Beatles barber turns shop into tribute to Fab Four
By Eduardo Garcia
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters Life!) - Beatles fan Gerardo Weiss ran a typical Buenos Aires barber shop until he had a dream that the Fab Four dropped in for a haircut.
Seven years later, Weiss has made Beatles-inspired cuts his specialty.
"The dream got etched on my memory," he said at the modest salon, the walls plastered with photos of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
"I decided to get rid of the pictures these places usually have and just put up photos of The Beatles ... so people could see them and ask for their haircuts," he said.
One picture shows Lennon cutting someone's hair, another is of Harrison with curly locks down to his shoulders. It is the stuff of inspiration for Weiss.
"My favorite Beatles' haircut is the one Paul McCartney had in '74, when he was doing the Band on the Run tour ... it was short on the sides and longer at the back," said Weiss, whose eight-year-old son is called Lennon.
"When my wife got pregnant I prayed to God for a son, so I could pay homage to John," he said as "Hey Jude," with Lennon strumming on a guitar, played in the background.
It was 40 years ago that the hairdresser first heard a Beatles record, a moment he recalls with almost religious fervor. It was "Love Me Do," the Beatles' first single, that started his life-long love affair with the British band.
At first, the salon's Beatles-inspired makeover was a little too radical for many locals in the working-class city neighborhood of Flores.
Weiss said it was a struggle to convince customers a Beatles' haircut is as cool today as it was when the band from Liverpool revolutionized popular music in the 1960s.
But word spread and people from outside Buenos Aires and even abroad began trickling, joining more adventurous locals.
"I've told some of my friends, the ones who are Beatles fans, to come and they liked the results," Mario Genua, a 22-year-old petrol station attendant, said as Weiss styled his hair into a "John 1964" -- fluffy on top and at the sides.
"They were very different (and) they're still fashionable," he said.
Weiss has no plans to move his business to bigger premises in a trendy neighborhood or to tap into the city's booming tourist trade.
His dream is to keep Beatles' cuts in style.
"I'll carry The Beatles in my soul, my spirit, my blood for the rest of my life," he said. "They left a mark on me and I'm really happy to be able to do what I do. I even get paid for it."