A little something for your viewing pleasure. This is folksinger and hoop instructor Melissa Cox on the beach in New Zealand hoop dancing to the Beatles ‘Twist and Shout’
There’s a new kid in town
People started walking
There’s a new kid in town” – Eagles
With the approach of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles coming to the United States, it seems that new events, festivals and conferences are popping up everywhere to celebrate the occasion. And though the Fest for Beatles Fans is the biggest fest around, some of the others aren’t to shabby!
One of the biggest events will be at Penn State University in Altoona, PA on the weekend of February 7-9, 2014 and is called ‘It was 50 Years Ago Today: An International Beatles Celebration.’ This three day event isn’t a festival. It’s a conference. According to their website, “In addition to panels and presentations, the conference will include film screenings, musical performances, art and photography exhibits, and keynote addresses by leading Beatles critics and musicologists.”
The director of this event is Dr. Kenneth Womack, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at PSU Altoona, and the author of: Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, And the Fab Four and the soon to be released The Beatles Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: Everything Fab Four.
A few of the respected 50+ experts set to appear at this conference are:
Mark Lewisohn – regarded as one of the world’s leading Beatles authorities, Mark is the author of the NY Times bestseller Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1.
Andy Babiuk – the foremost authority on the equipment used to create the Beatles’ music and the author of Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio. Andy is also a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.
Walter Everett - the author of the Beatles As Musicians book series, Mr. Everett is also a member of the School of Music faculty at the University of Michigan and the author of The Foundations of Rock.
Jude Southerland Kessler – a Beatles expert, author and host of her own radio show, Ms. Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series. She has spent nearly 30 years researching John Lennon and the Beatles for her 9 book series., making her a leading expert on the topic of the Fab Four.
Dr. Kit O’Toole – For over 19 years, Dr. O’Toole has written music, concert, and book reviews, interviews, popular culture essays, and technology “how to” articles. Her work has appeared at: Blogcritics.org, Something Else Reviews, Blinded by Sound, Cinema Sentries, Seattle PI and Beatlefan magazine.
This is definitely set to be one of the most intellectual of all the Beatles events to be held in 2014! And what’s cool about their registration is that you not only can you sign up for which days you would like to attend, you can add your meals and accommodations to your package as you like!
For more information on this conference, along with a schedule of events & presenters, and registration, check out their website: http://www.altoona.psu.edu/beatles.
Alrighty, so I’m a bit behind on my reading! I finally managed to find 3 days to devote to the reading of this very large book (almost 600 pages). I wanted to hurry and get ”Shivering Inside“ read before the 3rd book in The John Lennon Series, “She Loves You“ is released on February 7, 2014.
So, you may already have figured out that this is the 2nd book in what is to be a 9 book series on the life and career of John Winston Lennon. The author, Jude Southerland Kessler, has already devoted almost 30 years of her life to researching and writing these first 3 books. She expects to put out a new book every 3 years…taking her to the year 2032 to complete all 9! Phew…
As for this book, I gotta say that I enjoyed it more than I did the first book, Shoulda Been There. There seem to be a much better flow. I don’t know if it was the writing itself, or the fact that this book covers Lennon’s life from December 1961 when the Beatles hired Brian Epstein as their manager and their careers took off. Either way, this book is a great follow up to Ms. Kessler’s first book or it can stand on its own.
For me, though, I know I’m anxious to read the next volume when it comes out since this book leaves the reader hanging just as John is about to leave for a 2 week vacation in Spain with Brian Epstein. There has always been a lot of speculation about what happened on that holiday with John knowing that Brian was a gay man. Jude promises to expose the truth.
In the meantime, be sure to read this book as a prelude to the next edition. And if you haven’t already read the 1st book in the series, get that one too! Jude Southerland Kessler spent an unbelievable amount of time researching and footnoting each detail of her books. No stone was left unturned.
There’s no doubt, these books tell John’s true story. You can read more about Jude and her books at: www.JohnLennonSeries.com
I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles
Damn! I got suckered by another musician telling me how “Beatle-y” their songs are and that I should listen to their album. This time, the request came from a musician/producer in Austin, TX named Andrea Perry and her album “Four“.
Hi, I’m a Beatles freak with a new album with several very Beatles influenced songs. I’d love if you’d check it out. <snip> Tracks 4, 5, 13 and 14 are the most Beatle-y. Track 1 maybe too.
Okay Andrea, I’ll be the judge of that!
There is no doubt that there is a ‘Beatle-y’ sound to many of the songs on this album…some listed in Andre’s note to me and some are not. But, I wonder how many musicians realize that going around proclaiming their music is heavily influenced by the greatest band in the world opens them up to having the entire album put under the microscope by none other than the very neurotic, anally retentive, OCD Beatles fans? And do you really want to open yourself up to that? I guess so…
The violins and cellos on the first song ‘My Lover Said’ are what trigger the Beatles-effect right from the get go and this song sets the tone for the album and I think it’s a more Beatles-esques song than – ‘Back Before There Was You’ or ‘While Spinning’.
Now, how does this album stand on its own away from it’s Fab Four fan influence? Not bad…but there was a song or two where I would have liked to have heard more layered vocals or harmonies because the lyrics seemed to become background noise to the instrumentals. And though Andrea says that track 5 – ‘While Spinning’ is Beatle-y, it sounds a lot like track 6 – ‘Where Have You Been’. There was also a part of me waiting for this album to climax and I didn’t feel like it quite did that until about track 13 -’Welcome Home’.
But don’t take my word for it, head over to Andrea Perry‘s website and listen to it for free. If you like what you hear, the album is only $7 to download!
I’m not going to rate this album because I just don’t think it would be fair. Yes…heavy Beatles influence. Yes…the album can stand alone, but has it’s issues. How would you rate it?
1. This was the first full length book that I read entirely on a Kindle. I like real books with paper pages and page numbers, so this alone was a challenge when all the Kindle would tell me was a percentage of what I had already read. Is this going to be a factor in my review? I dunno!
2. I’ve said it before…I don’t like fan fiction. BUT…I had to catch myself because I realized that I do read fan fiction about Edgar Alan Poe. In fact, I’m kinda obsessed with it! So let me correct myself, I don’t like Beatles fan fiction. I like my Fab Four the way I like my soap and men…99 44/100% pure!
On to the review:
Rubber Soul is the latest in a series of novels by Greg Kihn. Yeah…THAT Greg Kihn…the man behind ‘The Breakup Song’ and ‘Jeopardy’. Apparently, he’s been keeping himself busy these past several years with a radio show and authoring books. Who’d a thunk it? This latest installment is a murder mystery featuring …you guessed it…The Beatles!
I must say that I love Greg’s writing style! What an easy and peaceful read this book was even as I struggled to get used to reading it on my Kindle (or KIHNdle). No flashbacks and not overloaded with too many characters. But I will admit, I almost didn’t make it past the 2nd or 3rd chapter when the main character becomes, what I consider, a little too involved with The Beatles. I understand that Mr. Kihn stayed true to the Beatles story during their early years, but there was a moment where I felt he crossed the line a bit with mixing his fiction with his fact.
*Note: I have it from a good source that Greg Kihn had never heard of ‘fan fiction’ up until 2 months ago even though he’s been writing it for years. Go figure…
I finally picked the book back up after a couple days of questioning why I had decided to read another Beatles fan fiction book (because he’s Greg ‘fu-kihn’ KIHN…that’s why!), I marched on through the digital pages and can say that it became a much better read with the Beatles taking a back seat to the main character up until the end when the plot thickens and draws our boys back into the story. At this point, I could no longer put the book down until finding out ‘Who done it?’
I must say, Greg did his homework on the Beatles for this book. I do believe there is one obvious error when he writes that Stu and Astrid were married…they never got that far before Stu passed away.
I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles
Beatles At The Ridge is a two day festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas created by Charles Snapp in 2011. It is now in its third year running. Last year, the crowd size was estimated at over 10,000, but I have a feeling that this fest is going to put the best of all Beatles festivals on guard! This fest has the potential to become a new mecca for the most diehard fans.
So what connection does Walnut Ridge have to the Beatles? I’m glad you asked…because Walnut Ridge can boast about their Beatles encounter. From their website: “A quiet night in 1964 was interrupted by the unusual sound of an airliner approaching Walnut Ridge Airport. Its arrival sparked enough interest that three local teens went to investigate, only to discover John, Paul, Ringo, and George walking from the plane. The Beatles, the biggest rock band in the world, had arrived at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.” You can read the rest of the story and see pictures here.
This year’s fest will have over 100 vendors (the number is still growing as word gets out about BATR). Admission is free, parking is free and all entertainment is free. I don’t think I’ve heard of another Beatles festival that can say that (but I could be wrong).
The entertainment for this two day, three stage event is also growing by the day. Scheduled to appear this year are: Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), Beatles tribute band – BritBeat, Ringo Starr tribute artist – Ringer Star, Beatles expert & author – Jude Southerland Kessler, Danny Donuts Yellow Submarine Parade and many more! There will also be a Beatles costume contest with prizes! A full list of events can be found here.
In 2012, Beatles at the Ridge won the “Top new Festival” award from the Arkansas Festival and Events Association.
The following is a book review by Beatles expert and author Jude Southerland Kessler:
“It was 50 years ago today….” Yep, you’ll be singing that tune over and over this coming year as the 50th anniversary of all-things-Beatle swings around! Fifty years since the lads landed at JFK (7 Feb. 2014) and fifty years since they sang on The Ed Sullivan Show and fifty years since the 1st American Tour…THIS is the Golden Anniversary!
And to celebrate that momentous year-long event, Lanea Stagg has created a Beatles cookbook that plies witty titles (John), down-to-earth recipes (Ringo), inspired art (George), and fan-friendly facts (Paul) about the Fab Four to supply a year of Beatle-themed recipes for the gala.
One of the jewels you’ll find inside this collector’s book is a recipe for Scouse, the traditional dish of Liverpool that gives residents of the city their nickname, “Scousers.” The stew-like dish is served up by Liverpool author, Dave Bedford (who wrote Liddypool) along with a very interesting history of the dish as a side!
Stagg also offers a special truffle recipe in honor of each Beatle! And yes, before I peeked inside the book, I knew John’s would be a lemon tart! (One day people will discover his lovable, cream-filled centre and be pleasantly surprised.) George’s truffle is filled with recipe for “a smooth, mellow coffee,” and Ringo’s is “a raspberry nut.” Paul’s truffle, appropriately, is “a sweet cherry cream.” And these great candies are just as fab-tastic as they are easy to make. Wow your friends and salute the boys from Liverpool!
Also, within the pages of this book, you’ll not only learn to make “Stuffed Sgt. Peppers” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Slaw,” but you’ll also glean great trivia about Beatles songs (such as a complete list of all songs with proper names in the titles). And the recipes aren’t complicated or chockfull of ingredients that only kitchen-gurus have! They are recipes that families can make and enjoy together!
“Do You Want to Know a Secret?” I even shared my mom’s treasured “Strawberry Pie Forever” recipe with Lanea, and Maxine (my mom) gives that dee-lush-ious pastry and fruity delight to No One! As my uncle used to say, “This pie is eulogizing!” (which translated means “to die for.”)
Unlike Stagg’s other books, this book does not feature a “Suggested Play List” to the recipes because if you just put on a Beatles album (or CD or IPOD selection) and play, you’re good to go! But Stagg does include a condensed history of Beatles songs (for example “Sun King’) and a synopsis of all 5 of The Beatles’ movies.
All in all, RECIPRE RECORDS: A CULINARY TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES is a collection of 50 great recipes, stories, histories, and facts for the Golden Anniversary of the lads…and the fans as well.
RUSH to www.reciperecordscookbook.com and get a copy of this unique collector’s book while the party is still going strong!