92nd STREET Y Beatles Beat Brings
Big Bucks At Benefit
Story and photos by Tim Boxer
HE theme of New York’s 92nd Street Y annual benefit gala was a tribute to The Beatles. Sid Bernstein, who introduced The Beatles in America – in 1964 at Carnegie Hall – was in the audience applauding.
Melissa Manchester, who sang All the Lonely People, said she was 14 when got into a limo to go to Forest Hills to see The Beatles. She paid tribute to the Y when she mentioned her father who was a bassoonist with the Metropolitan Opera. "The Y Youth Orchestra was the first orchestra my father played with when he was 17."
Richie Havens, who said that at his age he’s glad to be anywhere, sang Strawberry Fields Forever.
Peter and Gordon (who are Peter Asher and Gordon Waller) said that Paul McCartney wrote World Without Love for them.
Most unusual was The Backwards, a Beatles tribute band from Slovakia that keeps the Beatles legend alive with a sound-alike performance. They launched their career in 1996, seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent repeal of the ban on Beatles music which was condemned as decadent.
Among those applauding in the audience were Michael J. Fox and Tracey Pollan, Christine and Richard Mack, Cheryl and Philip Milstein, Elie and Rory Tahari, Donny Deutsch, and Debbie and Sol Adler.
Gala chairs were Stacey and Matthew Bronfman, Lizzie and Jon Tisch, Tami and Fredric Mack, Eleanor and Rodney Propp, Carolyn and Curtis Schenker, Elizabeth and Shahab Karmely, Erica and Michael Karsch, and Cathy and Mack Lasry.
Fredric Mack, board president, announced that a record $2.8 million had been raised.