Beatles fans ‘come together’ at annual Beatlefest

JERSEY CITY — Now in its 45th year, the area’s preeminent convention for Beatles fans commanded the Hyatt Regency hotel on Jersey City’s waterfront for a fab weekend of guest speakers, music and a marketplace full of modern and vintage collectibles, or, as one might say, Beatles for sale.

“It’s more about being social now,” said Gary Glaser of East Windsor, explaining his reasons for attending after many decades. Glaser has attended Beatlefest every year since 1980. “You see friends you haven’t seen since last year.”

Glaser, draped in a handmade leather tallit with the faces of John, Paul, George and Ringo stenciled up and down both sides, had just left a presentation on the making of the Beatles’ albums “Abbey Road” and “Let it Be,” a crisscrossing tale of a nearly abandoned record and a soon-to-be-abandoned band.

“Abbey Road,” the final Beatles album to be recorded, became their second to last to be released due. This year, Beatlefest paid honor to its 50th anniversary.

The festival ran all weekend, beginning Friday and ending Sunday evening. Talks and panels, like the one Glaser had just left, are a source of “stories you can’t even read in books,” he said. That particularly described Saturday’s panel featuring Beatles contemporaries the Zombies, creators of hits like “Time of the Season” and “Leave Me Be,” he added.

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