Barb Fenick is a well-known name here at Meet the Beatles...for Real. Barb and her fanzine, the Write Thing was the inspiration for me to have this blog. I tried to take the fan community she has established through The Write Thing and turn it into a 21st century version. I have never met Barb nor I have ever spoken to her in any way, but I have just so much respect for her. I think if I ever did meet her, it would be like meeting a celebrity to me. Without Barb this blog would have exist and I just really owe her a lot for doing the ground breaking work in focusing on the Beatles' fans in the 1970's and 1980's.
Anyhow---a wonderful piece was written about her by Jon Beam at the Star Tribune and I really wanted to share it all with you.
Barb Fenick still has her ticket stub, the Sunday Minneapolis Tribune from Aug. 22, 1965, and all kinds of magazine clippings.
“I was obsessed about the Beatles,” she said. “I wouldn’t have missed that concert for the world. It was fun. It was disappointing, too, because we weren’t that close to them. I was sitting in the front row, but it didn’t make much difference because they were on second base. My goal was to get closer.”
She did. First at a concert in Chicago, then outside Abbey Road studio, where the Beatles were recording in London in 1969. She met all four Mop Tops and even went to Paul McCartney’s house once.
Fenick was so obsessed that in 1966, at age 15, she started a Beatles newsletter using the mimeograph machine at Highland Park High School in St. Paul at the encouragement of a teacher who had a photo of Ringo Starr on his bulletin board. (“He didn’t like the Beatles; he just thought Ringo was funny looking.”) She also started a Beatles fan club: Father Lennon’s Many Children (which was eventually renamed the Write Thing).
For 20 years, Fenick made a living publishing the Write Thing magazine four to six times a year and running the fan club, which peaked at 2,000 members. She even gave copies of her magazine to McCartney in the late ’70s. Over the years, she attended about 40 Beatles conventions and, in the 1980s, published two volumes for “Collecting the Beatles,” a pre-Internet guide to Fab Four collectibles.
In 1986, Fenick stopped writing the Write Thing and practicing Beatlemania. Her second child was born and her Beatles room became her son’s bedroom. After seeing McCartney in concert in 1993, she gave up going to see him.
“The tickets are out of my price range,” said the Roseville grandmother of four. “Plus, I’m spoiled. I saw Wings in England and St. Paul in the front row.”