Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Fest for Beatles Fans with a Surprise meeting with Art Shamsky of the 1969 New York Mets.

It was 50 years ago toady, the Beatles  came to America for the first time and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Since 1974 there has been a Fest for Beatles Fans usually held in Secaucus, NJ.  We went in 2002 shortly after the passing of George Harrison.  This year it was held at the Hyatt next to Grand Central Terminal.  It was a three day event.

Lee in Front of a Beatles Cut Out

As we came in we were overwhelmed by the number of people there. Someone said there were 8,000 attendees.  We started out at a room called the  Cavern where there was a contest of amateur musicians covering Beatles songs acoustically.  From there we went upstairs where there were artists showing their  Beatles related this works. There were also memorabilia dealers selling  rare recordings and videos.  We unexpectedly encounter 1969 New York Mets star Art Shamsky.  Who was selling his book and other baseball memorabilia.  We bought a copy of his book which he autographed.  He was kind enough to take a picture with us.

Shamsky, A., & Zeman, B. (2004). The magnificent seasons. New York: T. Dunne Books

Facebook friends Gary Fishbein and Fred Velez were at the meeting.  I ran into Gary without a New York Mets uniform, but didn’t see Fred.

We went to the Empire State Ballroom which was absolutely mobbed.  There were people of all ages, but I think the late baby boomers like myself predominated.  We saw a performance by Chad and Jeremy and an interview of Patty Boyd.  Donovan gave about a 45 minute performance singing most of his hits from the mid to late 1960s.

At 6 PM Cousin Brucie broadcasted his SiriusXM show from the fest.  He interviewed several people from the audience who described their enthusiasm for the Fab 4.  He also interviewed Donovan, Patty Boyd, and Chad and Jeremy.  We left when his show concluded at 9 PM.  There was so much to do and see there, but only so much time.  We could only be at one place at a time.
Cousin Brucie at the Beatles Fest
I couldn't get a close up

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