Abbey Road on the River 2013

So in May I went to Abbey Road on the River in Louisville – my 5th year going there. It was going to be a bit of a strange year because a lot of regulars weren’t going to be there. Janine was at Balticon, Rob (the drummer in our band who has been going every year) had gigs with his Dead cover band, Billy the artist had training at work, Marcia was having surgery, Michelle couldn’t make it… But Katie was going to be there (with her parents and her kids), so there was that!

Friday was quiet and a little lonely until Katie got there! And then the rest of the weekend went swimmingly and was a lot of fun!

Here was the view from my suite, which I had all to myself this year. The festival is on the other side of the other hotel tower:


One of the things I did on Friday was see Tony Bramwell talk. He grew up with the Beatles, and used to carry their guitar cases to get into their gigs free, and later worked for Brian Epstein, their manager, and did PR for the Beatles and Apple records. His book is one of my favorites written about the Beatles:

I also checked out the Italian band, the Brothel Creepers:

Later that day, at sunset (and after Katie had arrived), I checked out the LSB Experience (they’re from the Netherlands) at the new venue on the 6th floor of the Ali Center, which has an absolutely fabulous view of the river and the festival and in this case, the sunset:

LSB is amazing too – they play a lot of CSNY, Eagles, etc. They sing harmony beautifully:



And then it was time for our friends the Norwegian Beatles’ first set, which was great:

There was a full-moon overhead:

Katie and I hung out in the breezeway with our friends Kjetil (bass) and Håvard (lead guitar) until the bar closed at 1am, and then since Katie had brought a supply of alcohol with her, and I had an empty suite, we ended up hanging out for a few hours with the Norwegians there. It was SO fun – I really wish I had taken pictures, but I was too busy having a good time just chilling and talking about music with friends. It was such a nice night. Around 2:30am, we decided to go hit one of the singalongs in the lobby, which was also great fun. Singalongs at a Beatles festival are unusual it’s funny to hear a room of strangers sining all the backing vocals and harmonies.

Earlier in the evening, Vegar, the Norwegians’ keyboard player, had a harmonica, and he was playing bits of Beatles tunes on it. I requested “I Should Have Known Better” and he started playing it, and then Håvard jumped up and started shaking the top of Vegar’s head, making the harmonica vibrato. We all had a good laugh, because it was funny and it was 2am – and then the next day… at their first gig, Kjetil said something like “We recently learned how they recorded this song in the studio, how John got the vibrato on the harmonica, we’re going to demonstrate.”

And they did this:

I about died laughing – plus I was super thrilled that I had been a part of the original joke! I wish I had captured the whole song because it was so funny – I only caught the above clip which was the last time they did it, and they were laughing so hard at the end they couldn’t sing. It was so funny.

I did catch them doing the song again on Sunday, but it was funniest the first time:

Saturday evening we caught a little bit of Leon Russell:

Then we went up to the top floor of the Galt House to get a view of the festival at night:

Saturday night was more fun hanging out, both at the bar and the midnight jam.

Me and Kjetil:

Me and Håvard, who is a total ham:



A panorama of the river and the festival from the 6th floor Ali Center on Sunday:

The festival:

My friend Lisa and I:

My friend Cindi and I:

LSB Experience singing “You’ve Got a Friend”:

Timeline singing “Love Will Keep Us Alive”:

This guy and his ukulele was really good – wish I’d had time to see more of him!

The last Norwegian Beatles gig – Katie and I and some friends are all in a line near the middle:

After that we went to see Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits – he was unexpectedly fantastic. SO funny and his show went fast.


Katie’s kids enjoyed it too:

The river at night:

Sunday night, Katie’s dad hung out with us – he’s a drummer and he was *super* thrilled to be hanging out with musicians and getting to talk music. I understand because I feel the same way, honestly. It’s one of the best things about Abbey Road on the River. So Katie and her dad, me, Vegar, me and Kjetil wandered around trying to find their drummer Kai who was at some “band-only” party. Kai told us they were by the swimming pool, so we went there – and we figured out we had crashed a wedding reception. Oops! So Kjetil called Kai back and he said they were upstairs from there. So we backtracked and worked our way to where we thought they were – and there had clearly once been a party there, but the room was empty. So Kjetil called Kai again and he said they were somewhere else, near where the River Stage used to be. So we trekked over there, got past someone checking wristbands, and then… no party. So after a lot of laughing, we gave up and got drinks and met up with Håvard.

After that we all went to watch Britbeat’s set:


Eventually we said goodnight to Vegar (who I’d never hung out with before but was awesome) and Katie’s dad. And then there were four. Too late, because the festival was shutting down, Håvard realized he still had drink tickets left. So he told me to take a picture and Instagram it:

Done! The drink tickets were actually really pretty and it was a shame to spend them!

After that we headed to the midnight jam, which was really fun. We shut that down and took a few last photos. Kjetil took this one from over head – the finger is Håvard’s attempt to get in the way of the picture:



And my attempt to get a picture of Katie and Håvard where he wasn’t making a face:

And then we had to say goodbye, which was sad, after such a fun weekend.

I like playing Linda McCartney and photographing bands I’m friends with – and I took A LOT of pics of the Norwegians. I thought I’d stick them here at the end!

Here’s a few, the rest are at the Flickr set:










Fickr set: