Sid Bernstein - Sets His Sights on Citi Field, NY Sept 6, 2009 16:08:14 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Sept 6, 2009 16:08:14 GMT -5
Sid Bernstein, the man who brought The Beatles to the United States in 1964.
Photo by Tommy Lane.
BEATLE PROMOTER AIDS BORO CHARITY
By Lori Gross
September 3, 2009 3:02 PM
The man responsible for the British Invasion of the Beatles wants to put on an epic concert at Citi Field.
Sid Bernstein sat for an interview in Forest Hills at the Songs of Love office, a non-for profit organization he has become a spokesman for. He spoke about the organization, and recounted his experience bringing the Beatles to America for their sold-out concert at Shea Stadium in 1965.
Bernstein became a concert promoter after serving as a soldier in World War II. "I was a raving lunatic until I became involved in music," he said. He was in England, which he had a fondness for from his time in the war, when he found out about the Beatles from a local newspaper. He hadn't yet heard them (in fact he would not hear them until their famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show) when he called their Manager Brian Epstein at his mother's home in London.
Epstein, he recalled, asked him what he wanted with "my boys." Bernstein's instincts told him what the Beatles were creating in Liverpool was a business venture that would play well in America. According to Bernstein, Epstein was hesitant at first but got "knocked out" when Bernstein said he would arrange a concert for them at Carnegie Hall.
Carnegie Hall agreed to book the Beatles after they got radio play. The sold out concert was a wild success. Bernstein wanted a larger location to sell more tickets, and set his eyes on Shea Stadium. Epstein was again hesitant, worried that the large stadium would mean a lot of empty seats. They turned people away from that concert as well.
After seeing the success of Paul McCartney's July concerts at Citi Field, Bernstein, 91, said he would like to stage a concert at Citi Field himself - though he doesn't know which group he'd have play. In addition to the Beatles, he has worked with the Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, Judy Garland, James Brown, Ray Charles and dozens of other luminaries.
Also on the horizon, Bernstein will make an appearance at Ripe Juice Bar in Forest Hills for a Songs of Love fundraiser event on Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. to hand out signed replica Beatles at Shea posters for $75. The Songs of Love Foundation writes personalized songs for kids and teens with diseases, physical ailments, or emotional challenges to help them cope, free of charge. "Like the Beatles, they truly stand on their own," Bernstein said of the charity. To make a donation visit www.songsoflove.org.
Reach Reporter Lori Gross at email@example.com, or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 124