Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Beatles?

It's Beatles Season for us.... it's similar to the warm fuzzy feelings you get before Superbowl Sunday...choosing your favorite team t-shirt, watching pre-game and pre-commercial hype, anticipating the half-time production, THE FOOD, the drinks, the fellowship.  Springtime is when we pull out all of our Beatles CD's, t-shirts, hats, jewelry, books, pictures.... and prepare for Beatle fun at Abbey Road on the River in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.  This festival is pure, clean fun and 40,000 people attended last year, so you know it's gotta be a blast.

AROTR Beatles Fest is held every Memorial Weekend at the Belvedere Festival Park/Galt House Hotel, on the Ohio riverfront.
Check out the website for info:
The fest begins Thursday, May 24 and runs through Monday, May 28.
Tickets range from $30/day to $200 for the entire event which includes some VIP perks. 
21 & under - tickets are $10/day

Annie & Abby's Top 10 Reasons to go to Abbey Road on the River:

10.  Sliding down the golden staircase handrails at the Galt House Hotel (and other trouble we find, sometimes involving elevators)

9.  All of the dancing hippies
8Regalo Gift Shop inside the Galt House House Hotel - which carries an awesome book called Recipe Records 

7.  The awesome food -- grilled corn on the cob dripping with butter. ..... mmmmm

6. Getting autographs from the awesome bands

5.  The awesome rooms in the Galt House

4.  The cool merchandise vendors - one booth has every Beatles item you can imagine...magnets, buttons, blankets, lunch boxes, potholders, get the idea.....

3.  The bands. All of them.

2. Mr. Kite(Andy Forgie) and All You Need is Love

1.  The memories. Too many to list....but something like: room service...giant unknown shirt in Abby's bed....trashing our room like rock stars....the bubble girls....the uka-ladies.....the costume contest....karaoke with Mags & Laney....painting Laney's car.....creative cursing....we don't run over babies.....ordering food to go at the drive thru....Jimmy Poo....the Sun Kings....getting in the fountain....The Trouble With Boys...Band on the Run ...BritBeat...Gavin....Wingsbanned...Jukebox.....meeting Pete Best....Blue Meanies..."Mom this isn't a one-way" .... we hate the taxman.   ........Annie, Margaret, Abby and Lanea....

Lanea's Top 10 Reasons to go to AROTR:

10. The consistently beautiful, sunshiny days and clear, breezy nights on the Ohio River; watching tugboats & barges with your sweetheart, listening to bands play "Yellow Submarine" - may encounter the occasional rainy British-like shower or the rare gutter gushing rains that make you really angry at first, but then you realize that you are just gonna be plain old wet like all the other schmoes there & then you kinda laugh about it....

9. The speakers & programs. Meet musicians, authors and other important music people such as Gretsch Guitars President Fred Gretsch III and Beatle author/expert Bruce Spizer - the programs are terrific and informative. 

8. Hearing Beatles songs that you rarely get to enjoy (LIVE...) .... ie:     I Will..... Savoy Truffle.. Two of Us.... It's All Too Much......For You Blue ..... Why Don't We Do It In The Road? ..... Her Majesty ..... Across the Universe .....

7. 45th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's release - concert performed by Abbey Road Live! Friday nite 9:15 pm-10:15 pm on the Lawn.

6.  BritBeat plays the 50th Anniversary Concert - Friday nite 10:30 p.m.-midnite - Lawn - this tribute band will celebrate 50 years ago when the Beatles made their first recordings.
5. Did I mention 50+ bands on 5 different stages for 5 amazing days??? Are you a John fan ? Then there are acts that play only John music. Are you a fan of the Sgt. Pepper look? There are bands that play in full Sgt. Pepper regalia. There are look alikes, kinda-sorta-look-alikes and absolutely no-look-alikes, male, female, Brazilian, Japanese, Puerto Rican, American, British, Scottish, German, single acts, full bands, sing alongs and sometimes comedians and dancers.....  Not to mention all of the colorful, friendly fans who are taking a break from the hassle of real life to transfer back to the time when The Beatles changed music.  The bands that recreate the music are fantastic and we have so many favorites; be sure you look at the website's schedule beforehand and study up on all of the shows & times.  (We are partial to Evansville/Southern Indiana band Blue Jay Way)

4. Thursday, May 24th - FREE SCREENING of The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" movie - on the lawn at the Galt House Hotel - begins at 8:30 ---'s FREE....!!!!!!!
3. THE LOVE SHOW- Saturday (7 pm-9pm on the Lawn) - There is a fantastic production in Las Vegas - Cirque du Soleil's LOVE Show - it was George Harrison's original idea & Sir George Martin and his talented son Giles Martin expanded on the idea & created this masterpiece. Talented musicians at AROTR perform the soundtrack from the production and it is absolutely phenomenal. One of my most favorite shows ever.

2. The memories. This will be the 7th year Abby & I have attended together & each year has given us a memory we will always cherish. The first year Margaret, Annie, Abby & I went together, Mags brought along a blank journal with John Lennon on the cover - and we let the girls gather autographs from the always gracious performers. Every year we take the same book & fill it with more autographs, stickers & other memorabilia, also notes about funny laughs we had during the trip. It's a beautiful memory book.

And My #1 reason to go to AROTR:
1. " .......Sounds of laughter ...   shades of life are ringing
             Through my open ears inciting and inviting me.
             Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,
            And calls me on and on across the universe......" (Lennon-McCartney)

Peace, Love & The Beatles....
Lanea Stagg
P.S. Don't forget to you can ALWAYS purchase your copy of Recipe Records for only $19.95! Check it out at

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

But He Could Play the Guitar Just Like Ringing a Bell....

Many times since Margaret passed away I've thought about how all the pieces of our book fell together and the gratitude we had toward so many people throughout the process. For instance, my children had to endure listening to 100's of hours of conversation with Margaret, along with hours of my complaining about how no one in this world seems to do their job adequately...... There are so many friends and strangers who became new friends, that purchased our book and helped promote it; each and every book sale delighted us.  It's interesting that my husband, who is only an average music fan, offered terrific input on the book, specifically, creating the title. Margaret & I were struggling with a title for the book & had bland ideas along the lines of "Girls Rock in the Kitchen", etc..... but one evening I was sitting amidst a stack of papers & record albums & I asked Mike if he had any ideas and he casually blurted out "what about "Recipe Records" ... Margaret & I instantly loved it and considered him a super genius rock star for his random title born from thin air. It was also his idea to contact Charlie Daniels, who I had previously interviewed for a magazine article, to see if he would endorse our book. At the time I couldn't figure out how to give Charlie a "sample" of our book without sending less than 30 pages of material. And bless that man for reading it and giving us a great endorsement.
While trying to find another endorsement, Margaret called me one day & said we should contact St. Louis businessman Joe Edwards. Joe owns The Pageant, an outstanding concert venue in "The Loop" area of St. Louis, along with Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and club, the Pin-Up Bowl and the Moonrise Hotel.
Joe is not only an astute businessman, but he is gracious, respectful and generous. There aren't a lot of businessmen these days that can be named alongside all of those adjectives. We found his method of conducting business - by telephone and U.S. mail, to be refreshing and more meaningful than by using a computer. After imposing on Joe with our 30 page book "sample", we received a phone call, along with a letter  - a handwritten endorsement and a recipe to use in our follow-up book... Recipe Records, the 60's edition.   Months later, we sent him one of the first copies of the book, and Mags & I promptly received phone calls from him with his sincere compliments.  I'm going to write more later about Joe Edwards' outstanding businesses in the Loop area of St. Louis; I encourage you to visit this remarkable area.
About a year ago rock & roll legend Chuck Berry was playing at The Pageant to celebrate Joe Edwards'  10th anniversary of opening the venue. Mags and beau, Keith, bought tickets for the sold-out show. Prior to the show date, Mags called Joe and asked if we could give a copy of our book to Chuck and also see if Chuck would autograph our book as a keepsake. Joe called Mags back and explained to her that he could try.... (I remember this so vividly) Joe told Mags that Chuck was "cagy", or moody, unpredictable, and Joe basically gave Mags no hope to expect this minor miracle. Mags delivered books to Joe and attended the fantastic show and the very next day...received a phone call.  Joe had given the book to Chuck and Chuck not only totally dug Recipe Records - he autographed a book for each of us. A true keepsake indeed. You can only imagine the squeals we emitted over the telephone line.....
I wanted to share the story and thank Joe for all he did for Margaret and I and Recipe Records. Joe called me awhile back and he expressed his condolences to me and to Margaret's family. He said she was a fantastic girl. Yep... she was....
Lanea Stagg
Recipe Records