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Chicago Fest For Beatles Fans - End of Day 1: New releases from familiar faces

by Jude Southerland Kessler
Author of Shoulda Been There and the upcoming book on John Lennon, Shivering Inside

For a girl from L.A. (Lower Alabama) it's thrilling to be in the big city and to be surrounded by wall-to-wall Beatles Fans! The camaraderie of friends reuniting for this one weekend, year after year, can't be equaled! We've driven here from New Orleans, Jefferson City, MO; Ontario, Canada; New York City, and yes, even Chicago! And the blues that I was singing yesterday about the economy has been replaced with a big smile and a chorus of "WE LOVE YOU, BEATLES...Oh, yes we dooooo!"

Good news abounds!

First, Jon Polk is here with his new LENNON BOX OF VISION...and although I treasure my Beatles Box of Vision, Polk's new product is even more impressive. It's elegant. The box itself is a work of art...the Lennon image and graphics on the cover are stunning. Inside, the coffee table book (including the entire set of Lennon-Ono wedding photographs) actually gives ardent Lennon fans glimpses of John, heretofore unseen. And the commentary on John's discography by author Bruce Spizer is tremendous. More than just a "receptacle" for your Lennon CD's, the Box of Vision is a collector's piece that you'll long for. And once you have it, you'll put it in a place of honor.

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Jon Polk signing a Lennon Box of Vision

Artist, Eric Cash, is back, too...with his "Church Hall" painting of that historic first meeting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Cash has been invited by St. Peter's Church in Woolton to come to Beatles Week next August for an exhibition in this very church hall. Cash's painting hangs in the hall, and they are as awed by Cash's work as Beatles fans were here in Chicago today.

Long-time Fest for Beatles Fans friend, Belmo, is back again with his entire selection of books. Most popular, of course, is The Beatles Christmas Book which houses "every little thing" related to The Fab Four and Christmas...their Christmas songs, Christmas greetings, Christmas skits, Christmas venues, you name it! And there are also copies of his Beatles Artifacts book and his Beatles Not For Sale book for fans interested in the history and discography of Beatles Bootlegs.

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If you read the BEATLES NEWS EXCLUSIVE a few days ago, you know that Bruce Spizer is writing a new book...YEAH! This time, he's writing the one I've been begging for: The Beatles on Parlophone! Bruce, we can't wait. Hurry up! I noticed Bruce chatting with Andy Babiuk of Beatles Gear. Talk about a meeting of the minds!

Author (of A Date With A Beatle!) Judith Kristen has a new hat here at the Fest. She's teamed up with Fab Four Radio to do interviews with the gathered dignitaries. Go, Judith! This girl has a future in radio and television. (And her book is spell-binding as well!)

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Judith Kristen and the guys from Fab Four Radio

Of course, no Fest would be complete with The Marketplace...without collector's 45's, books, CD's, t-shirts and sweatshirts, Beatles purses, watches, pins, necklaces, and p.j.'s My booth neighbor, Bud Lovall, has come all the way from Texas with his son, Kenny with an amazing collection of Beatles rarities! Tomorrow, I'm going to be his first customer...books to add to my John Lennon collection.

But let's face it, we could all show up in Chicago with our various books, works of art, and wares, and it would dissolve into total Beatlemanic chaos, were in not for the "with-it," together staff that Mark and Carol Lapidos provide year after year. Jim Demmes, who oversees the Marketplace and keeps it running efficiently, is a quiet but fantastic manager. We all respect the assistance, planning, and wisdom that the entire Fest Staff provide. Today, they made Day One fantastic.

Tomorrow...I get to meet Klaus Voormann. Life is good.

Related articles:

• Chicago Beatles Fest Day 3: Beatles art and Beatles music (8/15/10)
• Chicago Beatles Fest Day 1: Beatlemania vs. the economy (8/13/10)

Published August 14, 2010

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