John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Mention these four names together, and you immediately know which band they form.
Throughout music history, there have been few bands as iconic as The Beatles. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr made music that has lasted the ages.
In the relatively short span of time between its formation in 1960 to its breakup in 1970, The Beatles gave us some of the greatest songs ever recorded.
While we will never get to see the band performing together ever again, Beatles fans can still experience a Beatles concert that is arguably as good as the real thing, thanks to The Bootleg Beatles.
The band will be playing in Kuala Lumpur for the first time ever on Nov 16 at The Bee, Publika Kuala Lumpur.
Formed in 1981, the Bootleg Beatles is a Beatles tribute band that is recognised as the longest and most successful tribute band of all time.
With more than 4,000 performances throughout its history, the band has opened for the likes of Oasis, David Bowie and Rod Stewart, and even headlined the Acoustic Stage at the 2010 Glastonbury Festival.
The Bootleg Beatles has undergone several personnel changes over the years, with the current lineup comprising Adam Hastings (John Lennon), Steve White (Paul McCartney), Stephen Hill (George Harrison), and Gordon Elsmore (Ringo Starr).
In an e-mail interview, Elsmore gave us an insight into what it’s like impersonating arguably one of the most iconic bands in history.
This will be The Bootleg Beatles’ first show in Malaysia. What can we expect from the show?
Great fun, and the best performance of Beatles songs from the best sound-alike look-alike group that you’ll ever see, spanning all eras of The Beatles, from 1962 to 1970!
The Beatles has A LOT of songs. Do you usually stick to the more popular ones with every show, or do you sometimes try to mix it up with some of the more obscure ones as well?
Yes, there are over 200 Beatles songs, so we can’t do every one! But we get through as much as we can in two hours. There will be a few delightful surprises as well as some essential classics.
The band has been around since 1980. At the time, the Beatles’ popularity was still quite high in the public consciousness. Has it been hard sustaining that kind of appeal as the years went by and music in general started to change with each era?
The Beatles’ popularity came and went a lot in that time, but it received a lot more attention with the release of the Anthology series in 1995.
That coincided with a great interest in, and influence of, 1960s music in modern music.
The Bootleg Beatles achieved a great deal of acclaim then, and have been popular ever since. We are regarded as the longest running tribute band ever.
You’re essentially playing the roles of the Beatles with each show. How do you get into character, and what’s the most distinctive part of Ringo that you HAVE to include in the performance?
A lot of practice goes into learning how to perform the role. It takes many years! You have to be a dedicated musician as well as an actor. There is also quite a bit of makeup!
As Ringo, I have to keep moving and keep smiling. He was a very happy drummer for most of his time in the Beatles. Who can blame him!
Was there any point when you thought of doing something NOT Beatles related?
No, never. This is a fantastic job! Nothing can compete with it.
The Bootleg Beatles will be performing on Nov 16, 7pm, at The Bee, Publika KL. Tickets cost RM230 and are available at Galactix.