In two days the BIGGEST BEATLES EVENT OF YOUR LIIIIFE is going down at the Grand Hyatt 42nd Street, and I’m throwing it! (I wrote this when it was 23 days away… and I forgot about it till now.)
When I stopped doing weekly Skipping Club back in August, there were reasons, but none so important as this: #ITSALLABOUTTHEBEATLES. I knew that I had to shift my Skipping Club energy into 100% full fledged Beatles festival planning mode. It’s like planning five thousand Skipping Clubs at once, only wilder! It’s the EFFING BEATLES!
In two days, my family puts on our biggest show in FORTY YEARS. Forty. Years. Doing. Beatles Festivals. In 1974, my dad took his hard-earned Sam Goody savings, booked out the entire Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street for a weekend, and threw the very first BEATLEFEST, something he invented over a bowl of vanilla iced cream because he thought a 10-year anniversary celebration of The Beatles’ Arrival in America was in order. He got John Lennon’s personal blessing, and the show was a smash success, garnering a cover story in Rolling Stone. Yet, he never dreamt he’d still be doing it 40 years later. Let alone that it’d be a full on family affair.
On February 7, 8, 9, the exact 50th Anniversary of The Beatles Arrival in America (down to the minute and day of the week!), we’re throwing our first FEST back in NYC since ’78! And it’s in the exact same hotel as the very first one, except Trump overtook, modernized it, it and now it’s the Grand Hyatt. We’re expecting 8,000 fans throughout the weekend, as opposed to the usual 4,000-5,000 in the Meadowlands, where it’s been for the past 37 years. We’re putting more love into this show than ever before… huge guests like Donovan! Peter Asher! British Invasion duo Chad and Jeremy! Billy J Kramer! Mark Hudson! Cousin Brucie!
And then there are the new things… many of which I spawns of Mark and Carol Lapidos, conjured up to add to this epic occasion. I’ve curated an Ashram with talks by Dear Prudence, Transcendental Meditation, yoga and heart-opening exercises with mindfulness leaders of New York. There’s going to be a Modern Drummer Symposium with some of the most respected drummers in this city. We’re having a documentary film crew. And the BIGGIE – we have a brand new stage which Jessica and I have named The Cavern and have been given the privilege to curate.
With a little help from our friends, , we have put together our very first festival stage. We are turning a swanky ballroom in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt into a place reminiscent of The Cavern Club, the famous dungy underground Liverpool club where The Beatles got their start. Except it really won’t be dungy at all, it’s impossible to make that room look bad. On that stage is where you’ll see hot young NYC bands, musicians, artists and designers on the brink of something BIG, just like The Beatles were. Some of the musical acts we’ve got lined up are Laura Stevenson, Reserved for Rondee, The Ferocious Few, Odetta Hartman, Mean Lady, Bambi Kino, Kaila Mullady, Nick Demeris, People at Parties and Dani Mari. Janna Pelle and I debut as Michelle My Pelle Friday night, a Beatles Cabaret with Yoko sensibilities… just before we debut our remake of Yoko Ono’s Bad Dancer video.
I could write forever. There is so much happening. But I won’t because I have to move into the hotel today and I have to finish packing. JUST BE THERE!