Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

A Day in the Life of the Fest for Beatles Fans 2014

It was 50 years ago today, the Beatles taught the world to play.... And see the question of the day: What Are Your Top 5 Favorite Beatles Albums?

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

February 11, 2014 - 11:19 am

Beatles-themed sensory overload: That is how to describe The Fest for Beatles Fans in New York City, held from February 7-9 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. What’s it like roaming a Fest that fills four floors of a New York hotel with musicians, historians, artists, authors, yogis, meditators, the famous and well over 8,000 fans from 40-odd states and five continents? Take a look at a day in the life of The Fest.

Awesome Beatles historian Bruce Spizer and the moron at Capitol who kept turning down The Fab Four's early hits. "Harmonica-Americans don't listen to harmonica." #NYCFEST14

Beatles author and historian Bruce Spizer opened Saturday with a presentation on how the Beatles conquered America, no thanks to Dave Dexter, Jr., the Capitol Records guy who rejected hits like ”Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me” because they had “too much harmonica.”

Dear Prudence Farrow talks India, the Maharishi and TM #NYCFEST14

Dear Prudence Farrow spoke about her spiritual journey in India with the Maharishi and the Beatles before leading an introductory transcendental meditation session. The room, dubbed the Ashram for the occasion, was so packed that more chairs had to be brought in for the standing room only crowd.

The line to see Good Ol'Freda #nycfest14

Good Ol’Freda Kelly, secretary to Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, and president of the original Beatles fan club, is signing autographs! Quick, get in line!

Good Ol'Freda! #NYCFEST14

Still down to earth after all these years, Freda hates being the center of attention but enjoys being with the fans. Her grandson, a toddler, was happily drawing next to her. “Would you like Nile’s autograph?” she casually asked, to which I happily agreed. Good Ol’Freda is the Queen of Beatles Fans: regal, royal, lovely. Her documentary Good Ol’ Freda is a must-watch.

Chad & Jeremy sing A Summer Song @beatles_fest #NYCFEST14

Chad and Jeremy played to a packed ballroom, beautifully crooning timeless hits like “A Summer Song” as if it were yesterday.

Good Ol'Freda Kelly, John Lennon's half-sister Julia Baird, and The Lord Mayor of Liverpool talk Liddypool lore #NYCFEST14

Freda Kelly joins Julia Baird (John Lennon’s half-sister) and the lord mayor of Liverpool on the Liverpool Life and Humor! panel. Visit Liddypool for a still-fab music scene and join the Save Madryn Street group on Facebook to help save Ringo’s old neighborhood from the wrecking ball!

The Fifth Beatle author Vivek J. Tiwary looks on in awe as Billy J. Kramer and Pattie Boyd honor Brian Epstein #NYCFEST14

Pattie Boyd, George Harrison’s first wife, joins Martin Lewis and Billy J. Kramer, of Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas fame, and Vivek Tiwary, author of the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle, in honoring Brian Epstein, who will soon be inducted into the Rock n’Roll Hall of Fame.

Pattie Boyd (George's first wife) and musician Billy J. Kramer (far right) fondly remember Beatles' manager Brian Epstein #NYCFEST14

Boyd and Kramer shared memories of Brian Epstein’s grace, talent, loving nature, and loyal business sense. Tiwary, a Broadway producer, views Epstein as a historic role model and a trailblazer. Gay when it was illegal, Jewish in a politely antisemitic Anglo world, and hailing from a rough and tumble port city, the deck was stacked against Epstein when it came to promoting four lads who played music in a cellar. Tiwary’s graphic novel is now being made into a feature film that will begin shooting at the end of this year.

Vivek Tiwary is always up for a spirited Brian Epstein debate, and for signing his graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle, in the Marketplace now! #beatles #nycfest14 #fifthbeatle #brianepstein

Tiwary, the producer of Broadway’s American Idiot, was available to sign copies of The Fifth Beatle and talk about the upcoming film and anything Brian Epstein.

Mitch Axelrod and Rob Leonard of The Fab 4 Free 4 All with Beatles cartoons director and Yellow Submarine animator Ron Campbell. Along with Tony Traguardo (unpictured) The Fab 4 Free 4 All guys hosted the most entertaining panel at #NYCFEST14

Fab4Free4All hosts interview animator Ron Campbell (center), the artist behind the Beatles Saturday morning cartoons and the feature film Yellow Submarine. Campbell was available at the Fest to generate original artwork and sign limited edition prints of his work. The Fab4Free4All guys — Mitch Axelrod (left), Rob Leonard (far right), and Tony Traguardo — were entertaining, informative, and hysterical. Their show is a must-listen.

The Gretsch George Harrison Exhibit outside The Cavern #NYCFEST14

Guitar enthusiasts rocked the George Harrison Gretsch exhibit at the entrance to the Fest. The exhibit featured rare and unpublished photos of George provided by the estate as well as Gretsch’s private collection of George Harrison related memorabalia…

Gretsch Exhibit main feature- Prototype #1 of George's original Duo Jet guitar #NYCFEST14

…and this beauty, the Prototype #1 of George’s original Duo Jet guitar.

#FDNY is totally digging the #Gretsch display at #NYCfest14! Super cool dudes. #firemen #guitars #love

Woodstock had cops with flowers in their hat-bands; The Fest for Beatles Fans has New York fire fighters rocking out to George.

Most adorable thing ever? Yes. #twinsies #georgeharrison #nycfest14 #nyfw2014

Fab Beatles puppeteer Bob Abdou entertained young and old with his puppet shows.

Ballroom for the Big Saturday night concert #NYCFEST14

After a full day of panels, yoga, TM, art, parades, and music, there was still more rocking out to do. A three-hour concert capped off Saturday night in the ballroom. With a sold-out Fest, it was a standing room only crowd at 10 p.m.

The Hippie style lives on @beatles_fest #NYCFEST14

Fest fans ranged in age from birth to senior citizen, with plenty of millennials and Gen-X’ers in between. This millennial waiting for the evening show featuring Chad & Jeremy, Donovan, Billy J. Kramer, Peter Asher, and many more artists proves Hippie fashion is far from yesterday.

Ever wonder what it looks like from the FEST stage during the concert finale? Wonder no more.

And the bands rocked the house until 1 a.m….

Garrett Gardner & the Greater Good  rocked The Cavern with an amazing rendition of Helter Skelter #NYCFEST14

Garrett Gardner of The Voice fame rocked a cover of “Helter Skelter” with his band the Greater Good in the Cavern, a place designed to showcase the talents of the next generation of Beatles fans. The Cavern featured a series of awesome Gen-X and millennial music and performance artists including Reserved for Rondee, Rony’s Insomnia, Bambi Kino, DJs Steve Pagan and Natasha Blank, the guys of Poetry at Parties, and artist Jesse Mosher, making for quite the avante-garde Beatles experience.

Gen 3? 4? It's not a hard day's night when you're jamming to The #Beatles #NYCFEST14

In the lobby the next generation of Festies jammed Beatles into the wee hours of the morning.

******

And see the question of the day: What Are Your Top 5 Favorite Beatles Albums?

Susan L.M. Goldberg is a writer with a Master's in Radio, Television & Film and a PhD in Life who would be happy roaming the fields of Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables, were it not for her strong belief in the axiom "all that is required for evil to prevail is for good women to do nothing." She prefers the career title "Renaissance Woman" and would happily be bar mates with Ann Coulter, Camille Paglia and Dorothy Parker. Her writing tends towards the intersection of culture, politics and faith with the interest in starting, not stopping the discussion. Follow her on Twitter @SLMGoldberg and @winegirlblog.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (2)
All Comments   (2)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
After fifty years of hype it is sad that the only thing the modern Americans have is a nostalgia for the Beattles. They were a fairly good singing group who made some good songs and made a bundle of money doing it. They never proclaimed that they were God and that they came with a new religion. Frankly it is tiresome that the only thing that the modern civilization has created in fifty years is a hyped up group of guitar strumming narcissists who mirror the modernists themselves. Time to move on.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lighten up, buddy. Many of us were saved from a life of crime when we picked up a guitar or a drum set trying to imitate them somehow. They gave the world many good things and perhaps a few bad things but hey they were only human, And see how much they accomplished. We're still talking about them after 50 years...
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All