BeatleLinks LogoNav Panel New Sites Cool Sites Top Rated Fab Forum Add A Site Link To Us Revolution Radio New Products

Go Back   BeatleLinks Fab Forum > Beatles Forums > I Read The News Today


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Jan 23, 2007, 02:47 PM   #1
instant karla
Sgt. Pepper
instant karla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 18, 2006
Location: amherst, ny
Posts: 4,451
Default Collector Can Keep You Looking Fab

Collector Can Keep You Looking Fab

[SIZE=2]By John Kelly
Monday, January 22, 2007; Page B03[/SIZE]

One day, a little over five years ago, Howard County's Russ Lease decided that what the world needed was historically accurate, reasonably priced reproductions of Beatles clothing: stitch-for-stitch copies of the distinctive outfits the famous musicians wore in concert.
Luckily, Russ was in the position to provide them. With his brother, he had owned the Pants Plus clothing store in Landover Mall, from 1976 until the mall closed in 2001. Russ knew the clothing industry. And he knew the Beatles. A fan since childhood, he's a leading collector of high-end Beatles memorabilia: signed letters, rare albums, old performance contracts, one of "The Beatles" drumheads from the front of Ringo's bass drum.

At a Sotheby's auction in 1994, Russ had paid about $5,000 for a tailored tan jacket, size 39 regular, with epaulets, pleated breast pockets and Nehru collar. It was the so-called "Shea jacket," the very jacket Paul McCartney wore when the Beatles performed at Shea Stadium on Aug. 15, 1965.
Recently, Russ, 50, slipped on a pair of white cotton gloves and eased a headless mannequin out of a locked display case. He unbuttoned the Shea jacket and removed it from the form. The fabric was clean and unwrinkled, although there were sweat stains on the acetate lining.
Russ's idea was to reverse-engineer the jacket and create an exact duplicate.
"All of the tailors I spoke with wanted to take it apart," he said. "I said, 'No you can't do that.' "
Finally he found a master tailor in Lehighton, Pa., named Pete Camioni. The two spent four days poring over the jacket, taking measurements, making sketches. Today, you can buy your own Shea jacket -- in tan or black, sizes 38 to 50 -- for $295 from Russ's company,
Next, Russ duplicated the frock coat Ringo wore on the cover of the "Abbey Road" album. (The original -- size 34 short; Ringo is tiny-- is in another display case.) Russ also sells the collarless suits from the Beatles' early days, the narrow-lapel jackets and drainpipe trousers they wore on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and the velvet-collared sharkskin suits seen at the end of "A Hard Day's Night."
These outfits are a godsend for people whose job requires them to dress as John, Paul, George or Ringo. These are the hardworking Beatles tribute bands, made up of musicians who comb their bangs over their foreheads and master not only the chords of the Beatles' songs, but also the distinctive bounce of the Beatles' heads, their knees-bent joggling stance, the slight eyeball flutter that accompanies a lusty "Woooooo!"
These groups -- with such names as the Mersey Beat, the Beat Club, BritBeat, the Beatalls, the Beatlads, the Fab Four, the Fab 5, Fab Forever and Almost Fab -- were cruising thrift shops looking for clothing that could be altered and made to look vaguely Beatlish.
About a third of Russ's suits go to "trib" bands. More recent rockers including Elliot Easton of the Cars and Doug Fieger of the Knack are also customers. So, too, are relatively normal folks.
"Some of it is kind of back in style now," Russ said of the clothes, made at a factory in Pennsylvania that also sews police uniforms. "Then I think there are people who just want to have it to hang in the closet. I have a fair amount of women customers who want [the Shea jacket] in Paul's size -- not to wear it, not to give to their husband, just to have it in their collection, to put it on a mannequin in their Beatles room."
There is something Shroud of Turin-like about the clothes. Looking at them brings a flood of associations. And Russ's memorabilia-filled basement is like a reliquary, adorned as it is with various slivers of the true rock-and-roll cross.
So, Russ, have you ever put on Paul's jacket?
"I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't," he said. "When you get Paul McCartney's Shea jacket, you have to put it on and slap on a Hofner bass and look in the mirror and see how it looks."
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
instant karla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2007, 03:50 PM   #2
Miss Wendy Winters
Wild Honey Pie
Miss Wendy Winters's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 20, 2006
Location: PepperLand
Posts: 745

Wow, I love those! My favorite is the Shea Jacket, it looks beautiful in black too!
The Dollyrockers on myspace!
Miss Wendy Winters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2007, 03:59 PM   #3
instant karla
Sgt. Pepper
instant karla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 18, 2006
Location: amherst, ny
Posts: 4,451

i was waiting for one of our fashionistas to respond! i like the shea in black, too, although i've seen women wearing the classic shea and it looks GREAT.

anybody have one of the jackets?
instant karla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2007, 05:08 PM   #4
Day Tripper
~beatlesfan_linzy~'s Avatar
Join Date: Nov 25, 2006
Location: In a Yellow Submarine
Posts: 361

I wish. God, wouldn't it be great to get one?
do you want to know a secret?
~beatlesfan_linzy~ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 24, 2007, 09:05 AM   #5
biglou114's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 09, 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 2,094
Send a message via AIM to biglou114

How I wish I had enough cash for the collarless suit.
biglou114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 08, 2007, 01:41 PM   #6
beatlebangs1964's Avatar
Join Date: May 23, 2001
Posts: 37,562

Send a message via AIM to beatlebangs1964

George was so adorable with his thick, wavy hair, serious expression and distinctive stand in his 1965 Shea Stadium jacket. What size jacket did George wear?
With a love like that, you know you should be glad, yeah, yeah, yeah!-- Beatles, 1963

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind. -- George Harrison, 1966
beatlebangs1964 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 08, 2007, 01:56 PM   #7
Rellevart's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 15, 2000
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Posts: 13,764

Send a message via MSN to Rellevart

One of my friends bought the Ringo frock coat last year at Beatlefest and it really does look very cool on him. Some of my tribute band friends have ordered them too and they're supposedly quite well made. I think they'd be cool to wear, but that bit about people buying them to hang them on a manniquin is...well...pretty creepy.
I go back so far, I'm in front of me...
Rellevart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 04, 2007, 10:39 PM   #8
Miss Emily
Fool On The Hill
Miss Emily's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 11, 2006
Posts: 43

Dude! That's awesome - and I'll tell you why...

My sister was modeling hairstyles at a bridal show about a week ago and my mom and I went to support. In my bordom, I actually figured out what my dream wedding would be (not that I'm getting married anytime soon or anything, I was just bored) and I decided the perfect wedding would be a Summer of Love theamed wedding - and part of the detail would be that the men would have to wear Beatle suits. :D :D :D

At least I know where to get them now. :D
Miss Emily is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fab Four Fans to Mark Beatles Trip to New York shyGirl I Read The News Today 1 Jan 18, 2004 11:08 AM
Two day's Harrisong suggestion Volume 4 FPSHOT Crackerbox Palace 307 Oct 24, 2003 12:40 AM
Today's Harrisong suggestion FPSHOT Crackerbox Palace 236 Mar 01, 2003 05:53 AM
Cloud Nine Survivor FPSHOT Crackerbox Palace 113 Sep 20, 2001 10:01 AM
Beatle worthy solo songs jtal909 And Your Bird Can Sing 45 Oct 22, 2000 02:02 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site Features
Search Links

  Advanced Search
Category Jump





New User Sign-Up!
Lost Password?
Beatles History

The costs of running our database and discussion forum are steadily rising. Any help we receive is greatly appreciated. Click HERE for more information about donating to BeatleLinks.
» Chat Room
» Current News
» Monthly Contest
» Interviews Database
» Random Site
» Banner Exchange
» F.A.Q.
» Advertise
» Credits
» Legal
» Contact Us
Copyright © 2000-2020 BeatleLinks
All Rights Reserved