Yesterday, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending Rider University’s first ever Beatles conference – Ticket to Rider. The host of the event was Dr. Stephen Allen, a music professor at Rider University. This 5 hour event was held in the Bart Luedeke Center and included both speakers and a concert.
Dr. Kenneth Womack, a professor at Monmouth University and the author of several books about The Beatles opened the conference with his lecture ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: The Evolving Artistry of The Beatles’. I believe this is my third or fourth time seeing Ken give this talk and it probably won’t be my last. Each time he changes it just a little and adds something new to the mix.
Victoria DeLena, a student of Popular Music Studies at Rider, gave an excellent speech titled, ‘From Me to You: Through sound and emotion.’ She compare the today’s pop music to that of the Beatles and was able to show the similarities and influence the Beatles had on such contemporary bands such as Tame Impala.
Alan LeBouf talked about his life as an international Paul McCartney impersonator in such productions as Beatlemania, Liverpool Legends and All You Need is Love…to name a few.
Dr. Stephen Allen was the last to speak. His talk, ‘Concerning the Curious Case of Mr. John Lennon’ presented some very interesting and new theories about the connection between Lennon’s lyrics and his relationship to his mother.
After a dinner break, the second half of the event was filled with the musical talents of The Princeton Brass Band (led by Dr. Allen) and the musical talents of Alan LeBouf. Combined, they had the audience singing, swaying and laughing along with the music.
A great time was had by all…and I hope they do it again next year!