The return of John Lennon

The English musician makes a ‘comeback’ in the Philippines through his greatest tribute act, Javier Parisi

At a glance

  • ‘I’m a musician, an artist, a John Lennon impersonator. I don’t feel like this is a job. I love traveling, meeting people, and discovering different cultures…This is the best thing in my life.’

GOING FOR ACCURACY Javier Parisi wearing a leather cap designed by Helen Anderson, an art school buddy of John Lennon

Has there been any other English rock band that could match the charisma and influence of the cultural phenomenon that is the Beatles?

The Fab Four who shaped the landscape of ’60s music—and life—everywhere remains relevant today with their unique and powerful sound, which incorporates various traditions, religions, and cultures. These Liverpool icons live on not only through their chart-topping records but also in the many impersonators who copy them to reflect cultural change as well as to simply entertain and make the world sing along to relatable and remarkably distinct music.

Would you pass up a chance to see one of the most recognizable names in music, the leader of The Beatles, John Lennon, perform in the flesh? Musician and actor Javier Parisi, renowned as the world’s greatest John Lennon tribute act, is staging a series of concerts in the Philippines this month beginning with “Imagine: The Beatles Legacy,” presented by DMC Entertainment Production Management.

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IMAGINE THAT Javier Parisi at the 'Imagine: The Beatles Legacy' press conference

On Saturday, July 15, at the Music Museum in San Juan City, Javier is slated to deliver his best impersonation of the rock legend with authentic musical performances featuring notable hits from the Beatles and Long John. It was due to the effort of Jesse Gonzales of DMC Philippines that Javier and his team are finally able to make it to the country for the first time.

George Castro of interactive broadcast media DWWW 774 will serve as the front act of the concert. Accompanying Javier on stage, meanwhile, is the band The Daytrippers.

Javier has been a huge fan of the Beatles since he was just an eight-year-old kid. At the age of 17, Javier formed a tribute band with some of his friends and played at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. He was also tapped by Julia Baird, John Lennon’s half-sister, to promote the Spanish version of the biography Imagine This.

Through the years, Javier has been able to grow his fan base with his pitch-perfect mimicry of the sound and look of Fred Zimmerman, even ending up performing in musicals produced by the Lennon estate. Javier also stars in the Mexican film Lennons, a comedy about the English songwriter and impersonation.

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A FITTING TRIBUTE Javier Parisi in the film Lennons

“I love being here [the Philippines]. The last time I was here was in 1966,” opens Javier in full character during a press conference last Wednesday. His likeness to John Lennon is uncanny. He proceeds to joke about departing from and returning to the country in both Marcos’ presidencies. “I’m going to tell John’s family when I get back, ‘The Philippines is great. They gave me everything they weren’t able to give to John.’”

Asked what the hardest part of his job was, the 43-year-old Argentine responds, “I’m a musician, an artist, a John Lennon impersonator. I don’t feel like this is a job. I love traveling, meeting people, and discovering different cultures. I’m blessed doing what I do. This is the best thing in my life.” He also emphasizes that apart from his personal love for John Lennon, it is the newer generations learning about the Beatles’ music that urges him to perform.

Javier also shared some advice on making it big. “If you love it, do it. You have to be focused and you have to follow your dreams. Opportunities will come. You don’t know when it’s going to happen. Look at me, [success] didn’t happen instantly. It didn’t come when I was in my 20s. You’re going to get what you want in the end.”

Those who would not be able to attend Javier’s Manila show this weekend could catch him at Bar XI Alabang, Casino Filipino Cagayan Valley, Glorious Fantasyland Complex in Dapitan, Hard Rock Café Manila, and Casino Filipino Angeles City, on July 19, 22, 25, 27, and 30, respectively.

Tickets are available via Ticketworld and Ticketmax. Call Music Museum at 8721 0635 or 8721 6726.