Just got back from NYC Grand Hyatt from "The Fest For Beatles Fans". This was the gig to remember for my mates and I in "Liverpool".
We started the celebration on Friday Feb 7th in being invited to JFK Int'l Airport to play the commemorative ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatle’s arrival to America. It was attended by every major news station, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool UK, one the original “stewardesses” on the flight to America, lots of talking heads from the Senate, NY/NJ Port Authority (my dad’s old employer), DJ Terri Hemert, the godmother of Chicagolands Rock Radio, and most importantly hundreds of screaming fans holding signs as many of them did all those years ago. The energy was electric to say the least.
Then to the Grand Hyatt Hotel NYC, and with guest drummer Steve Holley (former McCartney Wings, Elton John, Ian Hunter etc) we all piled into cars and entered “Beatleland” for the coolest 50th anniversary celebration on the planet!
The crowd were on fire! It’s hard to describe the kind of vibe of thousands and thousands of fans with the same energy. I cannot thank them enough for their kind responses to our shows. We are so privileged for the opportunity to play these shows around the country, but this one in particular. Literally from every corner of the Earth were there to be a part of this event.
I want to personally thank guest performers Donovan, Denny Laine (Moody Blues, Wings), Billy J Kramer, Mark Hudson, Neil Innes (Ruttles, Bonzo Dog Band, Monty Python etc etc), Ian MacDonald (King Crimson, Foreigner), Mark Rivera (sax with Billy Joel and, oh yeah, musical director for RINGO STARR),..ok, who’d I miss? The opportunity to back up these artists was better than cool! …There were also amazing performances by The Smithereens, Peter Asher, original members from Elephants Memory (J Lennon’s backup), killer performer from The Voice (name slips me..ouch), drummer Liberty Devito (Billy J Kramer’s band)…and more…man oh man what a weekend! DJ “Cousin Bruce Morrow”, Q 104 Ken Dashow, the CBS radio team (hey Tom Kaminski overhead) WXRT Terri Hemmert, ABC, NBC, BBC…like a Rollllin Stone!!! My apologies for anyone I missed…still groggy and doing this by memory!
Oh yeah, can’t forget the newest artist of them all, Casey Hill for her debut performance with the band Mark Hudson and Denny Laine! My little 10 year old was pulled onto the stage by Hudson for a impromptu duo vocal shootout singing Kansas City! Totally unplanned and her first time on stage brought the house down with a standing ovation! OMG, was papa one proud guy and the house were all smiles!
Still coming down from all the excitement, I’d like to thank Steve Holley for being the pro that he is and learning our entire show meticulously with nothing but a shining attitude and performance! He’s a rare breed and a great friend! Ardi our magical soundman like no other and the crew behind him were flawless, Dr Robert for keeping the sanity stageside, Marc Rubenstein for the PIG Light show for his masterful artistry behind us all weekend. The Fest staff, well, we love you guys…
Thank you Glen Burtnik and John Merjave for being the best musical combination I’ve ever worked with! I’ve come to learn there seems nothing we can’t crack! Chris, we missed your face!!!
Lastly, my heartfelt thanks to my second family, Mark, Carol, Michelle, and Jessica Lapidos who created and run The Fest For Beatles Fans for so many years for their integrity toward the Beatles, Apple Inc in being the ONLY sanctioned Beatles event in the world! We are honored to be a part of this happening like no other. The fans, my band, my family and I are blessed for being a part of your passion.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to perform for you all! To my fans and friends alike, I never forget how blessed I am for your kindness and support all these years…
Peace and love,