John Lennon Beatle tribute act road to stardom Jan 19 2004
By Lew Baxter, Daily Post
John Lennon tribute act Gary Gibson’s uncanny resemblance to the late John Lennon has created a furore wherever he has turned up, even amongst the ranks of those who knew and loved Lennon well.
A few years after the former Beatle was murdered,Gary was performing with his band The Cavern in New York and took a stroll close to New York’s Dakota Building to take a peek at the famous home of Lennon.
Suddenly he saw Yoko Ono wander out on her own. He casually walked across to wish her the best.
A startled Yoko Ono stared in shock at the “apparition” before her. Then, waving her hands in the air and moaning “No, No, No” she ran away in panic.
“I suppose it must have been a surprise as I had my hair in that brushed back Teddy-boy style that John had gone back to wearing.
“She certainly didn’t hang around to return my greeting,” said Gary with a grin.
It was the same last summer in Liverpool when Gary, sporting a pair of the famous Lennon round spectacles, popped back stage to say hello to Paul McCartney after his triumphant Kings Dock concert.
McCartney glanced up, did a swift retake and muttered a series of expletives.
“People had told me for years that I looked and sounded like John but I didn’t tend to push it that much at first,” explained Gary who lives in the quiet suburb of Lostock Hall outside Preston.
Gary is now quite relaxed about the stunned reaction after nearly 25 years in show business, first with a heavy metal band and then in 1980 he formed his own outfit, Cavern.
“In a way that was probably the first of the Beatles tribute groups as we were doing it long before people like the Bootleg Beatles.”
“But we also wrote our own songs and tended to play the same kind of material that The Beatles performed in Hamburg in the early days, which was much different from the others who followed,” explained Gary, who is now causing a considerable stir across the UK and Europe with his new band Double Fantasy.
Ten years ago Gary joined Anthology of the Beatles with McCartney-lookalike Laurence Gilmore and toured across the world, taking in major Beatles fests in New York,Chicago and Los Angeles.
Last September he unveiled the new band and a show called The John Lennon Experience that has taken the Beatles fan circus by storm.
“We feature the type of songs that I think Lennon might well have chosen on the world tour he was planning at the time of his shocking death,” said Gary.
It includes Lennon’s solo material from the Plastic Ono Band through to the Double Fantasy album and incorporates many Beatles classics and a raft of the rip-roaring rock ‘n’ roll numbers that Lennon loved so well.
Now with Beatle mania on a seemingly never ending trajectory,Gary has been booked to star at the famous Olympia Theatre in Paris next month to mark 40 years since the Fab Four appeared in the French capital at that venue. Gary will be joined on stage by the legendary My Bonnie singer, Tony Sheridan.