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EDITORIAL: Come Together to Our Beatles-Themed Party: A Magical Mystery Tour of Fun

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by Nat Frothingham

You can win this original print at Bridge-Mania on July 10! This photo was taken by Curt Gunther during the Beatles' 1964 U.S. West Coast Tour.
You can win this original print at Bridge-Mania on July 10! This photo was taken by Curt Gunther during the Beatles’ 1964 U.S. West Coast Tour.

One of the surprising outcomes of our fabulously successful (February to March) 30 day-Kickstarter campaign that raised an essential $12,000+ to benefit The Bridge was the Internet itself and the range of old and sometimes distant friends who saw the campaign online. Some responded with donations. Others phoned with excitement.

I was in touch with a friend who used to live in Montpelier but now lives in England. I was in touch with another friend who used to work at Capitol Copy in Montpelier but who now lives in Halifax. Then out of the blue came a phone call from longtime Montpelier property owner and friend Jeff Jacobs in Miami.

Jacobs, like the others, phoned The Bridge days after we went over the top with the Kickstarter campaign. He proposed an idea of his own for a fundraising event to benefit the paper. He offered to make his popular gathering and drinking establishment Charlie-O’s available to The Bridge for a wing ding that would bring people together to enjoy each other and he said he would contribute all the money taken on that single night to The Bridge.

Soon enough, a group of us at The Bridge huddled with Jesse Jacobs (Jeff’s son) and Jen, his bar manager at Charlie-Os. And we hit on a theme we all liked — “What about an evening that celebrated the Beatles?” Beatles music — the British Invasion — a costume party — raffle and we set the night of the event as Friday, July 10. All are invited to the party. Come as a Beatle. Come as a flower child. Come as an adoring Beatles fan. Come as a hippie. Come as Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Now, about the intimate black and white photo above. In organizing the July 10 party, we have been searching for Beatles memorabilia and our Managing Editor Carla Occaso visited yard sales, thrift stores, used book stores. She came upon a stack of old Rolling Stone magazines. None had Beatles on the cover but she hit pay dirt when she found a headline announcing a Beatles story inside the magazine of a July 1989 issue.  The story featured rare photos from the Beatles 1964 coast-to-coast tour by photographer Curt Gunther.

Carla Googled Curt Gunther and lucky for us that same collection of rare photos was being exhibited that very week at the IceHouse Gallery in Petaluma, California. She contacted the gallery and found a way to reach Steve Gunther, the son of Curt Gunther who had died in 1991. Steve is a photographer in his own right and was not only willing for The Bridge to use any of his father’s rare Beatles photographs in promoting the Charlie-Os event but he offered to send us an authentic (Curt Gunther) print from the 1964 tour. That print appears on the right. It will be auctioned off at the event we’re calling Bridge Mania.

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