Fest For Beatles Fans Shines On In Jersey City

The 43rd annual Fest For Beatles Fans brought together an impressive array of super-fans and people in a position to show and tell first hand accounts involving John, Paul, George, and  Ringo.  It was a pleasure to be able to roam around the Hyatt Regency Jersey City On The Hudson with the benefit of a camera and a microphone.  

Louise Harrison is protective about revealing the few years of her brother George Harrison’s life that haven’t been exhaustively documented.  However, she made it clear that in his boyhood, he was definitely not the quiet one!  

Maybe the best evidence of the enduring legacy of The Beatles is how much love they get from people who have worked with them.  Mark Hudson wrote and produced no fewer than eight album with Ringo while Rob Shanahan has been photographer for his record covers, tour books, and t-shirt art since meeting Ringo in 2001 through Sheila E.  They spoke of the surreal aspects of making the transition from huge lovers of the group to being in its inner circle.  They were naturally beside themselves when transcendent moments occurred like Rob photographing Paul showing up at Ringo’s show at Radio City in 2009 or Mark singing harmony vocals with Paul during a session for 1998’s Vertical Man. 

The same is true of Klaus Voormann who was as close as anyone to The Beatles with a history going back to the days on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg ion the early 60s.  He played extensively with John, George, and Ringo from ’69 to ’76 as a member of the Plastic Ono Band and on sessions for albums like Imagine, Walls & Bridges, Rock n Roll, All Things Must Pass, Living In The Material World, Dark Horse, Goodnight Vienna, and Ringo’s Rotogravure which was the last album to feature contributions from all four Beatles before Lennon’s death in 1980.  Voormann generously narrated an executive summary of his spiffy new book,  Birth of an Icon:Revolver 50 while flipping through its pages.  See the bonus video below for more with Klaus. 

Lastly, enjoy another bonus vid with Charles Roberts who invited The Quarrymen to play at a street party in ’57 at which the first photograph ever snapped of that group was taken…

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