I’m getting pretty excited for next weekend. Why? Because next weekend just happens to be the weekend of Beatlefest (or “The Fest for Beatles Fans”, as it’s officially called. Like anyone ever calls it that), an annual convention dedicated to my all-time favorite band, that’s why! I started attending the Fest at the age of five, and have been to countless Fests since. Beatlefest is probably the reason why I have this lifelong love for The Beatles, since my family started dragging me there before I quite had a grasp on what this “Beatles” thing was. From an early age, The Beatles were not just a band that my parents liked; they were a significant part of my life.
This is my fifth consecutive year going to Beatlefest since tenth grade. There was a period of time that spanned several years when my family stopped going to Beatlefest, but we started going again when I was in tenth grade because I was starting to get really into The Beatles again (I go through obsessive Beatles phases every few years. The one that prompted my family to go back to Beatlefest was my most recent one, and probably the longest. It lasted until the beginning of my senior year in high school). The Fest has a huge marketplace where people can purchase any kind of Beatles-related merchandise imaginable (Beatles posters, Beatles shirts, Beatles buttons, Beatles ties, Beatles shoelaces, Beatles business card holders, Beatles cuff links, etc.), along with a handful of miscellaneous classic rock/oldies-related items (I got my first ever Bob Dylan shirt at a Beatlefest a few years ago, and a T. Rex shirt last year). The Fest also features numerous art galleries, a video room where they show movies and other footage relating to The Beatles, and some awesome special guests. Guests in recent years have included the 1960s pop-rock duo Peter & Gordon (at that Fest I found myself standing about five feet away from Gordon, but was too nervous to go up and talk to him), prolific rock star divorceé Pattie Boyd (married first to George Harrison, and then for a few years to Harrison’s best friend Eric Clapton), and some cast members from the movie “Across the Universe” (I don’t know who; we had to wait in line a really long time to meet them, and for some reason gave up and left before we got to them). And apparently The Rolling Stones’ very own Ronnie Wood randomly showed up at the Fest last year (not even as a special guest or anything; he just happened to be in the area and I think he also happened to be friends with Pattie Boyd), although he wasn’t there at the same time I was there, so I didn’t get to see him. This year’s guests include Ronnie Spector of The Ronnettes (who, like many other early 1960s girl groups, had a huge influence on The Beatles), British actor Victor Spinetti (who appeared in three of The Beatles’ movies: “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Help!”, and “Magical Mystery Tour”), and auxiliary Monty Python member Neil Innes (who made a brief appearance in the film “Magical Mystery Tour” as a member of The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, and also played Ron Nasty, a parody of John Lennon in the classic Beatles-inspired mockumentary “The Rutles”). I’m excited to see and possibly meet this year’s guests, especially Victor Spinetti, whose characters in The Beatles’ movies never cease to amuse me.
In anticipation of the upcoming Beatlefest, I’m planning on putting up a great deal of Beatles-related posts on my blog this week.