Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beatles (etc.) For Sale


Chad & Jeremy photo from the Fest For Beatles Fans Facebook page.

The Fest For Beatles Fans announced the lineup for its 37th annual Chicago visit on Facebook last Friday, revealing a mix of longtime favorites and a few new faces. As always, the three-day celebration will present musicians, authors, artists/photographers, and music biz people who have some connection to The Beatles. Most are accessible to fans in both the general sense of watching them being interviewed in a large meeting room, and on a face-to-face basis at the autograph tables. A huge marketplace with loads of music-related memorabilia is also a major draw. Plus, this year will offer the public debut of an intriguing documentary. Fest For Beatles Fans will take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hara in suburban Rosemont on August 9th through 11th.

The British Invasion duo Chad and Jeremy (“Yesterday’s Gone,” “Summer Song”) and 1980s power pop artist Greg Kihn (“Breakup Song,” “Valerie”) are set to make their Fest For Beatles Fans debut, and both acts are scheduled to perform in concert. Freda Kelly, who charmed Fest-goers in 2012, will return in order to introduce the screening of Good Ol Freda, a documentary detailing her experiences as the secretary for The Official Beatles Fan Club throughout the band’s career. Some of the returning favorites include Joey Molland, former vocalist-guitarist for Badfinger; singer Billy J. Kramer, producer-musician Mark Hudson, who has worked with Ringo Starr; Beatles artists Georgina Flood and Eric Cash; Master of Ceremonies Terri Hemmert, whose Breakfast With The Beatles show airs on WXRT every Sunday morning; and quick-witted British comedian-writer-filmmaker Martin Lewis. At previous Fests, Hemmert and Lewis have taken turns interviewing the various celebrities.

Liverpool, a New York-based band that expertly covers The Beatles without trying to impersonate them, will perform on Saturday and Sunday night. Considering that Liverpool usually invites some of the musical guests to join them onstage for a few songs, this year’s lineup of Chad and Jeremy; Greg Kihn, Mark Hudson, and Joey Molland looks even more interesting.

I’m planning on doing a more extensive preview closer to the event. Fest For Beatles Fans tickets are $39.00 for Friday; $49.00 for Saturday or Sunday; and $115.00 for the entire weekend.

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