20 Questions with Neil Harrison
* How did you hear about BEATLEMANIA auditions? ..
A friend had heard
an advert on radio
* Had you been impersonating your particular Beatle Counterpart before
you heard about Beatlemania
No, though I did know the
songs and being from 12 miles outside of the 'pool'
had the Beatle sound in
* What was your audition experience like? eg: was the room full of
or was it just you and a music director?
full of impersonators and a musical director. All Very Fellini.
* How old were you when you were accepted into the show?
* Were you excited when you were told that you were "IN"?
* What was your first experience on stage as a Beatle in front of
an audience like?
Was it the first for your other band members as well?
Tell us that moment right before you hit that first note on IWHYH!
I thought my legs would buckle and I'd puke on the orchestra in the pit!
* How many years were you with the show? I know the UK show
was short-lived, how
long did it last?
miliseconds (well three months I think actually)
* Were there ever any accidents on stage say during costume changes?
eg: trips and falls, etc.
wig was pulled off by the Army helmet during REVOLUTION and I was left
singing the last verse in a hairnet.
* If you had any, what was the most embarrassing moment on stage?
Flubbed lyrics? Sneezes?
One time, because of my extreme myopia,
I couldn't find my Beatle Jacket before 'If I
fell (over)' - For speed the band needed
to do a quick change actually on Stage in darkness whilst a video played
on a screen. AS the lights came up after Dionne Warwick's immortal
intro 'D'you mind if I sing'..I was discovered still in my shirt sleeves,
tie askew with no guitar with the other three dressed and ready to go.
All I could think of saying was.."OK so who nicked me Jacket" but it was
a most cheek reddening experience.
* What was your favorite part of the show?
* What was your least favorite?
* Who did you enjoy working with the most?
Dave and Jack although Jimmy Pou came round my house once and we had a
Jam ...and a special thank you to Mike Pilakis for teaching me 'JOHN' .
He was extremely patient!
* Where did you enjoy performing the most? (What city, country, theatre,
Only did Londinium but since then, we've been
everywhere inc Russia in '82 which was an experience we'll never forget!
* Did you play vintage instruments and use vintage equipment
for the show?
Yes, including rare Gibson organ as used by
* Was the multimedia of the show the same as in the US version?
Same Slides and video clips? Or was it
modified to reflect UK events during the 60's?
No unfortunately it was all US footage which
often left more than a few Brits in the audience baffled.
* We know that supposedly none of the original Beatles ever saw the
show live, but some people from the Beatles camp (other than attorneys)
did see it. Do you recall who?
* Did you ever meet any of the real Beatles?
Paul twice. Once Christmas 1968 singing Xmas
carols outside his dad's house (on the Wirral) and last year after the
Jubilee concert for the Queen. The BOOTLEG
BEATLES played support. We also were lucky enough to meet George
at Dave Gilmours 50th and he said famously 'You probably know the chords
better than I do' and ' Where's the Bootleg Brian Epstein cos he's got
all the money?'
* Do you still perform with other alumni? (we know you
do, but tell us a bit about how the BOOTLEG
BEATLES came to be after Beatlemania closed)
We were redundant 'Beatles '..we'd grown our
fringes, and learnt all these songs note for note, harmony for harmony
but we had nowhere to play. So we decided to give ourselves six months
to do our own 'potted' Beatle show...and that's what we did...and twenty
er two years later we're still doing it.
* We know that David Catlin Birch played with World Party for a time.
Please fill us in on all of your non-Beatle musical careers since the show
I Scored a top twenty hit with Lulu in the
states called 'I could never miss you (more than I do) in '81.
Wrote a musical play about look-a-likes called
'Great Pretenders' which was performed on the Fringe in
London and at The Edinburgh Festival.
Co-Wrote a screenplay called 'Realising Betsy'
for Yorkshire Television.
I recently Produced a CD full of my own self
penned Beatle-esque songs for all BBfans called 'Richmond
* All-in-all, looking back, how was the Beatlemania experience for