John approved my FEST idea 41 years ago today!

April 28, 1974. It was a warm Sunday – 81 was the high for the day in New York’s Central Park. Warm enough to wear my new Beatles 10th Anniversary Promotional T-Shirt to listen to John Lennon and Harry Nilsson talk to Cousin Brucie on stage during the first March of Dimes event. (It wasn’t a walkathon the first year but it has been every year since.) I told this story in a very detailed manner at the three FESTS in 2014 and was thrilled and humbled by the response. I will not retell that today. I just wanted to say hi and to let you know it was the greatest non family day in my life. Getting to see John (and it was because of that shirt I was wearing!) that day was an absolute thrill and to actually sit down with him only minutes after his appearance, in his hotel suite to tell him my idea of a Beatles fans’ celebration – well, what could be better. I can still hear him say those words to me – “I’m All For It. I’m a Beatles Fan, Too!”  It was the day that permanently altered my life. It has been a thrill and an honor to be able to have presented 123 National Beatles FESTS all around the country since then. The best thing about the FESTS is the coming together of Beatles fans from all over the world to celebrate our common love for the Beatles. There can no longer be a doubt their music will live forever!

Peace and Love!

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Mark hears I Want To Hold Your Hand – 1st Time 1/6/64

It was fifty years ago today, January 6, 1964 that I first heard I Want To Hold Your Hand. It was a moment that forever changed my life and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the first day back from the two week Christmas/New Year’s vacation where i had no access to radio. I was listening to WABC on the Scott Muni Show. I was doing my homework and the song came on the radio. I got so excited. I never heard ANYTHING that sounded like that before. I wanted to know who it was. I was hooked before the song was over. Scottso came on and said that it was by a group from England called The Beatles. My first thought was ‘What a strange name!’ The very next day, Tuesday, was new survey day and I came home from school and it was #1. It was still #1 when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show almost five weeks later.

Mark Lapidos, January 6, 2014

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A Day to Celebrate and Remember John

John on the set of Help, 1965

33 years later, we still have trouble getting through this day. It was the most senseless moment in our lifetime. Yet, we must accept it and try to honor John the best way we can, through his music and message of Peace and Love. What can you do to further that powerful message to change the world for the better? Of course, our thoughts are always with Yoko, Sean and Julian on this day as well. So, go ahead, listen to a Breakfast With The Beatles show – all are saluting and celebrating John’s meteoric life today. His music is always going to be part of the fabric of our lives. And that alone, makes us want to Celebrate the life of John Lennon on this day. On a personal note, those times I spent with John ranks up near the top of my most cherished moments of my life. We all shine on…

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We Remember George

November 29th – On this day in 2001, George Harrison passed. 12 years of reflecting on his singular legacy he left on this planet doesn’t make it much easier. Yes we do have his incredible music to put a smile on our faces, to make us think about the world, and how we fit into it, to improve the human condition, to improve ourselves, and to enjoy life more! That, in itself, is an enormous achievement. On that note, we make our yearly plea to those of you who still smoke cigarettes. Smoking leads to lung cancer and this is what took George from us. He didn’t know it in the 50s when he became a teenager. But now everybody know that cigarettes kill people – 1,200 every day, just in U.S.. That is more than 430,000 people every year. And it doesn’t just affect the smokers, but thousands die every year from second hand smoke. So for those of you who still smoke, we urge you, on this day we remember George, to finally give them up and mean it this year. You and your family and friends who love you will be thankful. Now let’s all go listen to George’s music today.

Peace and love.

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Mark Lewisohn to sign more copies of Tune In

If you checked our facebook page yesterday, you already know that Mark Lewisohn signed a staggering 500 copies of his must have new book, Tune In: The Beatles All These Years, Volume 1. There were about 60 unsold, we sent out an email blast and they sold in 90 minutes. So many tried to purchase it last night, so I contacted Mark and asked if he would sign another 300 copies. He graciously said yes and it looks like they will be signed tomorrow. So if you haven’t ordered it yet, do not delay. This is the Beatles book that will go down as, perhaps the greatest Beatles book ever! And this is only Volume One – 932 pages that covers the ‘boys’ from the beginning through December 31, 1962. The publication date is next Tuesday. We start shipping out tomorrow so most will have their pre-ordered copies on or close to the 29th.  The photo is from yeesterday’s signing.

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“Out of College, Money Spent….” 10/1/1969

My Summer of ’69: Graduated college, went to Europe with my friend Bob, met John Lennon on 6/13/69 in front of the Apple offices. Walked around London all evening saying I want to work for The Beatles. Wandered for almost two months with a guitar and a wheel of Edam cheese, came back, went to my brother’s wedding, went to Woodstock, decided I had to be in the music business. October 1, 1969, I was out of college, my money was spent, I couldn’t find a job, and I lived at home (pay no rent). I decided to go to Sam Goody (large East Coast Record Chain) to try to get a job selling (Beatles) records. I walked into the store, and there it was, THAT cover, no writing, just an image of the four most recognized people on the planet walking across a street. Of course, I forgot all about asking about a job, bought the record (the actual one I am holding here – still in its original wrapping, just sliced open on the side) and went home to listen to it all night. “Out of college, money spent, see no future, pay no rent…” How did these four guys from Liverpool know EXACTLY where I was in my life on the exact day of its release?! I went back for an interview the next day, got the job, and was on my way to a wonderful 5 year career.

I may have “seen no future” then, but it was this job that led me to my idea of a 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Beatles Arrival in America.

“One sweet dream came true today! “

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Sold Out of Signed Copies of the Tune In Book!

9/11 – 6:00AM EDT: Because of the overwhelming response to our special offer of signed copies of Mark Lewisohn’s forthcoming book, Tune In, we have ended the offer. Mark can only sign so many copies in the time he will have while in NYC around the time of publication (10/29/13). We thank all of you for your response to what is going to be the biggest Beatles Book event since The Beatles Anthology Book was published 13 years ago. You may still pre-order the book but don’t expect it to arrive signed. We, and Mark thank you for such a positive response to his book. We also personally thank Mark for agreeing to sign such a large amount of books for our customers.

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39 Years Ago Today (9/7/1974) – First FEST

39 years ago today, Saturday, September 7, 1974, we opened the doors to our first Beatles Celebration – then called Beatlefest. It took place at the Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street in New York City. I didn’t know what to expect. My brain was overloading with details. Did I forget anything? Was everybody going to show up? Was John going to surprise everyone and show up to pick the winner of the signed guitar he donated for charity? An amazing calm came over me the moment I came down to the main ballroom and saw the entire ballroom completely filled with fans, and then I realized that all these fans were here because of my idea of a 10th Anniversary Celebration of The Beatles Arrival in America. 8,000 people showed up over that weekend. I was interviewed by the NY Times (it appeared in the 9/8/74 edition, plus we made the covers of both Rolling Stone and UK’s Meloday Maker. I had no idea I would put on another FEST the next year, but thanks to all the calls and letters we received, I did and it has been an annual event ever since. Soon after, we started holding them in other cities, too! Now 119 FESTS and all these years later, we find ourselves gearing up for our 40th Anniversary Celebration at the same site, now called the Grand Hyatt and on the EXACT 50th Anniversary of the days The Beatles Arrived in America and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 7-9, 2014. It has been quite a journey for the Lapidos Family, and the best part has been meeting so many other fans over the years and to have been able to present and meet guests who have been an integral part of The Beatles Story. Thank you for a wonderful 39 years, so far…

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John Lennon Live in NYC to get a Reworking

In our email yesterday, we made mention of John’s NYC Concert may be coming out in DVD and CD. We neglected to give credit to the source of the information. So with apologies, here it is:

EXCLUSIVE: Beatlefan contributing editor Howie Edelson reports that during a chat with Jack Douglas the producer revealed that plans are in the early stages for him to overhaul John Lennon’s 1972 Madison Square Garden performances for an upcoming CD and DVD release, with a 5.1 mix likely as well. The still-untitled collection is still in the planning stages with Yoko Ono. The new set will be an entirely new project apart from the 1986 “Live in New York City” collection, with Douglas examining all existing audio and film sources for the set.

This iconic photo of John was taken at the concert by Bob Gruen.

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