The 2014 Fest for Beatles Fans has just announced today, December 18, 2013, that a special guest will make a special appearance at the event. You may not recognize the name Irene Katz, but fans will know her by the often played video of her in 1964 screaming for the Beatles when they first landed in New York. She was filmed by news crews during that visit holding a sign that said “Elvis is dead. Long live the Beatles.”
Update December 20: It's just been announced by the Fest that legendary DJ Cousin Bruciewill be broadcasting live from the Fest on February 8th for his Sirius XM radio program.
Her life-long fantasy of travelling with Paul McCartney came true in 2002 in an odd way…Paul selected the video of her for one of his concert montages, which went with him to each venue. Recognizing herself in the video behind him during “All My Loving” while at one of Paul’s concerts nearly made her faint again, and you can meet her at the 2014 Fest.(Read more about Irene’s story here.)
The 2014 Fest will honor the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America by staging the event in the city the Beatles first landed in—New York City—on the exact anniversary of February 7-February 9, 2014. Instead of the regular Meadowlands New Jersey location, the 2014 Fest will be at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. The days and datesof this Fest lines up with the exact date 50 years ago that the Beatles arrived at JFK Airport on February 7, 1964, and the performance on the Ed Sullivan Show on the 9th.
Mark Lapidos, founder of the Fest, is excited. He wrote, "We're going all-out to make
this celebration of the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary and The Fest's own 40th Anniversary,
into our biggest and best show ever! It is exciting to return to New York City, to the very place where it all started in America."
Guests will include Donovan (“Mellow Yellow”), Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon “World Without Love” and former A&R at Apple Records), Billy J. Kramer (“Bad To Me”), Chad & Jeremy (“Yesterday’s Gone”), and former UK head of the Beatles Fan Club, Freda Kelly who is profiled in the recent documentary "Good Ol' Freda" which is now available on DVD.
Featuring more live music than ever before, additional guests include Ringo Starr’s current musical director Mark Rivera and former producer Mark Hudson, the Smithereens, Birds of Paradox (Steve Holley of Wings, and Gary Van Scyoc & Adam Ippolito of John Lennon’s 1972 concert band, the Nutopians), Ed Sullivan Show production executive Vince Calandra who stood in for George Harrison during “Sullivan” TV rehearsals, last season of NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Garrett Gardner, and Beatles tribute band Liverpool.
Several top Beatles authors will speak at the event: Mark Lewisohn ("Tune In"), Vivek Tiwary ("The Fifth Beatle"), Larry Kane (“When They Were Boys”), Bruce Spizer (The Beatles Are Coming!: The Birth of Beatlemania in America), Mark Hayward ("The Beatles With Norman Parkinson"), Jude Southerland Kessler (“She Loves You”) (read our interview here), and Al Sussman (“Changin’ Times”).
For ticket information, see the Fest for Beatles Fans website.
Other events held the same weekend include:
"International Beatles Conference" at Penn State's Altoona College
"Beatles Hollywood 50" at the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars
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Copyright notice-©Shelley Germeaux 2013: This article and photos are subject to copyright restrictions and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission. Excerpts with link to original article are welcomed.
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