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Let it be... Beijing

By Ji Xiang (China Daily)

09:18, June 19, 2012

"George, Ringo, John and Paul" find their own Abbey Road in a Beijing hutong. From left: Greg Desbuquois, John Devlin, Troy Reilly and Ian Burns. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Chinese capital gets own version of the Fab Four. Ji Xiang soaks up a little Beatlemania.

More than 50 years have passed since the Beatles put out their first records - in Hamburg - but millions of feet are still tapping to their music. Plenty of those fans are in China, and the Beijing Beatles, a tribute band based in the capital, thrives on the music that set off Beatlemania in the early 1960s. The first two members of the Beijing band when it was founded in 2010 were Troy Reilly, an Australian, and Greg Desbuquois, a Frenchman.

Reilly says the idea for the band came to him after he attended a Beatles tribute concert in Melbourne. Although the Beatles never performed in China, he felt forming a band in the Chinese capital could be special.

In a case of art replicating life, the Beijing band has lost original members, but now the lineup looks like this: Reilly is "Jorge Arrowsmith"; Desbuquois is "Gringo Star"; Ian Burns, an Englishman, is "Don Lemmon"; and John Devlin, also an Englishman, is "Raul McCarthy".

Reilly jokes that with the two Englishmen in the band, the vocals have significantly improved.

The humorous names - each a play on the originals George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney - adding an extra dash of entertainment to the proceedings, as the four try to emulate their heroes without too much pressure.

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