Beatles Festival in Russia

Russia's first nationwide Beatles Festival began at the Moscow Variety Theater on John Lennon's birthday, October 9.

The stage was turned into a "strawberry field," with a "yellow submarine" hanging over it. The "crew" of the submarine consisted of Russian pop stars.

The organizers, who called the event a "Beatles Party," came up with quite a lot of surprises, including a rendition of "Hey Jude" by the maitre of the Russian pop scene, Iosif Kobzon, a melodies' arrangement based on the White Album tunes by the guitar virtuoso Viktor Zinchuk, and a reggae version of "A Hard Day's Night" by Retsital.

The biggest surprise, however, came when the capital's Deputy Mayor Mikhail Men appeared on the stage, uttering a few words of greetings on behalf of the Moscow government before joining other participants in the festival to deliver a pot-pourri of songs taken off the Liverpool Four's celebrated album, "Abbey Road." The concert ended late at night with all participants gathering on stage to sing the famous anthem, "All You Need Is Love." The "Beatles Party" is now moving on to St. Petersburg and Samara, Volga Area.

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