Beatlemania Sweeps Israeli City

By Nathan Burstein

Published April 22, 2009, issue of May 01, 2009.
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The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” is temporarily being transplanted to Israel.

Forty years after the release of the classic rock ’n’ roll album, the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon will pay tribute to John, Paul, George and Ringo with a three-day Beatles Festival, set to kick off on May 14 at the city’s Steinberg Center for the Arts. As part of the festival, fans of the Fab Four will be treated to what’s being billed as the first-ever Israeli performance of the album in its entirety, as well as to an exhibition devoted to the band, and the premiere of a new Beatles-inspired musical, “Na’amin Bi’Ahava” (“We’ll Believe in Love”), written specially for the event. For one day, Holon will rename one of its streets Abbey Road, with passersby invited to have their photos taken as they cross the street in single file, mimicking the famed image on the album’s cover.

Now in its second year, the festival will feature concerts by some of the country’s most popular singers, including Efrat Gosh, Maor Cohen and Miri Mesika. An American Beatles’ tribute band, Magical Mystery Tour, will also perform, and The Beatles’ fascination with India will be saluted with a performance involving a sitar.

One of the real Beatles, Paul McCartney, performed his first concert in Israel last September, more than four decades after the group was banned from playing in Tel Aviv because of fears that it would corrupt Israeli youth.

In April, John Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird, traveled to Tel Aviv for the opening of Imagine Liverpool, a photo exhibition devoted to the band and to the Liverpool Football Club.


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