Paul McCartney: Into His Life

As we continue looking at Side Two of Revolver, we thought it might be fun to compare and contrast two of Paul’s love songs…we’d love to hear from you about the similarities and differences you perceive!

 

Revolver is a Paul-centric LP. No doubt about it. It is the first of The Beatles’ LPs in which Sir Macca (and not the former “Leader Beatle,” John Lennon) dominates,  singing, and thus having composed, six of the 14 tracks. (Really, seven, if you count his predominate influence on “Yellow Submarine”).

 

John Lennon was the real-life “Ancient Mariner.” Like Coleridge’s weathered protagonist, Lennon always grabbed you by the elbow, and began to tell you his tragic life’s story. In “I’ll Cry Instead,” his BBC cover of Smokey Robinson’s “You Really Got A Hold On Me” (to which John adds the telling word, “Mother”), “If I Fell” or “I’m A Loser,” John is consistently bemoaning about Julia’s absence in his life and his consuming heartbreak over her loss…or perhaps, as he sees it, his inability to keep her.

 

“Beatle Paul” is just as thematically consistent. From early on, he composes songs about his struggling (and later, failing) relationship with Jane Asher. On Side One of Beatles For Sale, he reminds Jane in “I’ll Follow the Sun” that:

 

“One day, you’ll look to see I’m gone,

But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.

One day, you’ll know I was the one,

But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.

And now the time has come,

And so my love, I must go…

And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know…”

 

Then, on Side Two of Beatles for Sale, he tries a tougher tack, saying in “What You’re Doing”:

 

“You got me running…and there’s no fun in it…

Why would it be so much

To ask of you what you’re doin’ to me!?”

 

Over and over, in “We Can Work it Out,” “You Won’t See Me,” and “I’m Looking Through You,” Paul sings to Jane Asher of his frustration, of  his need for her to “be there” for him. In fact, our Fest Blog examined that theme earlier this year when we studied the lovely “Here, There, and Everywhere.

 

Now, here on Revolver’s Side Two, Paul speaks to Jane again, first in the uplifting “Good Day Sunshine” where he praises her for being with him on a sunny day, and then in the dark and poignant ballad, “For No One” and finally, in the brass-accompanied riot that is “Got to Get You Into My Life.” All three Side Two songs express Paul’s longing, in meter and verse, for his lady.

 

“Got to Get You Into My Life” – though admittedly a double entendre – a crafty nod to Paul’s use of marijuana – is in a basic, literal sense his mission statement.

 

“And then, suddenly, I see you!

Did I tell you I need you?

Every single day of my life!”

 

Song after song, ballad after ballad, Paul has been telling Jane (and hence, all of us) one thing: “Got to get you into my life.” And, the fact that Jane has justifiably resisted and sought her own very successful theatrical career has only inspired Paul to continue penning attention-getting poems set to music for her.

 

By 1966, however, it has become fairly obvious to them both that the relationship isn’t working. In fact, when Paul begs her to come home, “she takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry…she no longer needs him.”  They’re at irreconcilable odds, really.

 

Perhaps, a clue to their unresolved issues is to be found in the way in which “For No One” was recorded. Because the entire song is Paul and only Paul. George and John are not needed. Ringo will play percussion…but Paul alone – the center of attention – will sing and perform his composition on the Steinway grand. Perhaps that is why for Jane Asher:

 

“… in her eyes, you see nothing,
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one…

A love that should have lasted years.”

 

With the wrong instruments, “For No One” could have come off as “whiny and cheesy.” Instead, the composition (with the phenomenal clavichord work of Sir George Martin and the breath-taking French horn touches of Alan Civil) is elegant and deeply tragic on several levels. Because not only are Paul and Jane falling apart, but The Beatles are beginning to unravel as well.  When we hear those last words: “There will be times when all the things [they] said will fill your head. You won’t forget [them],” we somehow flash to the eroding friendship between John, Paul, George, and Ringo. We sigh.

 

And so, in the guise of his former, chipper self, Paul makes one last attempt on Revolver to woo Jane back again. Not discounting the very popular “marijuana theory” (which certainly exists on one level), in “Got to Get You Into My Life,” Paul expresses undiminished determination to get Jane into his life. He jauntily and emphatically speaks to her in hopes that the visions prevalent in “For No One” will never come to be. McCartney sings:

 

“What can I do, what can I be?

When I’m with you, I want to stay there!

And you know I’ll never leave…and if I do,

I know the way there!”

 

Here interestingly, Paul speaks his soul to Jane in an ear-catching new way, via a SOUL song! As Dr. Kit O’Toole, author of Songs We Were Singing: Guided Tours Through The Beatles Lesser Known Tracks has stated:

 

“The horns [in “Got to Get You Into My Life”] were a remnant of the band’s original idea to record Revolver at Stax Records in Memphis. They had long emulated the bass and drum sounds found on American soul records, and they wanted to extend that. So they recruited guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s to produce Revolver, and they asked Brian Epstein to “make it happen.” But all the Memphis studios wanted exorbitant fees to host The Beatles, so the boys ended up back in Abbey Road. But the soul sound still intrigued them, so “Got to Get You into My Life” is their interpretation of the genre.”  

 

“Got to Get You Into My Life” is one of Paul’s final attempts to catch Jane’s ear and to express his soul’s need for her lifelong companionship.

 

“You want her, you need her…

And yet you don’t believe her

When she says her love is dead:

You think she needs you.”

 

Both “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “For No One” are the swan songs for a love that could not survive. However, on 15 May 1967, when Paul met Linda Eastman in London’s Bag O’Nails, his long-deferred dream became reality. He got her into his life, and in that moment, everything changed.


Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series: www.johnlennonseries.com

 

Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.

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What Will You Bring?

You can say it a hundred ways:

 

“You get what you give.”

 

“You only get out of it what you put into it.”

 

“Cast your bread on the water, and it will return to you after many days.”

 

“Garbage in, garbage out.”

 

Or:

“And in the end, the love you take

Is equal to the love you make…”

 

In other words, in any venture in life, you’ll take away exactly what you bring to that moment. If you bring joy, you’ll reap joy. If you bring pessimism, you’ll walk away with pessimism. If you bring despair…well, you get it.

 

When my grandmother passed, she returned to each of us the gifts we had given her over the many years of her life. Those grandchildren who had given lovely, caring gifts received loving, caring gifts as rich mementos of her life. Those who had only eked by and given as little as possible reclaimed the tacky, shameful gifts that had been given. We all went to our homes that weekend with clear and obvious reminders of how generous and thoughtful (or stingy and miserly) we’d all been.

 

“And in the end, the love you take

Is equal to the love you make…”

 

The first year that I went to Liverpool, I went as a stuffy, American writer. I had trouble understanding Scouse. I wouldn’t try the local dishes. (Blood pudding? Eeeeek!) I dressed differently, and looked prim, stiff, professor-ish. And though I interviewed and observed, I never cracked a joke or smile. Bottom line: I didn’t fit in. Not a whit. Every minute of that trip, I was on the outside looking in. And though I learned a lot, I didn’t have fun being a stranger in a strange land.

 

The following year, I decided to do things differently. Instead of wearing my camel skirts, blazers, and sensible pumps back to dear old Liddypool, I donned tight leather pants and boots. I walked the streets of Merseyside instead of riding in taxis. I sat in The Grapes and The White Star and Flanagan’s Apple and learned the language and made friends.

 

That second year, strangers asked me for local directions over and over again…because they thought I was a Scouser! I had made the decision to blend in, and voila! I did! And when my nine days Merseyside were over, I reluctantly returned home not only better informed, but very, very happy.

 

“And in the end, the love you take

Is equal to the love you make…”

 

So, what will you bring to The Fest for Beatles Fans April 15-17? An old brown shoe? A sock (darned in the night)? A gently weeping guitar? A little white book? Some Semolina Pilchard? (Or Pilchard Semolina, for those who know the brand.) A 20-carat golden ring? A big brown bag? A portrait of the Queen? What will you bring?

 

Think! Because what you carry along with you to The Fest will determine what you take home. And, if you want to walk (drive, fly, or rollerblade) away from the weekend having had the time of your life, you need to bring a few, crucial items with (you…in Liverpool, you’d leave off the word “you” in that phrase). You’ll need:

 

1)      Suggestions for us about things we can host at The Fest to make you happy. (We love your ideas!!! Send them to us ASAP, please! We are trying to find out what you like and include it in our expanded offerings! And if you’d like to volunteer to lead a class or a hike, we’d love to hear about it…soon). Email Danny@thefest.com with any ideas!

2)      A spirit of FUN!!!

3)      The ability to take part in what you enjoy and to happily pass over the things you do not like! (After all, someone else might enjoy that event and dislike the things you like, right? Give and take.)

4)      A compliment or two for those who are presenting, singing, decorating, hosting, performing, cleaning up, selling tickets, emceeing, and making it all possible.

5)      A spirit of curiosity about new speakers, books, panels, and experiences! A mind ready to seek out, enjoy, and find the best in every situation. A sense of adventure!

 

If you pack these five items along with your bent-back tulips and jeans (except on Sunday), you’ll find yourself smiling, laughing, learning, nodding, singing, and making the most of every moment! You’ll find yourself ready to have a great time and go home happy.

 

What you bring to the party is up to you. I would hate your disappointment to show. Is there nothing for you here? Will you disappear?

 

Or will you go all out, all in, all together now for a unique, exciting, uplifting Beatles weekend of fun? I hope it’s the latter…because the love you take really, really, really IS equal to the love YOU make. Ahahhhhhhhhhh!

 


Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series: www.johnlennonseries.com

 

Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.

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He Engineered the soundtrack of life: A tribute to Dennis Ferrante

The job of a Sound Engineer, as I understand it, is to oversee the mix of volume levels, sound effects, and instrument inputs in the recording studio…to work magic so that the artist’s song is presented in its very best light. Sometimes this involves moving microphones, and shuffling amplifiers and drums around so that the sound reverberates in a more effective manner. Sometimes this involves ingenious solutions like sticking overcoats in the drums to muffle them. Whatever it takes, a sound engineer does it.

 

That is what Dennis Ferrante did for John Lennon and Yoko Ono at The Record Plant in New York City. And that, essentially, is what Dennis did with his life.

 

Dennis was given “the gift” of a bum heart. During his life he had numerous heart surgeries, and in his last years, he was living with the use of only twenty percent of his heart in functioning condition. But with that twenty percent, he loved more, laughed more, and celebrated more than anyone I know. Dennis Ferrante was exuberant.

 

I first met Dennis when he guested on my “John Lennon Hour” show on BeatlesARama Radio. I had prepared 12 questions to ask Dennis during our hour together. In 60 minutes, he answered three. Dennis had a way of telling a story (with all the trimmings!) that kept an audience captivated. He didn’t answer a question with terse facts or data. He answered by unveiling – bit by bit – his colorful, thrilling adventures. He answered by letting the listener into the electrifying world in which he lived. When Dennis told a story, you walked his walk. His answers were lengthy and fascinating and chock full of life. You sat enraptured by the things Dennis said.

 

And when Dennis talked, everyone laughed! He was witty, raucous, and bold. When I greeted Dennis on that first show that we did together, I said, “So glad to have you with us, Dennis!” And he fired back, boldly, in his New Jersey accent, “So glad to be had!” I cracked up.

 

Over the next three years, Dennis appeared on my radio show three times, and when I moved to BlogTalkRadio, Dennis moved with me. The week that Cynthia Lennon died (and my heart was broken), I phoned Dennis and asked him if he would be my guest – I needed someone special that week to lift my flagging spirits. He immediately agreed. And even in that gloomiest of weeks, he made me smile.

 

Dennis wouldn’t take “sad” for an answer. On any given day, even in the hospital I imagine, he was mischievous, hilarious, and badly-behaved.

 

Dennis had incredible stories about his years in the studio with Cher, John and Yoko, Harry Nilsson, Lou Reed, and so many others. His stories of restoring Duke Ellington’s music to its original vibrancy and life (a meticulous task that won him a Grammy) were riveting. But he never told those stories to “name drop” or boast. He told them because they were funny; he told them because they made people grin, ear to ear. He told them because hearing those stories made others happy. You couldn’t be in Dennis’s presence without laughing. He was THAT guy. He was the one you wished you could be.

 

Dennis wasn’t without his problems. He had flat-lined several times before he died. Quite frankly, he knew his time was limited.

 

I had already invited Dennis to be on my radio show for my birthday this coming November, and he’d responded, “I’ll be there, if I’m still here.” Dennis knew his heart was iffy at best. But that never dampened his mood. Like any good sound engineer, he mixed magic…but in the studio of his life. He equalized and blended his attitude so that the only sound we heard was joy.

 

We all face tragedies daily, large and small. But it’s our choice to let those roadblocks control us or to shuffle things around and adjust levels so that we control them. Dennis engineered the soundtrack of his life. It’s now a heavenly anthem. And the angels are smiling.

 

 

To hear Dennis’s last interview with Jude (and it’s a classic!) go to:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thejohnlennonhour/2015/04/03/johns-sound-engineer-dennis-ferrante-makes-you-smile

 

 

 

Jude Southerland Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series: www.johnlennonseries.com

 

Jude is represented by 910 Public Relations — @910PubRel on Twitter and 910 Public Relations on Facebook.

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LOVE WINNER… NUMBER NINE…

It’s the word… LOVE. It’s been said that it’s all you need.

We are so thrilled to send a burst of Beatles adventure (airfare, hotel and dinner for two included!) to yet another Las Vegas LOVE Cirque du Soleil giveaway winner. This is winner NUMBER 9 and counting!

For those of you in the main ballroom at the  Sunday night at FESTCHESTER, I read out 4 answers (drawn at random) to the question:

“How have The Beatles HELP!ed you in your life?” (OH, the ways! Comment below and share yours!)

It was up to you – the audience – to cheer for the one that resonated most. We were VERY close between first and second place. Unfortunately for her, the winner you picked was not in the audience and also has not responded to our emails. However… sitting in that very audience hearing his answer slide just below the cheer barometer was Carl B Maltzman, who said:

“The Beatles have HELP!ed me love my fellow humans. The Beatles have a very life affirming message.”

Carl has graciously accepted the prize in his runner up status! We are so pleased to give this trip to him — a true Beatles fan who, you will probably agree after reading his note, is oh so deserving of this trip.

The ::magic:: of the Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil experience is something to be experienced by every Beatles fan, taking our beloved songs and twisting them into flying, catapulting, technicolor theatrics, gymnastics and artistic heights. Thank you to everybody who entered, and stay tuned as we give away another trip before Chicago Fest in August! Be sure to like our Facebook page not to miss a thing.

FROM CARL:

“I have been a loyal Fest attendee since the first one in 1974.  In fact, I have a countdown clock that is set to countdown to the next Fest!

At the first Fest, the Beatles contributed instruments that were raffled off.  I didn’t win—although I did tap on the tabla from “Within You Without You” that another attendee won.  Years and years of checking my wrist band numbers as Mark called out winners, and all I’ve won is a Yellow Submarine DVD poster.

But this year I sure hit the jackpot!  I still can’t believe it!

I visited Las Vegas in 2009, but “Love” was sold out.  I was, of course, very disappointed.  I didn’t know when I’d make it back to Las Vegas—and all my friends and relatives who had seen the show telling me what I missed didn’t help.

Now thanks to the Fest I am returning to Las Vegas with a guaranteed seat at the show!  I have so many friends asking me to take them, I think I’ll have to have my own essay contest to choose a “winner.”

I would be terribly remiss to not thank the people who are MOST responsible for this:  THE BEATLES!  The Beatles were not just the greatest group in rock history.  They a miracle of not just being the best composers, but also were genius musicians who could perform better than anyone else, and were blessed with a producer who could expertly bring their ideas to reality.  They were four “mensches” who presented an uplifting message, who examined the human condition, told us that life can be wonderful, that we all have the ability to lift ourselves up, to work with each other, and make life wonderful.

Even though they could write a song like “Eleanor Rigby” that tears out your heart, they also told us that there will always be sunshine even when we are in winter, that rain is good, sad is just a state of mind, and of course, we CAN take a sad song and make it better.

That is why I firmly believe Beatles music will last forever.  As Paul said, they could have sung about the devil.  But they didn’t.  They followed their hearts and told us that life is wonderful if we only try.

So thank you Mark, Carol, Michelle Joni, Jessica, George Martin, The Beatles for giving me this wonderful trip to Las Vegas to celebrate the greatest band in history—The Beatles.”

 

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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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2015 New York Metro Fest Recap

Dear Beatles Family,

 

What an incredible Beatles weekend we all shared March 20-22 at the Fest For Beatles Fans!

 

Kicking off the 41st year of The Fest with the year of Help! couldn’t have been more exhilarating, and we have all of you to thank for it.

 

At #FESTCHESTER, thousands of Beatles fans from 27 states and three continents came together at the sprawling Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York to celebrate all things Beatles, including the 50th anniversary of Help! We love you all. This is our collective recap…

 

If you get to the bottom of this and these pics aren’t enough for your vicarious re-living of the New York Metro Fest, check out our first Facebook album HERE, our second Facebook album HERE, and our fans album HERE.

 

Also be sure to visit and subscribe to The Fest’s YouTube page, where about a dozen videos from the weekend have already gone up and many more are on the way!

 

Below is an image from Fester @Danielleeee019 on Instagram…

 

 

THE FEST began on the first day of Spring, Friday, March 20, when the hotel started to fill with fans who gathered for afternoon jams, explored the spacious Hilton Westchester, and prepared for the three amazing days and nights that were to come.

 

Before the day’s events got going, THE FEST was welcomed during a press conference put together by the Office of the County Executive for Westchester County. During the press conference, THE FEST was given a Proclamation that declared March 20-22, 2015 to be “Beatles Fan Weekend” in Westchester County!

 

 

THE FEST officially kicked off at 5 PM on Friday as fans came in from the snow (yes, it was snowing) and brought their Beatley energy to the Westchester Ballroom as the weekend began. Along with our fantastic band, Liverpool (CLICK HERE to watch them play ‘Any Time At All’), our musical guests included Gary Wright, Laurence Juber, Mark Rivera, and Mark Hudson.

 

Our special guests included Bob Eubanks, Jack Oliver, Russ Titelman, and last minute surprise guest, photographer Bob Gruen.

 

 

 

Friday night continued on with the 60s Dance Party with Look Alike and Dress Up contests.

 

 

To go along with our incredible musical guests, the weekend also featured some fantastic Sound Alike and Battle of the Beatles Bands competitors, with Yesterday and Today (below/photo from band member Johnathan Pushkar) snagging the Battle of the Beatles Bands crown for the second straight year.

 

 

The Sound Alike finalists were all incredible, but the title went to Brianna Faith, who brought the house down with her out of this world rendition of ‘I Am The Walrus.’ Watch a clip of Brianna’s winning performance HERE.

 

Our tradition of the ‘Beatles Gratitude Wall’ continued, and was where fans wrote and hung tons of signs to answer the question “Why are you grateful for The Beatles?”

 

 

We also added a new, hands-on experience at the New York Metro Fest: The FABoratory, where Festers had the chance to turn into Beatles Magicians and teachers while sharing knowledge and playing music.

 

 

The incredible live music of the weekend wasn’t limited to the nighttime concerts…

 

Jeff Slate’s Birds of Paradox performed a great set of solo-John, solo-Paul and other tunes (CLICK HERE to watch them play ‘Handle With Care’) on Saturday afternoon, featuring Steve Holley and Laurence Juber of Wings and Gary Van Scyoc and Adam Ippolito of the Elephants Memory Band + Jimmy McElligott.

 

 

The Weeklings took to the stage on Sunday afternoon to perform songs the Beatles wrote but never officially recorded, their Beatle-esque originals, and more. CLICK HERE for a video of the group performing ‘You Know What To Do.’

 

 

String quartet Cellophane Flowers, featuring Jeff Lubin, performed on the Act Naturally stage on Sunday – CLICK HERE for a video of the band performing ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ – before heading to the Westchester Ballroom for a two-song performance – ‘Here Today,’ and ‘Yesterday.’

 

 

That wasn’t all…

 

mr. RAY held his fun kids concert, 11-year-old Molly Jeanne thrilled attendees with her vocal chops and ukulele skills, Michelle My Pelle held their open mic night, The Bootlegs took to the stage for a reunion, and harpist Adrienne Knauer spun her beautiful Beatles interpretations.

 

 

As always, the Beatles Art Contest was a place where fans were treated to some truly amazing art by professionals, amateurs, and kids – all who took home prizes. Of the many incredible entries in the professional division, Eddie Colaci won for his great 3D Beatles piece, Rachel Bremilst was the winner in our amateur division for her Help! art, and Anna Maibaum took the ribbon for top kids artwork for her John Lennon portraits. We thank Deco for continuing to do such a great job with the Art Museum.

 

 

The 2015 New York Metro FEST was home to two Beatles marketplaces – The FEST Store and the Vendors Room – the weekend home of over a dozen of the best Beatles authors in the world.

 

 

 

Ken Dashow of Q104.3, was our amazing emcee and he had a little help from his/our friend Tom Frangione.

 

When Festers weren’t busy dancing, jamming in every nook of the hotel, and parading (at our fourth annual Beatles Animals Parade which included the new Martha puppet), they took in one of Bob Abdou’s highly entertaining Beatles Puppet Shows, got memorabilia signed, toured the Photo (Rob Shanahan, Allan Tannenbaum, and Nancy Lee Andrews) and Art (Eric Cash, Neal Glaser, and Ron Campbell) Exhibitions, and more.

 

 

 

Rob, Allan, and Nancy Lee:

 

 

Art from Ron Campbell, Neal Glaser Celebrity Art, and Eric Cash:

 

 

Many also took refuge in our Beatles Ashram, which featured yoga classes with Kenzie Pause and Clarence for adults and kids, intro sessions from the teachers of Transcendental Meditation including Peter Muldavin & Harry Martinian, a Creative Song Journey, an intro to Indian Raga, a Poetry Jam with Deco, and more.

 

 

Other highlights from the weekend were We Can Write It Out with Mark Hudson, and Live Beatles Trivia and Name That Tune hosted by Tom Frangione and Al Sussman. Other guest announcers included Darren DeVivo (WFUV), Fab4Free4All, and Ken Michaels.

 

Thanks to Cirque du Soleil, we gave away a 10th winning a trip to Las Vegas to see The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil. Winner will be announced shortly.

 

 

We made good use of the pool with our Friday night Pool Party and Sunday Morning water aerobics with Christina Schaeffer. We welcomed back Karaoke Karen, the many films shown in the Beatles Video Room hosted by Steve Shorten, and the always spectacular Pig Light Show by Marc Rubinstein that accompanied the concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

 

The amount of Beatles knowledge shared over the weekend by authors/historians Vivek Tiwary, Al Sussman, Bruce Spizer, David Bedford, Chuck Gunderson, Jude Southerland Kessler, Susan Ryan, Candy Leonard, David Schwensen, Dee Elias, Anthony Robustelli, and Judith Kristen was nothing short of incredible!

 

 

As always, the Musicians’ Forum on Sunday was a treat, as was that night’s concert that saw Liverpool complete the second side of Help! (they did side one on Saturday, CLICK HERE for their performance of ‘The Night Before’) and other Beatles cuts.

Drew Hill, Glen Burtnik, John Merjave, and Chris Camilleri of Liverpool were fantastic all weekend, and their energy while wrapping up the FESTivities on Sunday night matched the energy of the first song of their Friday night set.

Gary Wright performed Dream Weaver (CLICK HERE for the video), Love Is Alive and To Discover Yourself, plus he did an amazing version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Liverpool.

 

 

The magic continued as Laurence Juber and Mark Rivera – CLICK HERE to see Mark perform ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ – joined in the jamming with Mark Hudson and Liverpool. All in all, it was an incredible weekend of Live Music at THE FEST!!

 

 

After #FESTCHESTER officially came to a close, the jamming continued into the wee hours of Monday morning, with attendees singing and playing along until the sun came up.

 

 

The energy the fans brought all weekend was amazing. Both the FEST and the fans were thrown a curve when the parking garage collapse at the Empire Meadowlands necessitated a venue change to the Hilton Westchester, and the way the weekend shook out was both memorable and uplifting for all.

 

 

Charities at the FEST:

 

Yoko sent over six signed copies of the See Hear Yoko book in a special canvas bag with other goodies as well. Five were auctioned off for Charity and one was part of the Grand Prize for Sunday’s Spirit Foundation Charity Raffle. Amazingly, the winner was the same winner in last year’s raffle.

 

With one of the Grand Prizes a set of Beatles Luggage for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Raffle on Saturday night, we raised extra money for this importance cause. We also had the Theatre Within join us again to raise awareness of the importance of music education in schools. We also welcomed RockCANRoll for the first time and many of you brought food items and donated much needed funds that will help to feed the less fortunate in our area. We thank you for your participation in these important organizations.

 

 

We’d also like to thank the Hilton Westchester, who did a terrific job hosting the Fest, especially Maura. Most of all, we want to offer another thank you to all the guests and fans who came to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Help!, all things Beatles, and the 41st anniversary of the Fest For Beatles Fans with us.

 

We are already gearing up for the Chicago Fest, taking place August 14 to 16 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. Details will be released at TheFest.com in May, so keep an eye out!

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New Location: The Fest For Beatles Fans NY Metro

As we were preparing for our upcoming FEST FOR BEATLES FANS 2015 – NEW YORK METRO, something very unexpected happened. As many of you have heard, part of the parking garage collapsed on the third floor of the parking deck at the Empire Meadowlands Hotel. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured. After seeing the damage to the Exhibit Center (Marketplace) and the parking structure itself, we realized with lack of on site parking, event space and safety issues, it would be impossible to hold THE FEST there this year. We’ve been working around the clock to come up with a solution and we’re happy to say that WE HAVE!

Fortunately, we found another location! It’s the HILTON WESTCHESTER (699 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook, New York), a spacious, resort-like getaway which just happens to be perfect for THE FEST. With their HELP moving other events around, they cleared the space for THE FEST. It will be the exact same weekend as planned, FRIDAY-SUNDAY, MARCH 20-22. For those of you who go way back with us, we actually held THE FEST there in 1982! That was the first year Harry Nilsson was a guest at our NY Metro FEST!

The hotel is beautiful. All guest rooms are large and have been recently renovated. The main ballroom is very spacious and the hotel has lots of other additional ballrooms that are easily accessible to one another that will accommodate all of the activities, events, and exhibits.
The Hilton Westchester has a full service restaurant, room service, a lobby bar, and a snack bar.
There is a giant indoor pool and jacuzzi for hotel guests, which will be a great place to tap into your Inner light with Beatles Yoga and Meditation!
The hotel also has a fitness center, outdoor patios connecting the activity rooms, miles of walking paths and indoor tennis courts! (All You Need is “Love”)
Aside from the new hotel location, everything else will be unchanged. All events, guests, activities, and tickets will be the same. The incredible FEST atmosphere – with jamming until the wee hours – will simply be switched to the Hilton Westchester.

ROOM RESERVATIONS: If you have a room reserved at The Empire Meadowlands, you will have to cancel it (201-348-6900). You will be refunded in full. For those booked at our overflow hotel (The Meadowlands Plaza), they will be contacting you shortly, with a cancellation number. To make a new reservation at the HILTON WESTCHESTER, call 1-800-HILTONS, (Tell them you are coming to THE FEST FOR BEATLES FANS to get the special rate.) or CLICK HERE to reserve online. The room rates are the same – $159.00 Single through Quad. Directions to the hotel can be found on both thefest.com and the Hilton Westchester.

Those who had reserved rooms at the Empire Meadowlands & Meadowlands Plaza will be guaranteed rooms at the Hilton Westchester.
For those of you who were unable to reserve a room at the Empire Meadowlands because it was sold out, you’re in luck! The Hilton Westchester is a bigger hotel, has plenty of rooms available and they’re ready to accommodate you.
For some, this will be a little closer and for others a little further, but still being in the New York Metropolitan area, we found it to be a great choice. It’s very convenient via public transportation. The Hilton is only 12 minutes from the Tappan Zee Bridge and 30 minutes from the GW Bridge. The hotel will even come pick you up from the train station and bring you back, until 1:00AM! It is minutes from the Westchester Airport and very convenient to LaGuardia Airport. There is also plenty of FREE PARKING on site.

We know that we’re throwing everyone a curve and we want to apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. However, the change was necessary for this year and we’re excited to have a real Beatles getaway with you all at the serene Hilton Westchester!

Can’t wait to see you at THE FEST FOR BEATLES FANS!
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Today in Beatles history: Free As A Bird premieres

On today’s date in 1995, the first part of The Beatles Anthology premiered on ABC…
 
Remembers Fest Founder Mark Lapidos:
 
It was a Sunday night and the excitement was building all evening as they kept promoting the first new Beatles song in 25 years. Of course it was ‘Free As A Bird,’ and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It aired at the end of the show with the promo film, which blew everybody away with all those Beatles references. It received blanket coverage and airplay the next day on almost every radio station and newscast in the country.
 
Capitol even arranged for Beatles Anthology 1 to be in the stores on the next day (Monday), not Tuesday as had been the case for decades. It was a monumental effort to make that happen, and the CD went to #1 and sold a staggering 3 1/2 million copies. ‘Free As a Bird’ would have gone right to #1 as well, but the single was delayed and not released until December.
 
Remembers Fest Social Media Manager Danny Abriano:
 
I had recently turned 12 years old, but I was already a Beatles fanatic by the time Part One of the Anthology aired in 1995. With the internet in its infancy and social media nonexistent, there were no leaks or unauthorized sneak previews of ‘Free As A Bird,’ making the premiere at the end of the night on ABC an incredible and unique experience.
 
As soon as the Anthology 1 album was released, I grabbed my copy – on double-cassette. ‘Free As A Bird’ was the first song on the album, and I played the hell out of that song and pretty much everything else on Anthology 1. For someone who wasn’t around when the Beatles were together, seeing and hearing Paul, George, and Ringo play a new song with John was truly amazing.
 
Here’s the ‘Free As A Bird’ video, interspersed with some behind the scenes moments >>

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Chicago FEST 2014 Wrap Up! Next Stop – L.A.

Dear Beatles Family,
 
What a WEEKEND that was! Last weekend, over 4,000 Beatles fans from 30 states and two continents came together at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America. We love you all. This is our collective recap…

If you get to the bottom of this and these pics aren’t enough for your vicarious re-living of Chicago Fest, check out all these FACEBOOK ALBUMS:

Carol Lapidos Cam // Danny Abriano Cam1 Cam2 // Michelle Joni Cam1 Cam 2

FAN CAM <—- <—-THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN. Keep on sharing your #ChiFest14 pics!

Some of the fan-decorated doors throughout the hotel

The Fest began on Friday, August 15, when the hotel started to fill with fans who gathered for afternoon jams, to decorate their hotel room doors, and to play and belt out songs of the best band that ever was.
 
For this email we’re using lots of FAN CAM pics! The following one is a la @d_davis78. Keep adding them and use hashtag #ChiFest14

From @d_davis78 on Instagram

With the beloved Terri Hemmert serving as emcee (who just posted this pic of having dinner with a Monkee and the XRT radio winners!)…

MC Terri Hemmert with Micky Dolenz and the contest winners

…the Fest officially kicked off at 5 PM on Friday as fans came streaming through the lobby and entered the ballroom as the weekend began. Along with our fantastic band ,Liverpool, our musical guests included Peter Noone, Micky Dolenz, Mike Pender of the Searchers, Laurence Juber, Mark Rivera, and Mark Hudson. Friday night continued on with the 60s Dance Party and dress up contest.

Liverpool

After the dance floor cleared, Fest Founder Mark Lapidos shared his story of meeting John Lennon and starting Beatlefest in 1974, with all the bells and whistles. Tom Frangione, one of our moderators, assisted. Now that’s a story to tell over and over again!

Mark Lapidos and Tom Frangione

To go along with our spectacular musical guests, the weekend also featured some of the best sound-alike and Battle of the Beatles Bands competitors we’ve ever had in our 40 years of the Fest. Byrd emceed the sound-alike tryouts, and it was extremely difficult whittling the field down for Saturday night’s finals.

Cooper Moore during the Sound-Alike Finals

Ringer’s All-Starr Band during the Battle of the Beatles Bands

The sound-alike finals came down to 7-year-old mini-Beatle Cooper, the mother/daughter combination of Liv and Di, who sang a chills-inducing version of ‘Imagine,’ and Collin Berg, who won the contest with a great (harmonica included) version of ‘I Should Have Known Better.’
 
The Battle of the Bands proved to be a fierce competition, with Ringer’s All-Starr Band, The Ralleys, Eleanor and the Rigbys, and Pisces Fish emerging as the biggest threats for the crown. Ringer’s All-Starr Band, with an incredible Ringo impersonator, took home the honors once again this year.

The Gratitude Wall

Just like we had lots of new events and activities at our enormous New York City Fest in February, the Chicago Fest gave birth to some great new additions. Among them was our ‘Beatles Gratitude Wall,’ where fans wrote and hung hundreds of signs to answer the question “Why are you grateful for The Beatles — or anything else for that matter?”

One of the many notes on the Gratitude Wall

We are so GRATEFUL to all of you for being part of our Beatles family!

There was also a spur-of-the-moment Bed-In on Saturday afternoon that caused a peaceful stir in the Grand Foyer.

Saturday’s Bed-In

Fans jumped right into bed with Michelle My Pelle, the Beatles Cabaret Duet who also hosted the new Latenight Open Mic Night  on Friday and Saturday at midnight. That mic was rocking and rolling both nights, with impromptu bands forming, ballsy song renditions, and an epic dance party remix by DJ Madonna and Sun Queen. A new Fest tradition!

The Art Contest winners

Keeping with the grand scale of the weekend, the Beatles art contest was a place where fans were treated to some truly amazing art by professionals, amateurs, and kids – all who took home prizes. Of the many incredible entries in the professional division, John Kettman’s to scale Abbey Road crossing piece took home the prize (after serving as a great photo-op for pretty much every fan who crossed its path). And a triple prize winner, Gary Schwaller, with his album cover t-shirt quilt, a painting of John and Paul and the special artist pick, his John Lennon batik portrait. We thank Deco, (shown on the right) for doing such a great job with the Art Museum.

Carol Lapidos and Deco take a walk on Abbey Road

The Chicago Fest was home to two Beatles marketplaces, the weekend home of over 20 of the best Beatles authors in the world, and Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, who regaled us all with his Beatles knowledge.

Mark Lewisohn and his wife Anita

When attendees weren’t busy dancing, singing, and parading (at our third annual George Harrison Ukulele Parade), they took in one of Bob Abdou’s highly entertaining Beatles puppet shows, got memorabilia signed, toured the Photo (Nancy Lee Andrews and Rob Shanahan) and Art (Eric Cash) Exhibitions, and more.
 
Many also took refuge in our Beatles Ashram, which featured four yoga classes both Saturday and Sunday, intro sessions from the teachers of Transcendental Meditation, a Creative Song Journey, a Teen Chat, and more.

Yoga in the Beatles Ashram

Other highlights from the weekend were photographer Rob Shanahan, Eric Cash showing his amazing art, Beatles Karaoke with Terry Palmer (new this year), Live Beatles Trivia, Jeff Augsburger and David Rauh showing off their incredible Beatles exhibits, Viviana Adams of Porter, Texas winning a trip to Las Vegas to see The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil, and former American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart helping to bring Sunday’s hotel jam session to a close with us outside the Grand Ballroom.

Our LOVE giveaway announcement and winner

We had so many guest authors that we had the O’Hare Ballroom dedicated to only authors discussions, and the amount of Beatles knowledge that came out of those talks filled fans’ heads. From Vivek Tiwary, Chuck Gunderson, Ivor Davis, Jude Southerland Kessler and Richard Buskin, to regulars Bruce Spizer, David Bedford, Al Sussman and Robert Rodriguez (too many to mention) it was a collective WOW.
 
As always, the Musicians’ Forum on Sunday was a highlight, as was that night’s raucous concert that saw Peter Noone and Micky Dolenz take the stage together as they brought the fans to their feet in a truly joyous scene.They performed ‘I’m Henry VIII I Am’ and ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’ (two Herman’s Hermits songs) together.

Micky Dolenz and Peter Noone on Sunday night

  And then they took a #SELFIE!!

Mike Pender of The Searchers made his first ever FEST appearance and performed A Hard Day’s Night with Liverpool. It was the first time in his career that he ever performed a Beatles song.

Mike Pender with Liverpool

Mark Rivera and Laurence Juber added a special touch of amazing musicianship. Speaking of Liverpool, let’s give a big shout out to Joe Bologna who did a great job subbing for Chris on Drums. Drew, Glen and John were spot on and had a blast performing a great variety of Beatles songs and then backing up all the special musical guests.

Mark Hudson, Laurence Juber, and Mark Rivera

Of course, the ball of energy known as Mark Hudson rocked the Grand Ballroom stage with fab musical jams on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The shows ended at around 12:30AM both nights and everyone went home singing!

Mark Lapidos did his “Here Comes The Sun” to usher out the weekend just after 4am on Sunday, but the party didn’t stop till 8 AM Monday morning, as we hippie’d on into the night, outside as the sun came up, greeting joggers and people in business suits starting their week.

It’s impossible to adequately capture the essence of the weekend in a few short pages, but we can say that the weekend was truly special for one reason: You.
 
The energy the fans brought all weekend was off the charts. From the jams that went on from the second the Fest kicked off on Friday until after it ended on Sunday, the Beatles-centric hotel room doors that were decorated, the energy that was brought during the concerts, and the happiness and love that made up the weekend…it was you guys who made the 2014 Chicago Fest what it was.

@SarahStarr is still rocking her wristband!

We are currently gathering all of the pictures and videos from The Fest, and we want to see all of yours too! As we did over the weekend, use the hashtag #chifest14 to share pictures with us on Instagram and Twitter (@Beatles_Fest), and post pictures on our Facebook wall at Facebook.com/thefest. Tons more pictures of all the guests, events, activities, and fans will be shared in emails, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and via email (send them to danny@thefest.com) in the coming days and weeks!
 
We’d also like to thank the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, who did a fantastic job hosting the Fest, especially Debra. Most of all, we want to offer another thank you to all the guests and fans who came to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America and the 40th anniversary of the Fest for Beatles Fans with us.
 
We are already so excited for the next Fest, our first time back in Los Angeles in 14 years! It’s coming up October 10-12. Don’t miss this next epic Beatles weekend… get your ticket to ride!

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