Beatlemania Turns 50 With The World’s Biggest Beatles Celebration In NYC

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived in America and the world has never been the same. On February 7, 2014, The Fest for Beatles Fans, the world’s longest running Beatles celebration, will honor this moment with a 50th Anniversary event in New York City, the launch pad for the band’s world domination. Event founder Mark Lapidos announced that the 2014 Fest will take place on Friday, February 7 through Sunday, February 9 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, with the dates and days of the week corresponding exactly to the dates of the Beatles’ 1964 arrival at JFK Airport, and performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Lapidos says, “We’re going all out to make this celebration of the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary and The Fest’s own 40th Anniversary, into our biggest and best show ever! It is exciting to return to New York City, to the very place where it all started in America.”

Guests at the New York Fest will include many close associates of the Beatles, several of whom were also chart topping British Invasion music stars including Donovan (“Mellow Yellow”), Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon “World Without Love” and former A&R at Apple Records), Billy J. Kramer (“Bad To Me”), Chad & Jeremy (“Yesterday’s Gone”), and former UK head of the Beatles Fan Club, Freda Kelly who is profiled in the recent documentary “Good Ol’ Freda.” Featuring more live music than ever before, additional guests include Ringo Starr’s current musical director Mark Rivera and former producer Mark Hudson, the Smithereens, Birds of Paradox (Steve Holley of Wings, and Gary Van Scyoc & Adam Ippolito of John Lennon’s 1972 concert band, the Nutopians), Ed Sullivan Show production executive Vince Calandra who stood in for George Harrison during “Sullivan” TV rehearsals, last season of NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Garrett Gardner, and Beatles tribute band Liverpool.


Ringo Starr’s Birthplace Saved

Plans to destroy Ringo Starr‘s birthplace have been axed following a “tide” of public outrage.

Officials in the Beatles legend’s hometown of Liverpool, England were keen to demolish the property at 9 Madryn Street, where Starr grew up, as part of a regeneration plan for the region.

Opponents argued it was wrong to destroy a historic landmark, and, after assessing the proposal for more than a year, officials have ruled several sites in the area should be preserved, including Starr’s former home.

The British government’s housing minister Grant Shapps described the property as a “beacon of Beatlemania” and revealed a “tide of community support” saved it from demolition.

He told the BBC, “(It’s) a real example of communities having the power and voice to step in and save the places they treasure most.”

The home at 9 Madryn Street will now be refurbished and put up for sale.

Lennon and McCartney’s Childhood Homes Preserved

The childhood homes of Beatles legends John Lennon and Paul McCartney are to be preserved as national landmarks.

Lennon’s Mendips duplex on Menlove Avenue in Liverpool, England and McCartney’s house on nearby Forthlin Road have already been restored to their original state and now both buildings have been awarded grade two listings, which means any alterations require government approval.

Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, is thrilled by the news.

She tells the Associated Press, “Mendips always meant a great deal to John and it was where his childhood dreams came true for himself and for the world.”

The Beatles’ number one hit Please Please Me was written in Lennon’s home and McCartney’s residence previously served as a practice space for the duo’s first band The Quarrymen.

The childhood haunts of lead guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr were not granted the same protection by officials at English Heritage as neither home appeared to be “really intense creative hubs”.

Paul McCartney Gets Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star

Paul McCartney nabbed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday, the last of The Beatles quartet to receive the honor.

“Way back in history, in Liverpool when we were kids … I would have never thought that the day would come when I would get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” he told the cheering crowd gathered to witness the unveiling.

McCartney, who has had a successful solo career since his Beatles days, received the recognition after his bandmates Ringo Starr, the late George Harrison and the late John Lennon all previously landed Hollywood stars.

The band itself even has a star on the Hollywood Boulevard strip, outside the Capitol Records building in downtown Los Angeles.

Dressed casually in jeans, a black jacket and his classic shades, the 69-year-old said Thursday he “couldn’t have done it without three boys … John, George and Ringo,” and added thanks to his supportive family.

McCartney’s new bride, third wife Nancy Shevell, and his son James, 34, were in attendance at the afternoon ceremony.

The English rocker was nominated to receive the star in 1993 but scheduling conflicts prevented him from attending until this year.

He is in Los Angeles in advance of his performance at the 54th annual Grammy Awards Sunday.