Paul McCartney Impersonator Spends Career Playing the ‘Cute One’
Arizona native Tony Kishman has spent decades as a Paul McCartney impersonator, resembling and sounding like the Beatles singer-bassist so much that back in the '70s he landed a six-year gig playing McCartney in the touring version of the Broadway tribute show 'Beatlemania.' He's been earning a living doing it ever since.
Nowadays, Kishman plays "the cute Beatle" in a Fab Four tribute act called Twist and Shout. He also performs with symphony orchestras, depicting a mid-50s McCartney and playing everything from 'Hey Jude' and 'Let It Be' to post-Beatles tunes like 'Jet' and 'My Love.' After 35 years of playing McCartney, he admits singing some high-register Beatles tunes aren't easy.
"Even Paul himself has a hard time singing his own songs live," Kishman tells the Winnepeg Free Press. "When you hear him try to sing 'Maybe I'm Amazed' now, or any of the higher, more difficult numbers, it's sort of a letdown. But yet we still love him, because he's Paul.'
He ads, with reverence, "any bass player will tell you he's one of the greatest. The basslines he created are unbelievable -- very melodic. 'Silly Love Songs' has an amazing bassline, and he's singing the most incredible vocal line over it ... When I first started doing Paul, I said, 'There's no way I'm going to be able to do both these things at the same time.'"
Kishman performs this weekend with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, starring in 'Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney.'