunning island properties.

“I’m just kind of being myself,” he said of juggling such different roles. “I don’t necessarily put two hats on. But when I’m up there I’m … well, I’m acting out something.”

That last bit is said with a laugh, an expression of the genuine joy Saba finds in both his real estate and musical worlds.

That’s not to say that, on occasion, those worlds haven’t collided, as they did with one client Saba had been communicating with primarily over the phone.

“She came into town late Friday and we said Saturday we’d meet to look at properties,” he said. The night before they were to meet, White Liquor rocked the Big Bamboo (“This was before kids, when we could play late gigs at Bamboo,” joked the father of two).

The next morning, Saba met his client for what turned out to be the second time. His new real estate client had been in the crowd for the raucous late-night Big Bamboo show.

“I asked her, ‘Did you have a good night? Did you go out anywhere?’ She said, ‘I went out and there was this crazy group where the singer was jumping off tables…’ The Stones were one of her favorite bands, and she just thought we were crazy.”

Still, a good showman knows it’s all about timing. And Saba picked his spot. “After we were done I said, ‘By the way, we’re playing again next month when you’re in town,’ and she just went pale.”

But these things are bound to happen after 18 years in real estate and just about the same amount of time in the live music scene. (Longtime locals will remember Saba fronting the local song parody band Dr. Zaius along with bandmates Ritchie D. and Ken Kendrick).

And yes, it’s rare to see the dual roles of rock frontman and real estate agent in one person. But they’re really only aspects of a multifaceted guy. For example, when he’s not out showing off properties or moving like Jagger, you’ll find Saba giving back by serving on the board of the Hilton Head Humane Association, teaching lacrosse at the Island Rec Center and even driving the truck for Meals on Wheels.

Just try and picture Mick Jagger doing any of that.