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Good Ol’ Freda In New York!

September 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Fred Velez

Good Ol’ Freda In New York!
by Fred Velez

‘Good Ol’ Freda’, the wonderful documentary on the Beatles secretary Freda Kelly, had it’s New York debut on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 at the Museum of The Moving Image at the Kaufman Studios in Queens, NY. The film is absolutely delightful, chronicling the story of Liverpool teenager Freda Kelly who through a series of interesting events became the secretary to Brian Epstein and the Beatles as well as the president of the Beatles Liverpool Fan Club. The movie follows her from the Beatles early pre-fame years, to the height of Beatlemania, on to the sad years of their break-up. Through all this, Freda stayed a loyal and trusted member of the Beatles inner circle. And when all the madness finally ended, Freda went back to a normal life and has kept her involvement with the Beatles private and to herself. The really amazing part about her story is that despite it all, Freda stayed level-headed and normal, a miracle when you take into account the incredible ride she had.

I attended the New York screening and was enchanted by the film. After the movie ended there was a Q&A set up with Freda Kelly and the film’s director Ryan White. When Freda made her entrance the entire audience gave her a standing ovation and I shouted out ‘Good Ol’ Freda!’ which got a laugh from Freda and the crowd. Freda and Ryan talked a little about the reasons the film was made and took questions from the audience. My question was if all the unused interview material was going be put together into a book in the future. Freda said right now they want to see how the film goes, and Ryan White said that the DVD release of the movie will have lots of bonus material including interviews that they couldn’t fit into the finished film. Freda was very sweet and down to earth and appreciated the affection from the fans in attendance. Also at the screening was May Pang and Billy J. Kramer as well as Liberty DeVito from the Billy Joel band.

Freda Kelly and director Ryan White at the Soho-Apple Store

Billy J. Kramer, May Pang and Liberty DeVito

With Billy J. Kramer

With May Pang, John Lennon’s secretary and former girlfriend

On Thursday September 5th, the Soho-Apple Store hosted an event for the ‘Good Ol’ Freda’ movie, with a panel discussion with Freda Kelly and Ryan White hosted by Beatlefan writer Tom Frangione. The trailer and clips from the movie were shown and Freda and Ryan again took questions from the audience. I attended this event too and my question this time was when the Beatles organization became Apple if Freda had any encounters with Allen Klein. She answered that she was still working the fan club offices in Liverpool and had limited involvement with Klein, and with the Beatles break-up there was no longer any need for a group fan club, so she left the organization after folding the club and was glad that her dealings with Klein were kept to the absolute minimum. After the Q&A Freda met with the fans. She was just as sweet and lovable as she is in the film. She graciously signed my movie ticket for the film’s New York debut and I told her I loved the part of the movie where she put John Lennon in his place. She winked and said “I did that to all of them!” Freda Kelly is a very lovely and warm person and it was delight and pleasure to meet her.

Tom Frangione, Freda Kelly and Ryan White at the ‘Freda’ Panel

Freda Kelly

‘Good Ol’ Freda’ will be available for rental on iTunes beginning on September 6th and the movie will be showing in theaters beginning September 13. The DVD with the bonus features will be available around December. I highly recommend this movie, it’s one of the best Beatles films you’re ever going to see and you’ll meet one of the sweetest ladies in your life with the most incredible story ever!

All Together Now: Good Ol’ Freda!!!

Fred Velez, 2013

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