When Jimmy Santi was Paul McCartney: The Beatles and their unexpected Peruvian version of 1964 | Pablo’s Hour | Beatlemania | LIGHTS

Faced with the British invasion, which caused a fury among thousands of young Peruvians, there was no significant resistance. Vinyls, t-shirts, photos, everything related to the Liverpool quartet was bread and butter. National artists also succumbed to the Beatlemania that caused a media stir. At that time, four new wave singers, César Altamirano, Joe Danova, Jimmy Santy and Pepe Miranda, decided to change their classic suits for high-heeled shoes, mop-top haircuts with bangs and suits buttoned up to the neck with a tie. .

Joe Danova (George Harrison), César Altamirano (Ringo Starr), Jimmy Santi (Paul McCartney) and Pepe Miranda (John Lennon) formed the group “Peruvian Beatles” as a tribute to the quartet in the program “La Hora de Pablo”, hosted by Pablo de Madalengoitia in 1964.

“The idea was conceived by Panamericana Televisión. We were contacted by Altamirano, who at that time knew every new wave singer. He told us: ‘The channel and Madalengoitia want us on the program, guys, dare to be The Beatles.’ We were very young, we didn’t even think about it before accepting ―Jimmy Santy tells us― We only appeared on that program, we sang with playback, we imitated the movements and did all the characteristic performance, for a few moments we were young British for a few hours”he adds between laughs.

It was in those moments when the great British wave invaded the streets of Lima, where different versions of The Beatles were frequently seen walking through the Jirón de la Unión or the Plaza de Armas. Meanwhile, television programs of the moment transmitted part of the impact of the Liverpool quartet in our country and in a world that succumbed without great resistance to songs such as “Please Please Me”, “Love Me Do”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

“We all share a love for new wave and a taste for the music of The Beatles. It was impossible not to love them in those times; Even until now it is difficult to find someone who does not like his music —Jimmy Santy tells us in an interview with El Comercio—. At that time two things abounded: Beatles imitators and Elvis Presley imitators. We felt closer to the quartet, but we moved like Presley.

During the following years, more imitators appeared, contests to choose who looked most like the British quartet, program segments dedicated solely to the music of The Beatles, and the appearance of the first fan club in Peru. “It was impossible not to love them in those times, even until now it is difficult to find someone who does not like their music”mentions Santy, who at that time was also surprised with an unexpected announcement: The Beatles are coming to Peru.

Another of the groups that emerged thanks to Beatlemania was We All Together, a group formed in 1971 in Lima.

Another of the groups that emerged thanks to Beatlemania was We All Together, a group formed in 1971 in Lima.

unfinished promise

“The famous Beatles would come in May: for ten days they would earn almost half a million,” shined in a headline of the now defunct newspaper La Crónica. Other similar headlines appeared on the front pages of newspapers throughout Peru, which trumpeted the imminent arrival of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

“If there are no problems we will have The Beatles on television channel four”, mentioned Mauricio Arbulú, one of the directors of the new channel four, for the deceased newspaper La Prensa. The concert was scheduled for the first days of May 1964, when the recordings of the tape “A Hard Day’s Night” were finishing. But for reasons that were never explained, The Beatles’ long-awaited visit did not occur, leaving only the prices and a possible setlist as a souvenir of that event.

The Peruvian press of the time, such as La Crónica, was already reporting on the imminent arrival of The Beatles to our country.

The Peruvian press of the time, such as La Crónica, was already reporting on the imminent arrival of The Beatles to our country.

However, Beatlemania would not stop there. Decades later, groups inspired by his music appeared, such as the group We All Together (1971), declared the best national pop rock group by the National Institute of Culture. There is also the tribute band Un Día en la Vida, founded 34 years ago, and the imitators of “Yo Soy The Beatles”, who continue to tour nationally. Musical programs also joined the unstoppable Beatlemaniac wave with entire programs dedicated to the “fab four”, such as “The Beatles Hour” on Radio Mágica.

Although we were not able to enjoy the entire quartet in Peru, receiving Paul McCartney in 2011 and 2014 and Ringo Starr in 2013 was a pleasant approach to their greatness. And the “Macca” concert at the National Stadium next October – with tickets already sold out – only confirms that the influence of his legacy is present in our days and that Beatlemania is more alive than ever.

 
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