Category Archives: George Harrison

Johnny come lately, the new kid in town…

PSU Beatles

“Everybody’s talking
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.

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Filed under 50th Anniversary of the Beatles, Beatles-freak, festival, George Harrison, John Lennon, music, Paul McCartney, reviews, Ringo Starr, Show

New festival for Fab Four fans: Beatles At The Ridge

Beatles At The Ridge, Walnut Ridge, AR: Sept 20-21It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a review or opinion on this blog, but when I heard about Beatles At The Ridge, I knew I just had to spread the good word!

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.

 Beatles At The Ridge will run from Friday, September 20th thru Saturday, September 21st.  For more information, go to: www.BeatlesAtTheRidge.com
I have a feeling this party is truly going to rock and it’s going to put a scare into the owner of many a Beatles fest.  If you go, please check in here and let us know your opinion!

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CD Review: Beatlesque Four by Alan Bernhoft

Looks like Alan Bernhoft has done it again with his latest release, Beatlesque Four!

My last review of Beatleseque Three, Alan had begun to recover from a what I thought was a very dissappointing Beatlesque Too album.  I think I can safely say, this album is the best of the bunch.

The CD starts out with a catchy, little head-bobbing, Lennon-esque title track, Love Everyone.  This is one of those songs you can imagine every mom wanting to play for their young children.

Another memorable tune is track 9 – My Rolls Royce…a song you can imagine Ringo singing.  Everything from the limited vocal range to the silly lyrics just screams Ringo!

Track 11, I Fly is an amazing tune that really and truly highlights the talents of Alan Bernhoft.  It’s just beautiful with it’s whisp of Beatles influence but not overdone.

Included in this album are three spoken word tracks from the writings of T.S. Dorglesnout.  They’re amusing little ditties fit perfectly in amongst the songs.  Who’s T.S. Dorglesnout?  When you find out, please let me know too!  🙂

This album ends with the song, Captain Anaujiram.  Though me and the good Captain would never share company, they song is amusing!

I don’t want to leave out that Mr. Bernhoft has included a holiday tune on this album called Imagine Christmas.  I must say I’m a fan of it already since I’ve personally had enough of the same-old, same-old holiday tunes every year.  I’d love to see the song distributed to radio stations across the country and be the next big holiday song!

I’m very impressed with this album and enjoyed getting an early copy of it.  The official release date is Saturday, June 23, 2012.  You can sample and buy a digital copy on Amazon.

I rate this CD: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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Short Story (ebook) Review: ‘Paul McCartney’s Coat and Other Stories’ by Michael White

Paul McCartney's CoatThis holiday, I got myself a Kindle Touch…thanks to the generosity of a friend who gave me an Amazon gift card.  Wanting to put this new device to use immediately, I did a search for ‘Free books beatles’ under Kindle books.  The ebook, ‘Paul McCartney’s Coat and Other Stories’ came up first on a very short list of only 3 books.

Let me first inform my readers that only the Forward is free.  You can get a Sampler for 99 cents, but the entire book is $4.50.  So…I ended up spending $5.49, but I have now learned a valuable lesson on what not to download to my Kindle.

Now for my review of just the first short story in this ebook:

If you’re a fan of short stories and/or fan fiction, you’ll enjoy reading this tall tale about a Beatles fan having a close encounter with the Fab Four at a pub in 1967 and his short ownership of Paul McCartney’s coat that was left behind in the pub and the discovery of Julian Lennon’s drawing  of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!

The author, Michael White, gives a footnote at the end of the his story saying that on the original drawing by Julian, the words “Lucy with diamond eyes” were crossed out and the words, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” were written underneath.  After doing a search on the interent, I couldn’t come up with any confirmation of this…even though it plays a huge part in telling of this story and I found it quite amusing how the author may have taken this fact and turned it into his own story!  (Note: I’d appreciate it if anyone can confirm the story about the original picture.)

The story does contain quite a lot of typos, but I’ve been told this can happen when books are converted to Kindle editions.  The reader may become impatient with several missing quote marks, run-on sentences and other small publishing errors.

Also, I guess one way to get attention for your new book is to put one of the Beatles names in the title or ‘Beatles’ itself.  It got my attention and no, I didn’t read any of the other Mr. White’s other short stories, but I now have them handy in case I find myself waiting at a dentist office or such.

This book is available in it’s full Kindle editon at Amazon.com, but is only available in it’s free edition of the Forward from Barnes and Noble.

Because this story is fan fiction (and I’m not a fan of that genre) and because I felt that the author gets sidetracked on other topics to the point of feeling like he was just adding ‘filler’ to his story:

I rate this story in this book: 2 out of 4 Beetles

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Upcoming Beatles Documentary

I’m not going to sugarcoat this…this post is going to be a plea for help! This project has just 26 days left to be financed or the entire deal will fall through…and as Beatles Freaks, I just can’t IMAGINE any of us letting that happen.

This is about Freda Kelly, The Beatles’ secretary from the early Cavern Club days when they were playing to audiences of 30 people at lunchtime, all the way through their years of international popularity and stardom, and until they eventually broke up in 1970.  Freda was only one of a handful of employees for The Beatles who lasted for the entire “Beatles Era.”

Freda has kept quiet all these years and is only now starting to come forward and tell her stories about all those years ago with the Fab Four.  She wants her grandchildren to know what their grandmother did in her youth…and what a great story she must have to tell.  I know I want to hear about it.

In order to make her documentary, the filmmakers must raise $50,000 by November 12, 2011 at 2:59 am.  Currently, the total donated is $13,390 from 117 donors.

So, let me break this down for you:  If the next 7,324 fans gave just $5 to this cause, they could make this film!  And you can’t tell me that they aren’t 7,324 Beatles Freaks out there that are dying to hear the inside stories from Freda!  You can give more if you’d like…you can give less…that’s up to you.  But I believe that we are capable of raising this money in the next 26 days.  And there are bonuses…such as, if you give $25, you will get a copy of the DVD when it’s made (there are more gifts for different donation levels, but I thought this was the most enticing for those with limited income).

All together now….come together, right now…

Donate here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1215635909/good-ol-freda

Please share this post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media to help this cause.

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DVD Review: Composing Outside The Beatles (Lennon & McCartney 1973-1980)

The third installment in a series of on the collaboration of Lennon and McCartney, ‘Composing Outside the Beatles: Lennon and McCartney 1973-1980’ brings a lot to the table…if you can bear to sit through it!

I had mentioned to another Beatles freak that I had been sent a copy of this video to review and since I had never seen the first two installments, they informed me that they felt the first two were ‘dry’.  I don’t know that I’d use that same term, but instead I felt this documentary, about the separate careers of Lennon and McCartney after the split of the Beatles, drawled on…and on.  Even my son, who was sitting within ear shot while I watched, commented, “Everyone just went on and on and never seemed to shut up.”

But as I said, this movie is not without it’s good points.  I think it does do a fine job of covering all of Lennon’s and McCartney’s albums in great detail with commentary by such well respected people as: Denny Laine, Klaus Voorman, Denny Seiwell and Anythony DeCurtis, to name a few.  The problem seems to arise when the producers decided to let everyone have their say about the albums, making the whole thing a bit lengthy and boring.  I also think this isn’t necessarily a DVD for the hardcore Beatles freaks, since I don’t know that it gave much information that hasn’t already been published elsewhere.

All-in-all, a well made documentary, but be prepared to pause your player to enjoy life!

This DVD will be released on October 25, 2011 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

**Note: I just looked at the Amazon page for this DVD.  It says the run time for this movie is 60 minutes.  Not true…it’s 139 minutes!

I rate this movie: 2 out of 4 Beetles

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Filed under Documentary, George Harrison, John Lennon, movies, Paul McCartney, reviews, Ringo Starr

Book Review: Paul is Undead by Alan Goldsher

Paul is UndeadA couple of weeks ago, my husband I happened to be in the mall on the last day that our local Borders book store was in business.  All books were 90% off that day and my husband happened to stumble upon this one.  So, I coughed up $1.50 to have something a little off the wall, yet completely on topic to review for my readers.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of either fan fiction or zombie genre books or movies.  But the back cover of Paul is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion made me laugh:

Learn the tale behind a spiritual journey that resulted in the dismemberment of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Marvel at the seemingly indestructible quartet’s survival of a fierce attach by Eighth Level Ninja Lord Yoko Ono.  And find out how the boys escaped eternal death at the hands of England’s greatest zombie hunter, Mick Jagger.

I was pleasantly surprised at how often I laughed out loud while reading this book.  The writer seemed to have a real knack at making the boys come to life (or undead) as zombies (though, only 3 of the 4 Beatles are zombies…the 4th is a Ninja).  AND, it would seem that Mr. Goldsher is as big a Beatles freak as the rest of us upon discovery that his story includes all the Quarrymen, Allan Williams, George Martin, Elvis, Geoff Emerick and many other well-known people in the Beatles entourage.  But one can’t help but notice several important people missing, such as Sid Bernstein and Linda McCartney.

Also lacking in this book, written in the style of interviews, is the dynamic of a true Liverpudlian accent.  In fact, the author seems to start out pretty well in the beginning of the book, but the accents seem to go by the wayside at the halfway point.  (Note to Mr. Goldsher – please check out the writings of Jude Southerland Kessler on how to write Beatles dialogue) Not only does the dialogue take a downward spiral…but the entire story begins to spiral out of control as each chapter (written in years) seems to get shorter and shorter as the stories get more bizarre, off topic and filled with more profanity.  I got the impression about midway through the book that Mr. Goldsher got desperate to increase his page count and just added senseless, humorless filler.

As I said, this book started out great and almost changed my mind about fan fiction…but alas, it ended up putting me to sleep on many occasions.  I’m not sure what type of audience the author was hoping to attract or this book would appeal to since some of the details and profanity are too much for the teens that really dig the Eclipse series…and I think true Beatles freaks and baby boomers will find it an insult to their intelligence.

And in the end…you just can’t wait for this book to be done!

I rate this book: 1 out of 4 Beetles

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Filed under Beatles books, Beatles-freak, Fan Fiction, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, reviews, Ringo Starr