The Chicago Fest For Beatles Fans got off to a great start despite the fact it was Friday the 13th.   Thousands of fans crossed our paths and we hooked them up with Fab prizes to the likes of which have never been given away at any fest to date, like Beatles Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit games from USAopoly, Beatle Brunch tote bags, Paul’s Good Evening NYC CD/DVDs and Ringo’s hot off the presses “All Starr Band Tour 2008” CDs and DVDs with our Name That Beatle Tune contests, hosted by Joe Johnson and Tom Frangione. Several lucky winners even took home Joe...that is, “All You Need Is Joe”, the new Beatle Brunch imported Ethiopian coffee.

Many of our favorite authors were on hand to tell stories and share their Beatles knowledge like Jude Southerland Kessler, Chris O’Dell, Paul Saltzman, Bruce Spizer, Jorie Gracen, Susan Ryan, Belmo, Kris Englehardt, Rob Rodriquez, and musician Andy Babuik, whose “BeatlesGear” book has just been re-released.

Hundreds of Brunch listeners checked in over the weekend to see a magical group of musicians light up the stage in what we affectionately called “A Three Wing Circus” featuring former Wings members Laurence Juber, Denny Lane and Denny Seiwell, along with Liverpool and Mark Hudson.

One of the highlights was our one-on-one interview with legendary keyboardist, vocalist and dear friend of George and Ringo’s, Gary Wright.  Gary weaved some stories about his days working with George and Ringo and we dreamed we could have been a fly on the wall.  Gary also debuted the first live playing of a song co written with George called, “To Discover Yourself”.  Hear the song and our interview with Gary on Beatle Brunch the weekend of August 28-28th.  On the night of the 29th, you can chat live with Gary in the Beatle Brunch Club chat room at 6pm eastern, and possibly win a signed copy of his new CD, “Connected”.


The semi-legendary, Pat "The Amazing Smithereens" Dinizio played an intimate guitar and vocals duet with our own, Tom Frangione (who knew he could play guitar?).  They did a mix of Beatle songs and a few hits from The Smithereens.  The room was full of fans who really enjoyed the music and the up-front, personal quips from da'boyz.  Not only is The Smithereens going strong, but the guys play together in a new band they call Pat Dinizio and The Scotch Plainsmen.  BBC'ers can check out their unplugged performance on The Downloads Page

The weekend ended Monday morning for most, but a couple of dozen die-hards were still playing and singing Beatles songs at 5 AM in the lobby of the Hyatt.  Golden Slumbers was not on their play list.  It was about that time that the Two Of Us, Joe J. and Don E Gee, left the building. 

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The  Hyatt Regency O'Hare, was most accommodating, exceptionally hospitable and extremely tolerant.  A very big hats off to Mark and Carol Lapidos and family for producing one of the most memorable Fests of all time. Brunchers are already looking forward to The Meadowlands in late March 2011 and our Beatles Cruise March 5th.

Picture Credits: Donnie G. and Carol Lapidos