I'm the only oldie in 'Unforgettable' tour: Amitabh Bachchan

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 15 (IANS) Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan has been on innumerable world concerts but says he is nervous about the 'Unforgettable' world tour that kicks off in Toronto Friday because of the changed mechanics, presentation and his age.

"It is frightening. The whole mechanics of shows have changed. They have become technically savvy, more organised, better presented and certainly their frequency has increased," Amitabh told IANS in an interview.

"For me individually, the clientele has aged and I wonder how the present generation will take to my presence. But I'm the only oldie in the group so thankfully I could hide behind the younger lot," the legendary actor said.

The first lap of the tour will be of about six weeks and Amitabh will be accompanied by son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya.

Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, Riteish Deshmukh, Shilpa Shetty and Madhuri Dixit are also part of the troupe.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: The 'Unforgettable' tour is around the corner. How long would you be away and to which parts of the world will it take you?

A: We shall be away for about six weeks. We'll perform in Britain, the US, Canada, Trinidad (and Tobago) and Holland.

Q: There was a lot of speculation on who were to accompany you on the tour this time. Are you pleased with the final list of performers? And just for the record, who are they?

A; There was never any speculation from our side. It has Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, Riteish Deshmukh, Shilpa Shetty, Madhuri Dixit, Vishal-Shekhar and their band, Shiamak Davar's troupe, and, of course, the three of us.

Q; You've been on innumerable world concerts - how different is it performing on stage today as compared to the 1970s or 80s?

A: It is frightening! The whole mechanics of shows have changed. They have become technically savvy, more organised, better presented and certainly their frequency has increased. For me individually, the clientele has aged and I wonder how the present generation will take to my presence. But I am the only oldie in the group; so thankfully I could hide behind the younger lot.

Q: This concert is doubly special because Aishwarya joins you and Abhishek. Would it be more difficult this time to live up to expectations?

A: Living up to expectations is always a great worry and apprehensions are mammoth. This time would be no different.

Q: Would you, Abhishek and Aishwarya perform the by-now legendary "Kajra re" on stage?

A: Yes, we will.

Q: You've been rehearsing hard. How have you found the time to do so and would the month-and-a-half long concerts be a huge pressure on your time?

A: We rehearse after the other commitments of the day are over. Mostly we are all there till past midnight. Commitments are made after due planning and we will follow what has been planned.

Q: Finally, how anxious are you about going on stage this time with your family?

A: I am always anxious. This time will be no different.

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