My thoughts on the The Fest For Beatles Fans 2018 Chicago Convention

It's hard to believe that it's already been a week.

As some of you know, I have a tendency to ramble form time to time. So I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

First of all: Mark, Carol, Michelle & Tilly Lapidos -- Nobody really knows how hard it is to create, produce and curate an event like this. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do to make this happen year after year. It's been an amazing personal journey for me since 1991 to go from being an attendee, to becoming a featured performer on the Apple Jam stage. Once again, I thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to being a part of the Fest for many years to come.

My friends on the Staff: Jim Demes, Leigh Whitney, Victoria Pichla Luz, Joan E. Moran, Danny Abriano, Dan Berkley, Jorey Wvs Guillermo, Walter J Podrazik, Joshua Riley, Caitlin Johnston Riley, Susan Ratisher Ryan, Al Sussman, Daniel Raudonis & Barb, Roland Ramos, and last but certainly not least, Deco Bernadette Freeman -- Dear friends old and new. Thank you for welcoming me into your Fest Family. My biggest regret is that I don't live close enough to see you more often. The weekends in March and August I get to see you are the times I look forward to the most the rest of year. Can't wait to see you all again! (Lauren, Julia, and Carly... you were all missed more than you know!)

The Special Guests (and their associates): Billy J. Kramer (OFFICIAL) (& Ronnie), Roy Orbison Jr (and ├ůsa & Luke), Jack Douglas, and Liberty Devitto -- Thank you for taking the time to spend a few minutes to talk and hang out with me. The pleasure was most certainly mine. Hope to see to see you all again soon.

The Guest Authors (and company): Jude & Rande Kessler, Kit O'Toole, Kenneth & Jeanine Womack, Vivek J. Tiwary, Bruce Spizer, Karen Duchaj, Cheryl Hokens-Breo, Simon Weitzman, Patricia Gallo-Stenman, Nicole Michael, Chuck Gunderson, and Jim Berkenstadt -- From the Launch Party for Jude's book, to the "Deep Beatles Live!" presentation, to shared meals and drinks in the bar, to having some of you sit in the audience for my shows, to just sitting at your tables in the Marketplace; I thank you all for you love, friendship, encouragement and unwavering support of my musical career. I am proud to know you, and I'm truly flattered to have you consider me a colleague.

My fellow musicians on the Apple Jam and Main Stages: Drew Hill, John Merjave, Glen Burtnik, Joe Bellia, Bob Burger, Daniel ("Big D) Phillips, Phil Angotti, Casey McDonough, John San Juan, Johnny Burnett, Melissa Brumm, Willa Leannah, Diana Mayne, Kandalyn Hahn, Tony Giangreco, and anyone I've forgotten -- You elevate me with your compliments. You humble me with your talents and abilities, and you bless me with your friendship. You are all Rock Stars in the truest sense. Thank you for allowing me to be one of your peers.

My Fest Friends and Family: Denise, Dawn, Annette, Julie, Judy, Don & Jo Jo, Melanie, Jason, Allison, Patty, Shannon & Erica, Thomas, Tracy, Crystal, Jeanette, Charlee, Rose, Sam, Jill, Annette, Marilyn, Paul, KiKi, Rose Ann, Gary and everyone of you that I've forgotten to mention -- I love and cherish you all. YOU are the reason I come back year after year. YOU are the ones that make this all worthwhile. If you haven't seen your name here somewhere, fear not, and know that each one of you close to my heart.

I will never ever say goodbye to any of you. I will only say, "See you at the next Fest!"


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