By Kevin M. Wilson
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In an interview conducted at the peak of his own fame, Sting famously remarked that music was in fact his religion and that encountering the Beatles had been like a sacrament of initiation. John Lennon himself accurately noted in 1966 that his band was more popular than Jesus, at least with the British youth. Though ranking the Fab Four as true spiritual avatars is problematic, there is little doubt among scholars or fans that the Beatles were the most important act in all of rock ‘n’ roll’s history.
Amazingly, the hit singles, classic albums, feature-length films, iconic television appearances, record-setting tours, the cartoon series, Brian Epstein’s merchandising revolution, the controversial pilgrimage to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />
Now, almost 40 years after they originally disbanded, their legacy still looms large in popular culture. Somewhat surprisingly, the Beatles back catalogue consistently outsells many current artists. Beatles Greatest Hits packages and posthumous releases of previously unheard material from John Lennon and George Harrison always generate an enormous buzz in the music press. Each passing generation also boasts its share of cover versions of the Lennon/McCartney songbook. Even Ringo’s albums and “All-Starr” tours enjoy a fair amount of notoriety. And Sir Paul McCartney remains a top grosser when he elects to hit the road with his superb new backing band.
To celebrate the ongoing phenomenon of the Beatles, the Abbey Road On The River Festival invades
Festivities will include numerous tribute bands, such as
For a complete schedule and general information visit www.abbeyroadontheriver.com.