Monday, June 23, 2008

Beatlemania 40 Years Later

Went to a Beatle-Fest in beautiful Clinton, NJ this past Sunday. It a wonder that after all these years (43 or so) since the English Invasion we are still honoring the Fab Four. Now the Fab Four minus Two, unfortunately.

A couple of musical faux Beatle acts appeared, and actually both were quite good. The first gentleman performed by himself, looked nothing like any Beatle ever looked, but could sing up a storm. He used a synthesizer and some recorded background music to pay homage to the Boys and he did it quite well.

Clinton, for those unaware, is a quaint town is western part of the state very near the Pennyslvania border. It is the home of a very active business guild association that looks to bring traffic to its town by event sponsporship. Two years ago, the town fathers and mothers hosted a Shakespeare Festival. Hmm. Never completely broken away from the Crown, eh wot?

So where was the dissonance? It was actually disturbing to see the very aging Beatle fan population. And as if they wasn't enough to see the decrepit condition of the normal fans, it was more disturbing was to see the aging Beatlemania groupies.

Thinking back to the years when I attended many more concerts, I remember groupies as single seaters who were always on the verge of standing ovation, obviously knew the words to all the songs, and seemed to cognizant of the performers' next moves. They were slightly freaky then. They are a lot more freaky now.

One of my female friends made the mistake of remarking on a very colorful "Beatle's Fest" tour tee-shirt  a passerby was sporting. The guy overheard the remark, reversed his direction and began talking about that which he loved above all other -- The Beatles. Actually, I am assuming he loved the Beatles. He could have just loved the "faux" Beatles events because that is what he talked about.

Apparently, and much to our amazement, there are three major "real official Beatle events in the colonies" a year -- one in North New Jersey, one is Las Vegas and one in the Midwest (can't remember where.) They are apparently not to be missed under any circumstances because the really good fake Beatles bands play at these and there are losts of memorabilia vendors available. This guy told us that the possible of rain this day "held back some of the vendors" from attending. Special note: I didn't see even one vendor with Beatles stuff except for the sponsoring guild member's store.  (Please don't tell me that someone makes a living at selling fake Beatlemania stuff?)

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