From an entertaining decade as rock wild man Keith Richards in a Rolling Stones tribute act, guitarist Bill Lennon now delivers the gospel of his musical hero, the American acoustic maestro James Taylor.
“When I got a call asking me if I’d be interested in the part of James Taylor it was just uncanny, and it took me about a millisecond to decide,” said Lennon who brings the You’ve Got A Friend show to Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre later this month.
“I love his lyrics and his beautiful melodies, but most of all his technique is brilliant.
“I’ve studied him so much I’ve actually started thinking and playing like him.
“It is pretty surreal how everything has turned out and I’m loving every minute of it.”
You’ve Got A Friend is based around the music of James Taylor and Carole King and features songs such as Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) and Fire and Rain.
It tells the delicate story of Taylor and King’s friendship, two of music’s greatest songwriters.
The show has been created by Dean Elliott, who was in the hit West End musical Buddy and was also behind the major touring production, The Simon and Garfunkel Story.
“The tour has created a big warm hug for everybody through their incredible music, and it does feel very special because we’ve had such a great response up and down Britain,” added Lennon.
“It is a very nostalgic show and it takes the audience back to a very specific era.”
Lennon, who spent ten years in doppelgangers The Counterfeit Stones, added: ‘The Holy Grail for me is playing music to a captive audience.
“I suppose playing Keith Richards was a bit of a tongue in cheek role, a humorous, cartoonesque character if you like, but I had a great time in the band.
“You could say that the rock and roll lifestyle touched them both, though, because Keith Richards and James Taylor both had their battles with drug addiction.
“This is a very different role, though, and although it does feels very natural to me it is a very demanding one.
“I’d always take my acoustic guitar on my travels through Europe.
“I loved the life of the travelling troubadour, and this is as close as you can get to it, and playing the songs of my hero is just an incredible privilege.”
You’ve Got a Friend also stars Emily Jollands as Carole King plus a supporting cast and live band.
“Apparently, Carole King was quite a shy person when she was younger and you could argue that her friendship with James Taylor helped Carole come out of herself.
“But they were a real support for each other.
“I’m not sure they are aware of the show but I’d like to think that one of these days we might get a call from somebody to say that James or Carol had stood at the back of a theatre somewhere and seen the show. That would be lovely.”
You’ve Got A Friend: The Music of James Taylor and Carole King. £15. Clitheroe Grand Theatre, June 17th. 01200 421599.