Olivia Anne Morris Fuchs, who has been attending Abbey Road on the River every year since it first came to Louisville in 2005, said Saturday this year’s event has been the best yet.
“Every year we who schedule our year to have ‘our family reunion’ with Beatles fans from across the universe at Abbey Road on the River proclaim at the end of our festival that it was the best Ever. We comment how Gary Jacob, the promoter, cannot possibly create a better event for next time. And every year he proves us wrong by presenting a stunning array of musical genius performing the finest catalogue of tunes ever written – Beatles music,” she said.
- (You can see pictures from the show sent by Olivia and Jackie Ross in the slideshow.)
“We are three days in this Saturday night and I can tell you that if we stopped now, which we won’t, this has been the best multi-day event I’ve ever attended, and I’m not just talking about this event. And, I’ve been coming to Abbey Road on the River ever since it arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2005. And, now, there is a return to Cleveland, Ohio, on Labor Day weekend to factor in, as well. So, I know of where I speak. (Jacob once called me an “Uber Fan,” a moniker I appreciate.)”
She said meeting people is one of the reasons to attend.
“One of the great joys of this festival is the return of friends literally from all over the globe, those we see but once a year. and, the desire not to miss a single set of our favorites sometimes can cause us to miss wonderful new additions. That led me to a conscious decision yesterday to drop on the inaugural set of a hometown boy with his ukulele – Nick Peay. He was just wonderful, giving a whole new flavor to many of our most favored songs.
“Later in the day, I got to Gavin Pring’s George Harry’s Son set. I have flown across the country from Louisville to San Francisco just to see Gavin and his band. So, I am a true fan. What Gavin presents always is so powerful it leaves us all, we George Girls and Guys, ‘Quiet.’ His acoustic version of my favorite, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ was just beautiful. But, his ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ with a verse Gavin wrote in tribute to George always is a special delight, and reason for reflection on the power of the Man and His Music.”
She says Saturday had many highlights.
“I grabbed bits of many of the bands I’d missed in the two previous days: Tony Bramwell with Bruce Spizer was so informative and shared videos I’d not before seen. Bruce always is a font of necessary and interesting information. His new electronic book is a must have for any Beatle fan, even ones like me who have all of his hard copy books. It has all sorts of electronic links and information added.
“By luck, I ‘dropped’ into the start of the Imagine Peace Songwriting Contest. One of the judges is my treasured friend and magnificent songwriter in his own right, Steve Sizemore. I am glad I didn’t have the task of picking one “best.” Can’t wait to hear who they chose.
“The rest of my day fell apart when I just made it into the Main Ballroom at The Galt House Hotel and Convention Center before Peter Asher and his band began his presentation. Joe Carducci of GretscH Guitars, which sponsored Peter’s performance, auctioned off some Great GretscH guitars for charity then introduced the program. As Peter took the stage he was ‘properly’ introduced by Eric Idle of Monty Python on video. Wonderful, and properly silly! Peter’s 2 1/2 hours with us was a concert of his music with his wonderful band, and a lecture, and a true trip down memory lane. One fan said that Peter is like just the smart parts of ‘Forrest Gump’ – he was with everyone who was important in the music business, and has been there since the 60s. I was trapped by the magnificent stories and music. So much so that I missed Gavin Pring’s Saturday set and Laurence Juber’s first set! Extraordinary for me to miss either.
“Peter Asher’s band includes Jeff Alan Ross, formerly of Badfinger, who collaborated with Peter to put together his excellent performance. There was a special appearance by Denny Laine, as well. Peter played many of the Peter and Gordon big hits, and shared the stories of how they came to be. Peter singing with a video of Gordon to ‘True Love Ways’ was nearly too lovely to believe. I saw lots of folks beside me crying. Speaking of crying, Denny Laine’s ‘Go Now’ nearly brought down the house. I could go on and on and on with special memories Peter shared. If you are able, you should be sure to be at Abbey Road on the River at 3 p.m. Sunday for the final presentation by Peter and Denny.
“Then, it was time for the legendary Leon Russell. Leon was on the main stage on the Lawn to a totally crammed vast expanse of Kentucky Bluegrass. Everyone was rockin, especially Leon. My favorite of the night is his version of ‘Wild Horses.’ I saw Gary Jacob after and confirmed that he, too, was very pleased with the performance and the crowd.
“When all is done about 1:30 or 2:00 a.m., we’ll all come together in the Galt House Conservatory and sing-along until it’s time to play ‘Here Comes The Sun.’ Then repeat. Don’t you know you want to be here with us?”
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