Abbey Road on the River

Ok, let’s time travel back to May and what is always one of the highlights of my year, Abbey Road on the River. Though I missed not having Janine there, one of my other besties, Katie was – and my Norwegian friends were also there, so I was a happy girl.

It’s not a huge secret that things have been really hard for the last year or so. I needed things to go right for a change, for luck to be on my side, and for once it was. I also tried an experiment which I got from AJ Jacobs article about outsourcing his life. A fan wrote him and suggested he outsource his worry. She would worry for him about book deadlines and whatever else he needed, and he would worry about her finals for her. So Doug agreed to worry about everything for me: travel, coordinating with my friends, anything I was worried about going right. And he did one hell of a job because it pretty much couldn’t have gone better.

After a night spent playing guitar and singing with my friends, and then watching midnight concerts and being a part of a huge group of people playing instruments and singing along to Beatles songs… I was genuinely happy for the first time in a really long time. So thanks Doug!

Here’s some highlights from the weekend.

The lovely view from my room of Louisville. The funny story here is that my Lyft driver (we were provided with coupons if we wanted to try out the service – it worked well and was half the price of a taxi) mentioned some new high rise they were building and pointed out the crane. When I first opened the curtains of my hotel window, I was like, “oh. there’s the crane.”

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I got there first so I headed over to the festival to get my wristband. I immediately ran into (most of) the Norwegians! Hugs all around and it was so good to see them. I went alcohol shopping and then met up with Katie and her fam back at the hotel When we got to the festival, we ran right into Håvard, who I hadn’t seen yet. After saying hello, they went to get their wristbands, and Håvard and I hung out, had a beer, and had a really nice talk, catching up on life stuff.

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We headed up to where their gig was that night (everything had been moved upstairs at the Ali Center because of potential rain) to meet up with everyone else. The balcony had a pretty view of the river.
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Katie and I watched the Norwegians play, with her kids and parents and Mark. It was super fun.
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Michael’s pic – you can see us in the front. I’ve got one of Katie’s kids in front of me:
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After the gig, we all enjoyed the rest of the bands and took silly photos:
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Beer bottle microphone:
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The hotel had a cool projected logo
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Special room keys!
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Håvard and I met up for breakfast in Friday morning – was nice and peaceful. We sat outside at Panera and just chilled out.
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Studio Two:
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Lisa!
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Prudence Farrow was a guest and it was really cool hearing her talk! She’s Mia Farrow’s sister, she studied meditation in India with the Maharishi and was there when the Beatles showed up. So she hung out with them, caught them up on the meditation course, and John wrote Dear Prudence for her.
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I bought her book and waited in line for her to sign it. She asked my name and when I told her, she said she’d never met a Maggie who wasn’t a cool person. :D She was very nice.

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Katie’s daughter trying on some flowers.
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Abbey Road, scaled to just the right size for Amellia!
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Not so much Shane!
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With Cindi
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Patricia
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With Katie and the Norwegian Beatle show:
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Michael did an amazing show of the whole Memory Almost Full album from Paul McCartney. He really is a stellar lead guitarist too!
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A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

Classicstone
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The Norwegians did a great version of the Let It Be Naked album. And Bjørn gave Katie, Cindi, and I a really sweet shoutout for being fans and friends. <3 IMG_0057

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I brought Kjetil’s son Leo a few little NASA things – it was his first time in the US!
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Saturday morning I had a really nice brunch with Cindi and Jan, who I got to know this year. The service was slow and the chicken and waffles were just ok. The company was great!
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Amelia and her little cardboard guitar!
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Katie and her dad performed at the 5th Beatle concert. They both did so great!
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With Grace and Katie
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Wingsbanned
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I was chatting with the lovely Gretsch guys and was handed this to play. I managed a decent version of Man Who Sold the World for Joe, who seemed tickled by it. A really sweet 17 year old girl picked up a ukulele and we sang Beatles songs together. (At one point there were three girls sitting there noodling with guitars and that was awesome.)Such a perfect Abbey Road on the River experience.

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The Weeklings:
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That guy seemed familiar and then we realized he was with The Orchestra, the ELO band.
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And back over to see my friends play!
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After the show, Kjetil introduced me to his friend Alex and said we had stuff in common – I know she and her husband were friends of his from Nashville and that they’d mastered K’s album. BUT as it turned out, Alex works for an observatory and we do really similar things! So we chattered about astronomy and our jobs for a while and it was super fun. I’m so glad we had the chance to meet!

Then I watched the next show with the guys from up up at the top of the seats:
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We took the shuttle back to the hotel and managed to catch the end of the parade back to the hotel, and Katie and her family:
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We all met up (Mark watched the kids for Katie) and since the midnight concert stuff hadn’t started yet, and since I’d brought a guitar, we headed up to the room and had some wine, beer, and played guitar and sang for a while. It was so so fun. Singalongs with musicians who are good at harmonizing are the best. We played American Girl, Free Falling, It’s a Living Thing, Take It Easy, The Apartment Song and Man Who Sold the World (me on both those), Learning to Fly, Woman…

This was us doing My Back Pages:
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At some point, we realized H has his phone on Facetime, and we were serenading his baby son back in Norway (it was breakfast time there):

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A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

Then we headed downstairs to go to the midnight concert, which was super fun – as was the giant singalong.

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A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

The next morning I got Starbucks for me and Katie and we had some quiet time together, which was so nice. Then she headed off to get the family ready and I headed to Prudence Farrow’s yoga class! It was really fun.

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I was able to catch JR McNeely’s one man show and I’m so glad I did. He was so good and there was a special guest appearance by The LSB Experience in the recorded part of his show. They were so missed this year!

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With Michael:
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Catherine Anne Cook
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A Beach Boys cover band (Sounds of Summer) that was so good they sounded like a record.
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And one more show with the Norwegians:
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This girl was named Molly and it was her birthday. So they sang Obladi Oblada for her:
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Then it was time for them to pack up their gear as it was their last show. H might have bought a TON of guitars while he was here in Louisville. That pile is mostly his:
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We watched the Love show from the back for a bit.
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Then it was time to take a few pics and say goodbye to Kjetil. :-(
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I hung out with the other guys for a while before we all wandered back to the hotel at different times. We made H come down from his room to say goodbye. K and H were flying home the next morning And we also said bye to Bjørn and Vegar – BUT as it turned out, they had a later flight, so we ended up having a nice long breakfast with lots of good conversation the next morning at Panera. A really nice way to end the festival.
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Also I saw this on the elevator my last night, on the way up to bed:
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Flying home past the festival:
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Miss my bestie and all my friends! The weekend always stretches out in front of you and then is gone in a flash!
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