Here is Jude Southerland Kessler’s latest Blog:
The Beatles’ THE WHITE ALBUM: An International Symposium Conference
One of the joys of writing this blog is sharing with you the biggest events around us in The Beatles World. It’s even more rewarding when those special events involve members of our own close-knit Fest family, as well as those we’ve been fortunate to highlight through the years as Honored Guests at the Fest.
Such an event is now on the horizon. It will take place November 8-11, 2018, at Monmouth University, located in West Long Branch, New Jersey…only a good “Stones throw” (try Mick, he’s light) from our own New Jersey Fest location. The Beatles’ THE WHITE ALBUM: An International Symposium – a virtual collection of Beatles’ “Who’s Who” from all over the globe – will take place in association with the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music on lovely Monmouth University Campus. And what a landmark event it promises to be!
In fact, our own fearless leader, Mark Lapidos, will be front and center! And the impressive cast of distinguished lecturers and authors around him include people whom Mark has hand-selected, through the years, to keynote at the Fest as well as familiar faces from our own Fest family! These include:
* the over-awing Beatles Guru himself, author, Mark Lewisohn
* the former U.S Manager of Apple Records and author, Ken Mansfield
* GRAMMY award-winning engineer (who graced the Chicago Fest this year), Geoff Emerick
* noted Beatles music theorist and author, Walter Everett
*the most respected name in Beatles discography, author Bruce Spizer
* award-winning Beatles music author and host of the “Something About The Beatles” podcast, Robert Rodriguez
* historian and author of the 9-volume John Lennon Series, Jude Southerland Kessler
* author and rock myth-buster, a.k.a. The Rock’n’Roll Detective, Jim Berkenstadt
* author of The Recipe Records Series and co-host of the “She Said She Said” podcast, Lanea Stagg
* author, associate editor of Beatlefan magazine, and host of the “Bottomless Soul” show, Dr. Kit O’Toole
* author and Executive Editor for Beatlefan magazine, Al Sussman
Indeed, there are so many distinguished writers who will be attending this conference that it’s almost overwhelming! And we are extremely proud to have so many from the Fest in attendance.
There is also a plethora of Beatles experts slated to speak who have been joyfully included for their stellar research and unique, outstanding roles in the music world. These include:
* Allan Kozinn, immensely-respected music writer for The New York Times, High Fidelity, and the New York Observer and co-host of the “Things We Said Today” podcast
* Scott Freiman, whose “Deconstructing The Beatles” programs are highly-sought-after
* renowned record producer, Chris Thomas, who worked with Sir George Martin at AIR and was part of the production team of The White Album
* author Richard Buskin and Eric Taros who co-host the “Swinging Through the Sixties” podcast
* author and Beatles music expert, Tim Riley
* author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield
And, of course, we are especially proud of….drum roll, please…the man who conceived this once-in-a-lifetime gathering of Beatles greats and brought it to life: author of the highly-acclaimed biographies of Sir George Martin (Vol. 1, Maximum Volume and Vol. 2, Sound Pictures), Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, and long-time friend of the Fest, Dr. Kenneth Womack.
Ken has planned a weekend for symposium attendees that will be unlike any other symposium to date. “We look forward to welcoming so many music fans and Beatles scholars to Monmouth University, where we will be celebrating the landmark recording and release of The White Album,” said Ken. “West Long Branch, New Jersey, will be the place to be for Beatlemaniacs in November!”
On Tuesday, 6 November, area fans will be happy to join Ken and Mark Lewisohn for Monmouth University’s “Tuesday Night Record Club.” And you guessed it: that month’s LP will be none other than The White Album. Then, on Thursday, 8 November, there is a pre-conference bus tour of famous rock’n’roll sites along the Jersey Shore led by authors Jean Mikle and Stan Goldstein. Attendees will get to see Asbury Park’s Stone Pony and Paramount Theater…and will, of course, zip over to Belmar for a rare photo op at 10th Avenue and E Street. Classic!
Also on the 8th, The Weeklings will perform, with several very special tributes to The White Album. And throughout the weekend, iconic films such as Paul Saltzman’s The Beatles in India and Jerry Zolten and Dick Boak’s Ballad of the Dreadnaught (the history of Martin acoustic guitars) will be shown.
In addition to all of the great talks from Beatles experts and scholars, Monmouth University will also be hosting music and recording demonstration rooms where attendees can learn more about how the bandmates and their production team performed and recorded some of the songs on The White Album.
If attendees can find a wee smidgen of spare time in between the incredible presentations, films, bands, and tours, they will also want to spend some time browsing through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. This collection of 35,000 items from 47 countries across the globe is truly mind-boggling! Besides honoring native son, Springsteen, the archive also houses memorabilia from Frank Sinatra, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams.
So…right now… STOP whatever you are doing and say this into your computer/phone/Alexa calendar app: “Attend THE WHITE ALBUM Symposium Conference, Monmouth University, Nov. 8-11.” Then hesitate no more. Go to https://www.monmouth.edu/the-white-album/#details for more details about hotels and travel. On September 21st, individual pay passes and tickets to the keynote addresses will be available for non-presenters. So be sure to check back on the 21st to book your ticket to ride at the conference!
This IS a “reeeeally big shooow,” an event that you mustn’t miss. Don’t pass it by (don’t make me cry, don’t make me blue…). Be there! It will be a weekend you’ll talk about for years to come!