The Beatles are alive

Celebrity impersonator Andre Barreau apes George Harrison, the lead guitarist of The Beatles.

SINGAPORE - Celebrity impersonator Andre Barreau has been performing as the late George Harrison, the lead guitarist of The Beatles, for more than 30 years and he is not about to quit anytime soon.

The 52-year-old, who founded the tribute band Bootleg Beatles in 1980 with three friends, tells Life! that he is never bored of the songs by the iconic British rock band.

Over the telephone from Christchurch, New Zealand, where the British band are now touring, he says: "It's such a pleasure to play music that I love with such good people, and we've been very lucky to be able to play at a high level - if it were just nightclubs all the time, I'd probaby find something else to look at."

Indeed, the Bootleg Beatles have played at some of the biggest music festivals and famed concert venues in the world including Glastonbury Festival and London's Royal Albert Hall.

Their world tour is taking the four-piece band - comprising Barreau, guitarist Adam Hastings as John Lennon, drummer Hugo Degenhardt as Ringo Starr, and bassist Steve White as Sir Paul McCartney - to Singapore this week.

The original Beatles consist of McCartney, 70, Starr, 72, Lennon, who died in 1980, and Harrison, who died in 2001.

Barreau says the band work hard to perfect their two-hour performance, which covers songs that span the Beatles' career in the 1960s, by watching videos to mimic stage moves and get the posturing right.

Improvements in technology, such as the birth of video-sharing website YouTube, have also helped them hone their skills.

Barreau says: "People put up amazing clips on YouTube now. In the 1970s, you'd have to wait till they came on television, so now we can really refine what we do in terms of movements on stage. But at first, it was impossible, you just had to remember the film you saw at Christmas or something."

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