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Micky Dolenz to perform at Chicago Beatles Fest

August 10, 2014 by  
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Rosemont fest proves Beatlemania rages on


By Chrissie Dickinson, Special to Tribune Newspapers

When Mark Lapidos started the Fest for Beatles Fans in 1974 in New York City, he got the blessing of John Lennon himself.

“I’m all for it,” the legendary rocker said. “I’m a Beatles fan too.”

The event was a hit. It expanded to include annual festivals in Los Angeles and Chicago. This year’s Fest for Beatles Fans takes place Friday through Aug. 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

“This is our 38th consecutive year in Chicago,” says Lapidos. “It’s a chance to touch your past and bring it to life.”

Beatles-themed events, including a marketplace, battle of the bands and author appearances, will fill 18 ballrooms in the hotel. An ashram area with an introduction to Transcendental Meditation is a nod to the Beatles’ interest in Eastern spirituality.

Special guests include Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, who first met the Beatles during the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” sessions, and Herman’s Hermits singer Peter Noone, who frequently crossed paths with the band as a British Invasion artist. Both will perform their own hits and Beatles songs backed by the house band Liverpool.

Terri Hemmert, who hosts the long-running Sunday morning WXRT-FM show “Breakfast With the Beatles,” returns as master of ceremonies.

“The atmosphere is what makes the whole show,” says Lapidos. “Fans come from all over the country and many of them come every year. They bring their children and their grandchildren.

“It’s like a family reunion or a Thanksgiving with friends.”

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