Monday 1 August 2011

The Fest For Beatles Fans, New Jersey March 25-27 2011

Review by Dave Bedford
Photographs by Robin Mack-Roberts

In March I attended the 37th annual Fest for Beatles fans in New Jersey.

Gary Wright

The highlight of the weekend was the concert on the Saturday night, with tribute band “Liverpool” in superb form. As well as performing some great covers of Beatles classics, they provided the backing music for some incredible talent, including legendary Wings guitarist, Laurence Juber, and Gary Wright.  Gary, who has performed with both George and Ringo, and co-wrote many of George’s songs, treated us to a special performance, of ‘To Discover Yourself’, a song he wrote with George many years ago, but which was not premiered until the Chicago Fest in 2010. It’s an incredible song, clearly bearing George’s hallmark.

As a Liverpudlian, the highlight for me was the appearance on stage of Joey Molland, guitarist with Apple's most successful artists, Badfinger. He still has a strong Liverpool accent, having grown up in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool. He launched into the greatest hits of Badfinger, like “Come And Get It”, “No Matter What”, “Baby Blue” and “Day After Day”, with the packed hall joining in with the singing.  

Larry Kane, Frieda Kelly, Joey Molland and me!
There were many guest speakers, but the star of the weekend for most people was Frieda Kelly, the

secretary of the original Beatles Fan Club. On Sunday, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Frieda and Joey Molland as part of a panel chaired by journalist Larry Kane. Frieda fascinated the audience with her tales of The Beatles wandering in and out of the offices, capturing for us some of the excitement of the early days of the group. She also had fond memories of young Joey Molland coming in and out of the office, and we all shared our memories and knowledge of Liverpool.  It was great fun! 

I’ve been invited to attend again next year, and I can’t wait.  It’s a great event and I hope to see some of you there!

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