Bob Gannon told us Saturday he is in Louisville this weekend for Abbey Road on the River, which started Friday and goes through the weekend. He said it is an incredible place for hearing Beatle tributes from all over the world, with bands from the U.S., the UK, Scotland, Canada, Italy, France, Puerto Rico, Holland, Norway, Brazil, Sweden and Argentina.
“I am taking a break from the Paul McCartney tour and making my yearly visit to the Abbey Road on the River Festival here in Louisville for it’s 10th straight year in this city. This is the premiere festival for Beatles music in the USA,” he told us.
“Yesterday, there was a short schedule for all of the fans who came a day early, but today really kicks it into high gear. First off, the home of the festival is on the grounds of the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville who has always been an incredible host to this festival. They have always gone above and beyond to accommodate their guests. The thing about this festival that makes it tops is that it really focuses on the music of the Fab Four in all of their stages from the Cavern days right up to today.”
And there is plenty of that music to go around.
“There are 56 bands plus special guests at this year’s festival playing on nine stages all day long. Not only does Beatles music get played but many of the other bands and hits of the 60’s and 70’s can be heard. It is truly a music lover’s delight. The bands are from all over the world and the great sounds of the Beatles and 60’s music can be heard all weekend.”
And the guest list is pretty amazing.
“There is also a host of special guests….Peter Noone, Peter Asher, Denny Laine, Leon Russell, Laurence Juber and Tony Bramwell spread out through the weekend. Some band sets are freestyle and others have themes. Such as, bands will play complete albums. The also have a thing called the Fab 14 where 10 bands hand picked by festival organizer Gary Jacobs play their favorite 14 Beatle songs set without repeating. The Blue Meanies from Staten Island will be performing their Monkees tribute. ItchyCoo Park from Scotland will be doing a tribute to music of Badfinger. The Shakers & Rock-Its from Liverpool will be doing a Cavern tribute. Wingsbanned will do a Wings Over America Tribute. The Union Jack Band is doing an ‘American Bandstand tribute’ and many more. Plus Monday has bands paying tribute to the Summer of Love. What more could you want?”
Gannon said the many choices of music can make things quite interesting.
“Today, I caught several bands as when you’re in the middle of these things you have so many choices to make with so numerous choices. First off, I caught Nube 9 from Argentina playing the ‘Rubber Soul’ album on the lawn stage. They sounded great and would be known by Paul McCartney fans as the band that has played with his guitarist Brian Ray in South America several times while Ray took advantage of being down their to perform some solo shows. Next I went over to the ‘John Lennon: Songwriter’ stage where I caught the Blue Meanies (a Staten Island, N.Y. band) who are known for their rocking 60’s sets and their obscure picks from the solo catalogs that they always come prepared to play. Tonight they played solo hits by all four solo Beatles: ‘Rockestra Theme,’ ‘A Dose of Rock N Roll,’ ‘Tight As,’ ‘If Not For You’ and the Wilburys’ ‘Handle With Care’ were just some of tonight’s goodies.
“I then joined Wingsbanned in the Archibald Ballroom where they played a tribute to ‘Wings Over America’ playing many of the live gems from that album. Last, I caught the RockIts and the Shakers both from Liverpool doing their tribute to the Cavern. The Shakers performed songs from the early Beatles/BBC catalog such as ‘Some Other Guy,’ ‘Soldier of Love’ and others to the delight of the crowd. Finally, the RockIts came out and played songs from groups of the 60’s and beyond that had played at the Cavern!!
“All in all, it was a good time and I can’t wait for day number two.”
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