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Stone invades Beatles convention!

There was some fun and games at the 34th annual New York-area Beatles fan convention "The Fest" last weekend. The event took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Meadowlands next to Giants Stadium - and the hotel was jam-packed with thousands of diehard Beatles fans gathered to celebrate the Fab Four and see celebrities from the Beatles universe including members of Wings - and George Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd. Convention host Martin Lewis and Boyd decided to stir things up among the fans - by smuggling a Rolling Stone into a Beatles fan convention!

On Friday evening, Ron Wood had just arrived in New York for the World Premiere of Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones film "Shine A Light". He phoned his longtime pal Boyd urging her to travel into central Manhattan with a few pals for some late-night partying. Boyd was feeling comfortable in the Beatles environment and the Meadowlands hotel and was reluctant to leave the hotel. She handed the phone to Lewis who knows Wood from old days with their mutual pals the late Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Feeling mischievous, Lewis insisted that Wood should instead make the journey to Meadowlands to see Pattie - and to effect a Rolling Stone invasion of the Beatles convention! Wood saw the humor of the situation and just 30 minutes later arrived by stretch limo at the hotel.

Ron Wood in "Shine A Light"

Even though it was nearly 2am - the hotel lobby and corridors were still jammed with hordes of late-own Beatles fans participating in informal singalongs of Beatles tunes. The fans were "shocked and stunned" as Lewis ushered the unmistakeable impish figure of Ron Wood through the crowd to the gallery in the hotel where Boyd was displaying her exhibit of historic photographs and original 60s mod outfits.

Wood, Boyd, Lewis and a few pals hung out for over 90 minutes sharing laughs and reminiscences (among other things!) Nearing 3.30am Wood finally left - but not before greeting and mingling with some of the Beatles fans who were serenading them from the corridor with a non-stop string of Beatles songs.

Wood chatted with some of the delighted fans - who launched into an impromptu version of "I Wanna Be Your Man" - the 1963 Lennon-McCartney tune that gave the Stones their first hit.

Boyd says that Wood was highly amused by the experience - telling her "nothing's changed. It's still always about the Beatles vs Stones!"

Lewis commented: "Ronnie was in great form. He looked better than he has in years. He was so happy to see Pattie and found the whole situation of sneaking into a Beatles convention hilarious. He regarded himself as a fifth columnist sneaking behind enemy lines to see what the opposition was doing!"

Published April 2, 2008

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