All We Need Is Love

As someone who’s made a living for decades as a writer (i.e. Paperback Writer), there aren’t too many times when I’ve been at a loss for words. That being said, my husband and I spent five days over Memorial Day Weekend at Abbey Road On The River in Jeffersonville, Indiana (the largest Beatles festival in the United States) and when we walked away from a couple of concerts, in particular the Beatles Love set, the only phrase that I could utter was “Mind-blowing.”

John and I are lifelong Beatles fans, but this was the first time we’ve attended this event which draws Beatles fanatics from everywhere looking to enjoy top-caliber Beatles cover bands from around the globe. We had no idea what to expect, but we were mesmerized from the first concert to the last.

The bands and singers covered everything from the early Beatles to deep album cuts, Paul McCartney & Wings, George Harrison and John Lennon. Some bands performed entire Beatles albums front to back, which was nothing less than amazing. Then there was the stellar abbreviated version of the Get Back documentary which came out earlier this year. 

Our favorite concert was the Love show, which featured several bands showcasing the Beatles at various stages in their career. Seriously, the lead guitarists would give Eric Clapton and Prince a run for their money back in the day.

It was gratifying being part of an event where people, young and old, from all walks of life, found common ground over the course of five days relishing their love of Beatles music. Over the course of the weekend, we didn’t witness any poor behavior or even hear any foul language. When the Beatles said, “All you need is love,” they weren’t kidding. This was a time for aging hippies to relive their teen years, for teens to enjoy modern-day flower power, and for a whole new generation of Beatles fans to experience Beatles music up close and personal.

The surreal part of the event was standing directly in front of the stages dancing and singing along with the bands with the other diehard fans who chose to be in the thick of things rather than watching from lawn chairs. I felt as though I was had VIP seating as the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, rocked out Shea Stadium, crafted songs at Abbey Road Studios, or as Paul McCartney & Wings were making their way across America.

I’ll bet every person at AROTR has their own unique story of why The Beatles are so special to them. Here’s why Beatles music has been so instrumental In My Life…

  • The Beatles had their first hit in 1962, the same year I made my initial appearance on this planet. My dad tells me that he bought each of their albums as they came out and had their entire collection, so I was raised on this music.
  • My late brother Rodney was a talented singer and guitar player and had a Wings songbook that he played from a lot when I was in grade school, thus my fascination with Paul McCartney & Wings.
  • When disco became all the rage around my senior year in high school, we’d go to the local disco, and, much to the dismay of my disco-obsessed friends, I always requested Beatles songs.
  • I met my husband John at the aforementioned disco and discovered and soon discovered he was a huge Beatles fan as well.
  • On our wedding day 41 years ago, we had our guitar duo play two Beatles songs (Here, There & Everywhere and I Will) at church before the wedding ceremony (apparently Beatles songs aren’t approved wedding Mass hymns, LOL). 
  • Made a mix tape including Beatles songs to listen to during labor and delivery of our first child.
  • John and I blasted Photograph by Ringo Starr on repeat all the way to the hospital when I was in labor with our youngest child.
  • We raised our four children on Beatles music (and numerous of our grandchildren are fans now too).
  • Our oldest daughter chose the song Blackbird for the father/daughter dance at her wedding.
  • Our son chose In My Life for the mother/son dance at his wedding.
  • We’ve seen Paul McCartney in concert eight times, including our dream concert with VIP seating (Row 8, vegetarian meal beforehand, and sound check) at Lambeau Field. 
  • Had a chance to see Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band perform a couple years ago.
  • We ordered a streaming service just to watch the phenomenal Get Back series.
  • Most recently was our incredible Abbey Road On The River experience.
  • And someday, when our time on this plane is done, we’ve requested Beatles music for our funerals… What is Life? (if John goes before me), Photograph (if I go before John), In My Life for me either way and I’ll Follow the Sun for John either way.

For those of you who love The Beatles, dig watching live performances, reliving the greatest times of your life, dancing like no one’s watchin, and singing songs that define your life, make it a priority to get to Abbey Road On The River in 2023. In addition to all things Beatles, you’ll get to enjoy the music of The Monkeys and The Rascals (with headliners Micky Dolenz and Felix Cavaliere), plus see outstanding sets featuring other mega bands throughout history such as the Queen and Pink Floyd shows we saw this year. See you at Abbey Road!

Facebook: Abbey Road On The River 2022 Group

Our first Abbey Road On The River 2022!
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Our first time at AROTR but our second time on Abbey Road…

The real Abbey Road with our four kids crossing this amazingly busy street. Our youngest daughter chose to go to London for her 17th birthday when she was granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2009 f. This was one of our many adventures in the city. All four kids are still Beatles fans and now they’re raising the next generation of Beatles fans!

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