We Spoke to Japanese Paul McCartney of the Shanghai Beatles

By Ned Kelly, January 17, 2022

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The Shanghai Beatles, four mop tops from Japan, have been rocking Abbey Road from as far back as anyone can remember. They are something of an institution; this city's very own Fab Four experience. 

With their first show of 2022 taking place this Saturday night, we reached out to Paul. Here he is, speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.

We are from Liverpool in Japan. Some of us have been in Shanghai for more than 10 years, some of us for just a year. So you could say that, in true Beatles tradition, we are ever-evolving.

We all have different day jobs in Shanghai, but when night falls, we become the Shanghai Beatles, playing Beatles songs and providing Beatles entertainment to the people of Shanghai.

When I first saw a Beatles concert video around 35 years ago I was overwhelmed by a very strong impression. It is hard to express. Just destiny!

What makes the Beatles so special? Their universality. Their music speaks to all people, all over the world.

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My favorite song changes over time, but recently it has been the carnival sound of 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!' But to perform live, it has to be 'Hey Jude' – because we can sing all together!

Crowd participation is a big thing at our shows. We don't actually do anything to encourage it; it just happens spontaneously. The audience is always proactive, and we really say a big thank you to them for creating such a good feeling throughout the whole gig.

It was 55 years ago that Paul shouted “Clap your hands, and stamp your feet!” In every concert at Abbey Road the stage feels like a time warp experience for us. 

I love Peter Jackson's new documentary The Beatles: Get Back. Not only is it a fascinating insight into the relationship between the members and hierarchy of the band, but it is also an amazing record of 60s British culture – the fashion, transportation and office buildings.

In December we brought special guests on stage, a cello player and two violinists, who played strings to accompany us on a few numbers. We're hoping for more guest appearances in the future. Come along and find out for yourselves!

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Jan 22, 8pm; free entry. Abbey Road, 3 Taojiang Lu, by Fenyang Lu 桃江路3号, 近汾阳路.

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