Bootleg Beatles belt out hits from hotel
About 250 fans turned out to watch the re-enactment of one of the famous Beatles moments in Wellington.
Music fans gathered on the corner of Willis and Boulcott streets to see the tribute band Bootleg Beatles at St George Hotel.
The British band were promoting an upcoming series of gigs at St James Theatre in Wellington this week.
The balcony they performed from is exactly where George, Paul, Ringo and John waved to throngs of screaming fans when they visited Wellington in 1964.
Jennifer Reichenbach-Sisk was an 8-year-old girl from a Manawatu dairy farm on the annual family trip to Wellington when they chanced upon the scene in 1964.
‘‘We looked up and there they were.’’
She returned to see the group today and said they were ‘‘great’’.
‘‘People were dancing to the music.’’
Andre Barreau, aka George Harrison, said the group had played nearly 100 of the same venues as the original Beatles.
‘‘We love the Beatles songs. Making a living out of what we love is a good time really.’’
The Bootleg Beatles are doing the tour 50 years after the real Beatles had their first recording session at Abbey Rd Studios in London.
The group, now 33 years old, have performed almost 5000 shows around the world.
The Beatles’ 1964 tour had a big impact on New Zealand’s music scene, Government history website nzhistory.net.nz says.
Seven-thousand hysterical fans greeted the Beatles when they touched down at Wellington Airport, where police struggled to restrain the crowds behind a wire fence.
Police dogs were used to control ‘‘rapturous’’ fans who besieged the St George Hotel, where the band stayed.
But in the The Beatles Anthology, George Harrison remembers a less-exciting time.
‘‘We were looking for some action, and there was absolutely nothing happening.
"We were in the hotel room, sitting around eating fish and chips with peas, and watching television. And suddenly, at about 9 o’clock at night, the channels all closed down. So we threw our dinners at the TV."
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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