The third annual Beatles Tribute Cruise has just ended and I need to get my thoughts and emotions down while they are still fresh in my head. This cruise was totally different from the past two as our group of 200 Beatles fans shared in the experience of seven concerts in seven nights including three All Star Jams. It all started the first day as Angela (our fantastic travel coordinator) and I met with our Special Guests to go over the program. I was immediately hit with a great surprise as stepping in as George for REVOLUTION was Jimmy Pou who I consider to be the best George Harrison impersonator in the world. Jimmy is an old friend of mine and we hit it off right from the start. Next I approached Tim Piper (REVOLUTION’S John and its leader) and asked him if he minded if Laurence Juber and Mark Hudson joined the band on stage for a few numbers. He responded that he would love that and so that night at our BTC dance party “L J” and Mark joined the band for three songs. Little did I know that Tim had his own ideas about how to put these two FABtastic performers to good use. Our opening night cocktail reception and Dance Party was a huge hit and our BTCers were dancing to REVOLUTION, “L J” and Mark Hudson till the wee hours of the morning.
Beatles Tribute Cruise 2012 featured two Private shows with Guitarist Extraordinaire Laurence Juber thrilling with his performances from a few of the intimate lounges aboard the OASIS of the SEAS. We all laughed our asses off when Mark Hudson performed two of his one man Rock and Comedy shows (check the BTC Facebook page for Mark’s story about working with Ozzy Osbourne…its hilarious). He is one hell of a performer and incredibly friendly, warm and funny. To say that Mark made a HUGE contribution to the cruise would be a major understatement. Mark and “L J” also offered private guitar and songwriting lessons to a few of our lucky cruisers and it looks like Mark wants to produce one of these songs and release it. It was a very poignant song written by Lee Hall (remember that name) on the night that John was taken from us. I reminded Mark that Brian Wilson wrote “Warmth of the Sun” the night that JFK was shot and he gave me one of those “we think alike” looks and I knew he had something special in mind…we’ll see!!!
We were privileged to have one of the last REAL Beatles Insiders with us in Tony Bramwell who brought with him a few of the films he made with the Beatles and gave us the inside story of what really went behind closed doors on at Apple Corp. Tony was with us last year and we could not have been happier to have us join us again.
Our house band, Revolution played two concerts for us including one from the ship’s main theater where Tim Piper arranged to have “L J” and Mark join him on stage again for three more songs. One of the highlights of the cruise was our Unplugged Celebration of the 48th Anniversary of the Beatles Appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show with Tim Piper, Jimmy Pou, John J. Hepburn (from Revolution) “L J” and Mark Hudson. It was obvious that all the musicians were having a great time and so were our cruisers.
We added a screening of The Love We Make, Trivia Contests with Joe Johnson and our raffle to support Thrive Survive of Los Angeles to round out the program and as they say…A Splendid Time Was Had By All.
I would like to personally thank Donnie G. from Beatle Brunch for his behind the scenes work and his handling of our special guests while on board and his partner Joe Johnson of Beatle Brunch who, for the 3rd year in a row, handled the EMCEE chores with the style and class we have become accustomed to from Joe. It is truly a pleasure working with these two professionals. I would also like to thank Tim Piper and all of the members of Revolution who not only put on three great shows for our group but were open and friendly with all of our BTCers.
I cannot leave out our VERY special guests Laurence Juber, Mark Hudson and Tony Bramwell who took the time and effort to not just put on great shows but to take pictures with every guest and graciously sign every autograph there were asked to. A group of gentlemen I would be proud to have with me on any of our Beatles Tribute Cruises.
I must take a moment to thank Angela Dedomenico who put this whole thing together. Working on a Cruise Ship to put together an event is nothing like working in a hotel. Every detail has to be approved by the Cruise line and then they have the right to rearrange your schedule anytime they want. Angela used all of knowledge and clout to hold our schedule together. This is on top of booking cabins for 200 people and handling most of their travel arrangements. It’s a monumental task and Angela makes it look easy…it’s not!
I would also like to thank the 200 Beatles Fans who joined us from all over the world. It was obvious how much fun they were having and that makes all the work and planning worth it.
Now…time to start planning Beatles Tribute Cruise 2013…as always Angela and I promise it will be Bigger and Better!!!