Got to get you into my life: Argentine ‘John Lennon’ channels spirit of the Beatles

Javier Parisi, who impersonates late former Beatle John Lennon, plays the guitar during an interview with Reuters, in Lanus, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires
Javier Parisi, who impersonates late former Beatle John Lennon, plays the guitar during an interview with Reuters, in Lanus, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

December 9, 2020

By Lucila Sigal

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine Javier Parisi has been a mega fan of the Beatles since the age of eight – forming a tribute band, playing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, and promoting a biography in Spanish. He is also the spitting image of John Lennon.

Fans around the world have been remembering Lennon and his music this week, 40 years after he was shot dead in New York.

Parisi – who is 40 years old – first realized his striking similarity to the Beatle as a teenager.

“The physical resemblance obviously exists and then as time went by I began to study his character,” Parisi, dressed as Lennon, told Reuters at his house in Lanús, a suburb of Buenos Aires.

In 2009, Allan Williams, the Beatles’ first manager, came to Argentina and invited Parisi’s band to play at Beatle Week in Liverpool.

“As a fan and admirer, I said ‘that’s it, what else can happen to me?,” said Parisi, who even studied Liverpool’s ‘Scouse’ accent and Lennon’s way of singing.

In Liverpool, the uncanny resemblance led passersby to hug him in the streets, take photos and even invite him for tea, he said.

“It’s all love, the love that they’re giving John and I channel it through impersonation,” he said.

Julia Baird, Lennon’s half-sister, asked Parisi to be the ambassador for the Spanish version of the biography “Imagine This” about Lennon and his family.

“When I walked in, he was in character as John and I think after about 10 minutes I said, ‘Would you do me a favor? Could you please take those clothes off and just be Javier?’,” Baird said from her home in Chester, England.

Parisi said he plans to go on a European tour next year, star in a movie, and participate in a musical in Argentina.

“The universe knows when things have to happen and for that you have to be prepared and work because if you just wait for things they won’t happen,” he said.

(Reporting by Lucila Sigal; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Rosalba O’Brien)