Monday, December 03, 2001

Beatles fans meet to mourn Harrison

Local area has a club and newsletter

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With “My Sweet Lord' playing on the sound system and candles and incense burning around a dozen photographs, more than 30 Beatles fans gathered Sunday night to pay tribute to the late George Harrison.

        “I want to thank everybody for coming out for a celebration of George Harrison,” said David Bechtol, co-owners of the Zen and Now coffeehouse on Bridgetown Road, which played host to the tribute.

        “I've been a lifelong Beatles fan and I just wanted to do something to bring Beatles fans together.”

        “George was a definite spiritual influence on the community and myself,” Mr. Bechtol said. "He introduced a lot of people to Eastern religion and philosophies.”

        Mr. Harrison, known as the “Quiet Beatle,” died Thursday at age 58. He had been suffering from an inoperable brain tumor.

Harrison tribute and coverage from Associated Press
        Tim Culbertson, 51, of Cheviot, showed his devotion to Mr. Harrison by holding up a large photo poster of the Beatles during the hourlong vigil.

        Mr. Culbertson, who recently purchased the poster for $10 at a flea market, was at Cincinnati Gardens when the Beatles performed in the Queen City in 1964.

        “It's really been a tough weekend for all of us,” Diana Curtis of Covington told her fellow Beatles fans.

        “I will do Christmas, but it will be with a heavy heart. He's been my spiritual leader.”

        The 49-year-old Ms. Curtis is editor of a monthly newsletter published by the local 100-member Beatles Booster Club.

        “It's a labor of love,” she said.

        Eric Robinette, 31, of Dayton, who described himself as a “major Beatles maniac,” said he was overcome with a “rush of emotion” when he learned of Mr. Harrison's death early Friday.

        An entertainment reporter for the Middletown Journal, Mr. Robinette read from an article he wrote for the newspaper. What he most admired about Mr. Harrison, he said, was “how deeply he believed in love.”

        Mr. Robinette said he was introduced to the group's music by “listening to music my dad played.” Bill Fox, the 50-year-old president of the Beatles Booster Club, whose members made up a large number at the vigil, said the group's mission is to bring together area Beatles fans.

        The Milford resident, who resembles the late Beatle John Lennon, has won several lookalike contests.

        “It's an interesting hobby,” he said. “I make very little money from it. It's a lot of fun.”


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