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The Bootleg Beatles

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The Bootleg Beatles
The Bootleg Beatles performing on the Dutch television programme Showbizzquiz on 14 October 1981
The Bootleg Beatles performing on the Dutch television programme Showbizzquiz on 14 October 1981
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresRock music
Years active1980–present
MembersTyson Kelly
Steve White
Stephen Hill
Gordon Elsmore
Past membersAdam Hastings
Hugo Degenhardt
Andre Barreau
David Catlin-Birch
Neil Harrison
Rick Rock
Paul Cooper
Jack Lee Elgood
WebsiteBootlegBeatles.com

The Bootleg Beatles are a Beatles tribute band. They have performed over 4,000 times since their establishment in March 1980.[1]

History

The Bootleg Beatles were formed by Andre Barreau, Neil Harrison and David Catlin-Birch, fellow London cast members of Beatlemania, following the final show of the West End musical.[2]. The band invested their dwindling finances in two guitars – an Epiphone and a Gretsch – as well as two Vox amplifiers, four black polo-necks and a wig.[3]

Their first performance was at a small student gathering in Tiverton, Devon, England. Following more low-profile gigs, the band performed a 60-date tour of the Soviet Union;[4] further tours followed in Israel (1982 and 1986), the Far East, and India. In February 1984, they were invited to perform in the United States,[5] to commemorate The Beatles' initial US tour 20 years earlier.

UK success continued to prove elusive. In 1990, The Bootleg Beatles booked 10 shows in cities in which the Beatles had performed in their final UK tour in 1965. Audiences were small but enthusiastic, and another tour was booked for the following year. This proved more popular, and as each year went by the crowds grew, the tours expanded, and the venues got larger. Finally, a gig in Southampton caught the attention of Oasis, leading to the Bootleg Beatles supporting the Britpop band at Earls Court and Knebworth. This gave the band a contemporary audience and increased their credibility, launching them onto the premier European festival circuit and shared stages with Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, The Corrs, Manic Street Preachers and Iggy Pop.

On 30 January 1999, the band played on the rooftop of 3 Savile Row, London, former residence of the Beatles' Apple Corps company, recreating the Beatles' final public live performance which took place on the same rooftop 30 years earlier. In 2009 the band hoped to mark the 40th anniversary by recreating the performance again, but unfortunately health and safety concerns prevented the appearance.[6]

In 2002, the band played at Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee Party at Buckingham Palace.[7]

2010 saw the band headline the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival, drawing the biggest crowd for 5 years. They also made a number of appearances on BBC television, including The One & Only, The One Show and I'm In a Rock'n'Roll Band, as well as on BBC Radio.[8]

In March 2011, founder member Neil Harrison announced that he was leaving the group.[9] On 18 July, a press release announced his replacement as Adam Hastings, a musician from Newcastle upon Tyne.[10] It was announced in September 2012 that longtime member David Catlin-Birch was leaving the group.[11]

Bootleg Beatles with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Echo Arena stadium, Liverpool.  (13 January 2018)
Bootleg Beatles with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Echo Arena stadium, Liverpool. (13 January 2018)

It was announced that they would perform on the acoustic stage at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival.[12]

Andre Barreau's last gig was at Hyde Park in London on 13 July 2014.

After Barreau's departure, there are currently no original members touring as the Bootleg Beatles.

In 2017, Professor Nigel Osborne (Edinburgh University) was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to arrange Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for concerts with the Bootleg Beatles performed to capacity crowds at the Royal Albert Hall[13] and Echo Arena Liverpool.[14][15]

Discover more about History related topics

Beatlemania (musical)

Beatlemania (musical)

Beatlemania was a Broadway musical revue focused on the music of the Beatles as it related to the events and changing attitudes of the tumultuous 1960s. A "rockumentary," advertised as "Not the Beatles, but an incredible simulation," it ran from May 1977 to October 1979 for a total of 1,006 performances.

Epiphone

Epiphone

Epiphone is an American musical instrument brand that traces its roots to a musical instrument manufacturing business founded in 1873 by Anastasios Stathopoulos in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire, and moved to New York City in 1908. After taking over his father's business, Epaminondas Stathopoulos named the company "Epiphone" as a combination of his own nickname "Epi" and the suffix "-phone" in 1928, the same year it began making guitars.

Gretsch

Gretsch

Gretsch is an American company that manufactures musical instruments. The company was founded in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York by Friedrich Gretsch, a 27-year-old German immigrant, shortly after his arrival to the United States. Friedrich Gretsch manufactured banjos, tambourines, and drums until his death in 1895. In 1916, his son, Fred Gretsch Sr. moved operations to a larger facility where Gretsch went on to become a prominent manufacturer of American musical instruments. Through the years, Gretsch has manufactured a wide range of instruments, though they currently focus on electric, acoustic and resonator guitars, basses, ukuleles, and drums.

Israel

Israel

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the southwest; it is also bordered by the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government is in its proclaimed capital of Jerusalem, although Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.

Far East

Far East

The Far East was a European term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia as well as the Russian Far East to a lesser extent. The Indian subcontinent is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.

Oasis (band)

Oasis (band)

Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as the Rain, the group initially consisted of Liam Gallagher, Paul Arthurs (guitar), Paul McGuigan and Tony McCarroll (drums). Liam's older brother Noel later joined as a fifth member, finalising the group's core lineup. During the course of their existence, they had various lineup changes, with the Gallagher brothers remaining the only staple members.

Britpop

Britpop

Britpop short for British popular music is a mid-1990s British-based music culture movement that emphasised Britishness. It produced brighter, catchier alternative rock, partly in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge music and to the UK's own shoegaze music scene. The movement brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British popular cultural movement, Cool Britannia, which evoked the Swinging Sixties and the British guitar pop of that decade.

Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Earls Court Exhibition Centre was a major international exhibition and events venue just west of central London. At its peak it is said to have generated a £2 billion turnover for the economy. It replaced exhibition and entertainment grounds, originally opened in 1887, with an art moderne structure built between 1935 and 1937 by specialist American architect C. Howard Crane. With the active support of London mayor Boris Johnson, in an attempt to create Europe's "largest regeneration scheme", its proposed heritage listing was refused after it was acquired by developers, who promptly in 2008 applied for and were granted a Certificate of Immunity from Listing by English Heritage, and its demolition was completed in 2017.

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

Sir Roderick David Stewart is a British rock and pop singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is among the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK, six of which reached number one. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Original bassist Alec John Such quit the band in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013. The band has been credited with "[bridging] the gap between heavy metal and pop with style and ease".

David Bowie

David Bowie

David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Bowie was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft had a significant impact on popular music.

Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers, also known simply as the Manics, are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore, plus Nicky Wire. They form a key part of the 1990s Welsh Cool Cymru cultural movement.

Meeting the Beatles

Their first meeting was in 1996 at David Gilmour's 50th birthday party. Gilmour booked both the Bootleg Beatles and the Australian Pink Floyd Show as he'd "always wanted to have the Beatles support Pink Floyd". George Harrison was in the audience and quipped "you probably know the chords better than I do" and "Where's the Bootleg Brian Epstein? 'Cos he's got all the money!"[16]

The second meeting was at the Party at the Palace for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002, where McCartney headlined.


Discover more about Meeting the Beatles related topics

David Gilmour

David Gilmour

David Jon Gilmour is an English guitarist, singer, songwriter and member of the rock band Pink Floyd. He joined as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1967, shortly before the departure of founding member Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983). By the early 1980s, they had become one of the highest-selling and most acclaimed acts in music history; by 2012, they had sold more than 250 million records worldwide, including 75 million in the United States. Following the departure of Roger Waters in 1985, Pink Floyd continued under Gilmour's leadership and released three more studio albums.

George Harrison

George Harrison

George Harrison was an English musician and singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group include "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".

Brian Epstein

Brian Epstein

Brian Samuel Epstein was a British music entrepreneur who managed the Beatles from 1962 until his death in 1967.

Party at the Palace

Party at the Palace

The Party at the Palace was a British pop/rock music concert held at Buckingham Palace Garden in London on 3 June 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II held over the Golden Jubilee Weekend. It was the pop/rock equivalent of the Prom at the Palace, that showcased classical music. 10 years later the Diamond Jubilee Concert for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was held in 2012, followed by the Platinum Party at the Palace for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II

Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II

The Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II was the international celebration held in 2002 marking the 50th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. It was intended by the Queen to be both a commemoration of her 50 years as monarch and an opportunity for her to officially and personally thank her people for their loyalty.

Show format

Typically, each gig consists of performances of songs from four eras. For the 2022 Tour, these were:

  • Part One: Cavern Club (1962-1963): "
  • Part Two: Beatlemania and the touring years (1964–1966):
(Interval)
  • Part Three: Magical Mystery Tour (1967):
  • Part Four: The Get Back sessions and rooftop concert (1969):

Since 2017, the band have done special sets of albums celebrating a 50th anniversary that year and have begun 60th anniversary sets for Please Please Me.

These sets usually contain a number of deep album tracks that are rarely performed by other tribute bands.

  • 2017: Sgt Pepper’s / Magical Mystery Tour
  • 2018: White Album
  • 2019: Abbey Road
  • 2020 (also 2021 & 2022 due to covid postponements): Let It Be
  • 2022 / 2023: Please Please Me (60th anniversary celebration)

Band members

Timeline

Discover more about Band members related topics

John Lennon

John Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles. Lennon's work was characterised by the rebellious nature and acerbic wit of his music, writing and drawings, on film, and in interviews. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history.

Guitar

Guitar

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is usually held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing selected strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may also be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.

Keyboard instrument

Keyboard instrument

A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, a row of levers which are pressed by the fingers. The most common of these are the piano, organ, and various electronic keyboards, including synthesizers and digital pianos. Other keyboard instruments include celestas, which are struck idiophones operated by a keyboard, and carillons, which are usually housed in bell towers or belfries of churches or municipal buildings.

Harmonica

Harmonica

The harmonica, also known as a French harp or mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used worldwide in many musical genres, notably in blues, American folk music, classical music, jazz, country, and rock. The many types of harmonica include diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass versions. A harmonica is played by using the mouth to direct air into or out of one holes along a mouthpiece. Behind each hole is a chamber containing at least one reed. The most common is the diatonic Richter-tuned with ten air passages and twenty reeds, often called the blues harp. A harmonica reed is a flat, elongated spring typically made of brass, stainless steel, or bronze, which is secured at one end over a slot that serves as an airway. When the free end is made to vibrate by the player's air, it alternately blocks and unblocks the airway to produce sound.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer, songwriter and musician who gained worldwide fame with the Beatles, for whom he played bass guitar and shared primary songwriting and lead vocal duties with John Lennon. One of the most successful composers and performers of all time, McCartney is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing, versatile and wide tenor vocal range, and musical eclecticism, exploring styles ranging from pre–rock and roll pop to classical and electronica. His songwriting partnership with Lennon remains the most successful in history.

Bass guitar

Bass guitar

The bass guitar, electric bass or simply bass, is the lowest-pitched member of the string family. It is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses. Since the mid-1950s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music.

George Harrison

George Harrison

George Harrison was an English musician and singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group include "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".

Drum kit

Drum kit

A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals, and other auxiliary percussion instruments set up to be played by one person. The player (drummer) typically holds a pair of matching drumsticks, one in each hand, and uses their feet to operate a foot-controlled hi-hat and bass drum pedal.

Percussion instrument

Percussion instrument

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or struck against another similar instrument. Excluding zoomusicological instruments and the human voice, the percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments.

Andre Barreau

Andre Barreau

Andre Barreau is a British former member of The Bootleg Beatles, in which he played George Harrison from March 1980, when the group was formed, until 2014.

David Catlin-Birch

David Catlin-Birch

David Catlin-Birch is a British musician. He was a bass guitarist for pop/alternative rock band World Party, and was the original "Paul" for the March 1980 launch of The Beatles tribute band, The Bootleg Beatles.

Neil Harrison

Neil Harrison

Neil Harrison is a British musician and dramatist. He was a founder-member of The Beatles tribute band, The Bootleg Beatles, in which he played John Lennon. He was replaced by Adam Hastings in 2011. He went to the University of Sheffield and was a flatmate with Brodie Pevans.

Source: "The Bootleg Beatles", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bootleg_Beatles.

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References
  1. ^ 'The Bootleg Beatles'. BBC Music. (United Kingdom).
  2. ^ "The Bootleg Beatles | Primary Talent International". Primarytalent.com. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  3. ^ The Bootleg Beatles Souvenir Programme 2004–2005
  4. ^ Reporter. (19 May 2015). 'My life as John Lennon, by Bootleg Beatles star'. The Sunday Post. (Scotland, UK).
  5. ^ 'Tribute Band Bootleg Beatles Looking For Their New John Lennon : Buzz : Music Times'. McCartney Times. (United Kingdom).
  6. ^ "Bootleg Beatles defy rooftop gig ban". Nme.com. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  7. ^ Entertainment: Reviews. (4 June 2002). 'Party At The Palace: Your views' BBC News
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, The Bootleg Beatles join Ryan Tubridy, The Bootleg Beatles - The Bootleg Beatles perform live in the studio". BBC. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  9. ^ Hutchinson, Charles. (11 March 2006). 'How Adam Hastings won the battle to be John Lennon in The Bootleg Beatles'. The Press. (Buckinghamshire, UK).
  10. ^ The Bootleg Beatles. "The Bootleg Beatles Announce Their New JOHN LENNON" (PDF). Bootleg Beatles. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  11. ^ The Bootleg Beatles. "David Quits". Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  12. ^ (24 April 2013). 'More acts added to Acoustic Stage line-up'. Glastonbury Festival. (Pilton, England).
  13. ^ (1 June 2017). " ‘It Was Fifty Years Ago Today’ A Concert celebrating Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love". Bootleg Beatles. Royal Albert Hall
  14. ^ Osborne, Nigel. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 'It Was 50 Years Ago Today'". Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. YouTube
  15. ^ Jones, Catherine. (1 June 2017). Review: It Was 50 Years Ago Today ****. Arts City Liverpool
  16. ^ Cast of Beatlemania: Neil Harrison, Rhythm Guitar, Beatlemaniaalumni.com
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