Hall of Fame bid for Epstein
By Robert Rush
Greetings from Across the Pond, and all best wishes for a healthy, happy and rockin’ 2014! Here’s what’s happening:
In America, we’re calling 2014 “The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary.” Now, you and I know that’s not really the case, but apparently the US media is looking at it from a typically American, egocentric perspective.
In 1964, we got to know them – February 7, 1964, to be exact. (So, sorry World – but that’s that then, in’it?!) All year “the US Beat” will be zeroing in on Beatles events and news from America. We also have some great interviews from Beatle People, including Chris Montez and Tommy Roe (who will both be headlining at the Cavern Club in Liverpool this summer) so stay tuned!
US Fest for Beatles Fans: New York City will host city the 2014 Fest For Beatles Fans. Requests are pouring in from all over the globe to attend the world’s longest running Beatles celebration. This year, the fun weekend will honour the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles coming to America and the festivities will take place 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!
Headlining the weekend will be Donovan, joined by Peter Asher, Billy J. Kramer and others. More information, and tickets for the New York Fest, are available at www.thefest.com/tickets.
If you’ve never been, it’s a blast! And if you plan on visiting the US, you have to include this amazing weekend in your plans! Good friend of the US Beat, Billy J. Kramer, has been working tirelessly and unselfishly to finally have his former manager and good friend, Brian Epstein, recognized by and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I joined the fray with Billy just last week calling my contact and friends at the Hall, and with my dear friend, Dr Kenny Fine (a/k/a “Uncle Rude” www.kenfine.com/monkey.html ), created and promoted an online petition that got a heckuvva lot of worldwide attention!
We got a ton of signatures in an incredibly short time (judging from emails I received. We apparently blew the minds of the good people at the petition page blog. But then, we’re talking about Brian Epstein, here!)
Well, this morning, I got the word that Mr. Epstein is receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award (which is the new name of the Non-Performers Induction Area)! I’d like to say the petition did the trick, but it hadn’t been submitted, and now there’s no need. More than not, I’d like to think that Billy’s determined efforts had a lot to do with influencing the Hall of Fame induction committee.
Whatever the case, it’s terrific! Another friend of the “US Beat,” Andrew Loog Oldham, is also deservedly receiving the induction award. Congratulations, Andrew, and long overdue congratulations to friends and family of Brian Epstein!
And yet another friend of the US Beat (FUSB?), session and performing (the John Barry 7) guitarist Vic Flick, made the big time (again), this time on US television (no, not on “Boardwalk Empire!”)
Do you have any antiques or pawn shop reality television shows? We have a bunch of them, the most popular being “Pawn Stars,” which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Vic and his lovely wife Judy now reside. Vic sold the shop his 1961 Fender Stratocaster guitar – the one on which he recorded all of the hits he played on (except “The James Bond Theme”) including “Ringo’s Theme” from The Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” and all the Tom Jones, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark hits, among a zillion others by artists such as Herman’s Hermits, Dave Clark Five, Los Bravos, The Honeycombs, The Bachelors and many more. (Now that’s a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame list!)
Oh, and by the way – that beautiful and iconic guitar fetched $55,000USD (or, £34,100GBP)!
If you’re a fan and collector of iconic guitars, Vic’s 1939 Clifford Essex with D’Armond pickup – the one he used to play and record “The James Bond Theme” – is going on the block soon. Interested readers can email me at Doc_of_Rock@comcast.net.
In other Rock & Roll Hall of Fame news, inductees for 2014 have been announced. In the Performer Category: Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, KISS, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. As mentioned earlier, the Ahmet Ertegun Induction Awards for Non-Performers go to Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham and the Musical Excellence Award recognizes The E Street Band. Daryl Hall and John Oates used to share a house with my step-brother in the early 70s, and I used to go to their rehearsals in New York City. I always thought they’d make it, but I never dreamed they’d be that big!
(You’ve heard of them in England, right?) Congratulations to all the inductees!
And on the home front (yours, that is), Toni Baker of The Dakotas offered up some dates for your diaries for 2014: See the Beat good Gig Guide for The Dakotas dates.
Well, that’s it for this month. If you’re a FaceBook fan, be sure to friend me at: www.facebook.com/drrzr and while you’re there, “Like” The Beat magazine’s page, too!
I’ll talk to you next month. It’s gonna be a fun year! In the meantime, be well, Happy New Year to you and yours, and, remember – if anything’s troubling you this year …..