If you are a fan of rock 'n' roll history then the Rock Con festival in New Jersey is the place you want to be. On three days — July 30 through August 1 — the festival promotes itself as the "Weekend of 100 Rock Stars," and it takes place at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center in East Rutherford, NJ.
Scheduled events include live concerts (which include unplugged performances), panels, meet-and-greet autographs, and a music & memorabilia marketplace.
Special guests include Beach Boys founding memberAl Jardine, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Tommy James, Johnny Winter, Little Anthony, and Andy Kim. And that's just for starters. There will be musicians from every rock genre, from The Hollies to Suicidal Tendencies.
Andy Kim, the songwriter of nine Billboard Top 40 hits, including #1 songs "Rock Me Gently" and "Sugar, Sugar," thinks Rock Con is a golden opportunity for musicians and fans alike.
"I've done festivals as a performer before but not this kind of an event," says Kim. "How could meeting fans and being surrounded by musicians not be a positive experience? I’m excited about meeting some of the artists I’ve not met before... I am still a fan at heart."
Themes for the weekend include "Lennon Legacy," with special guests from The Beatles' history. For instance, Guitarist Carlos Alomar, who co-wrote "Fame" with John Lennon & David Bowie, joins the "Lennon Legacy" theme with special guests Sid Bernstein (world-famous promoter who brought The Beatles to America), Dennis Ferrante (John Lennon's recording engineer), Shaun Weiss (Beatlesattorney Nat Weiss' son - the only person who attended both Ed Sullivan shows, the Shea Stadium concerts & the Beatles' final rooftop concert), Gary Van Scyoc (Elephants Memory, John Lennon's Live In NYC band), Earl Slick (Bowie guitarist who, like Carlos Alomar, also played on Lennon's "Double Fantasy" & "Milk and Honey" sessions), May Pang (John Lennon's personal assistant/girlfriend) and Clay Cole (legendary New York area rock & roll TV host and DJ who had both The Beatles & The Rolling Stones on the very same telecast). And The Smithereens, who have recorded Beatles cover albums, and members of the Garage Band Beatles series, will also be appearing.
In a busy festival season, it is clear that Rock Con stands out as something unique for the lover of rock 'n' roll music.
"With all due respect to any shows out there, we don't know of any other festivals like ROCK CON," says Rock Con producer Charles Rosenay. "Other events are concerts only, or are an autograph show which have a few guest appearances. Rock Con features so many other amazing elements."
For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Pre-order the book, "John Lennon: Life is What Happens, Music, Memories & Memorabilia"
• Rely on the standard on 45 RPM record pricing: "Goldmine® Price Guide to 45 RPM Records, 7th Edition"
• Get the popular CD "Goldmine Fabulous Fifties with Elvis & Friends"