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Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans 2011, Day 2
by Jude Southerland Kessler
Author of Shoulda Been There (Vol. 1) and Shivering Inside (Vol. 2), The John Lennon Series
If you're looking for good news about the American economy, look no further than the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago where the Fest for Beatles Fans is in full swing! Things in the Marketplace are so hectic that I hardly had time to write! For an author, that's a phenomenon.
Sales are wonderful! Dave Bedford has only 11 copies left of Liddypool. If you want one, get here as soon as you can! I am almost sold out of Shoulda Been There (entirely...will have to run a Third Edition). And I have 26 copies of Shivering Inside left. That's it.
John and I
Bruce Spizer is selling The Beatles on Parlophone as if there's no tomorrow, and Tim Riley is ginning up tremendous interest in his new biography on John Lennon, due out in September. None of us have had time to leave our booths...the crowds were overwhelming and in Chicago, the economy seems quite sound.
I did have a few minutes to chat with Joe Johnson about his "Beatle Brunch" program. He's going to have a special edition of the program next week featuring Billy Joel's last concert at Shea Stadium (and Paul's guest appearance). There will be footage from both McCartney and Joel...and wonderful shots of Shea for the nostalgic. Don't miss this landmark program!
One of the most encouraging things about Day 2 was the number of teens and 20-somethings who were enjoying the Fest. (This Fest is less and less about Baby Boomers and more and more about Second Gen Fans.) I was interviewed about the Lennon series today by 21-year-old Steven Krage who writes a blog called "The Life and Times of a Young Republican." This college student is Beatles-savvy, and asked me such amazing questions. And I sold books galore to teenagers today who knew not only John, but Stu and Alan Williams and even John's Uncle Ge'rge. The legend lives on.
The hit of the day was clearly Peter Asher who spoke candidly about his remarkable career and sang to the crowds as well. When he performed Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways," he was joined on stage (through the miracle of video) by his late band-mate, Gordon. The two sang in perfect harmony, and Susan Ryan (who emcees the video, "The John Lennon Walking Tour of New York City") said, "He reduced me to a puddle of true emotion."
Day 2 was nothing short of festive. People wore flashing guitar pins, carried light swords that Luke Skywalker would have envied, formed bands in the hallways, strolled sleeping babies, purchased more tee-shirts than you can begin to imagine, and formed a Starbucks' line that snaked far into the lobby. It was good to see so many dollars changing hands and so many people looking as if they didn't have a care in the world.
Woody Lifton (who is hosting the upcoming Beatles Tribute Cruise) greeted me this morning with the cry, "Welcome to Camp Beatles!" It's a successful camp, indeed. Cheers! Get here tomorrow and enjoy the good times.
Published August 7, 2011
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