Blacksburg Beatles fan to host radio special
CHRISTIANSBURG — Many radio stations across the country are fixated on playing only the latest, most popular songs. It’s easy to say the Beatles haven’t been heard on mainstream radio in quite some time.
But one man is aiming to change that.
In fact, Fred Lark, otherwise known as “The Beatle Guy,” has made it his personal mission.
To say Lark, 52, of Blacksburg, loves the Beatles may be an understatement.
On Dec. 22, Lark will team up with radio disc jockey Pete French of WUVT radio from 7:30 to 9 a.m. to bring the Beatles back to the New River Valley. The radio show will feature Christmas songs from the Beatles intertwined with special messages the band used to send to fans during their career.
“The Beatles Christmas Album” was not commercialized, Lark said, and was something the band gave to fans to thank them for their support. The album will make up most of the show, in addition to a few songs from a tribute band called “The Fab Four.”
Lark and French have done two radio shows on 90.7 FM that focused on two of the Beatles’ former band members George Harrison and Sir Paul McCartney. In the past, Lark has also done commercial radio shows featuring the music of the Beatles.
As Christmas approached, Lark hoped he could once again use Virginia Tech’s airwaves to bring the sound of the Beatles back to the area. French obliged, and the “Fab Four Christmas Special” is on.
Lark said he was a “hip kid” when the Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
“I got that feel for it and bought bits and pieces of their stuff growing up as you did back then,” Lark said.
Lark said he would have to save up an entire month’s allowance just to be able to get a single, and then he’d trade whatever memorabilia from the Beatles he had with his neighbors.
But it was in the ’70s when Lark’s love for the Beatles intensified.
“It got to more of a serious nature in terms of collecting,” Lark said. “I collected anything they did on vinyl and items with their name on it. I don’t have a house full of stuff, but I do have some autographs.”
In 1980, while in his dorm room at Ferrum College, Lark recalled the emotions he felt the night he found out John Lennon had been murdered.
“I needed some comforting,” Lark said. “I didn’t cry until the next day when they played ‘Imagine’ on the radio. I lost it at that point, and I don’t cry very often.”
As the years have passed, Lark said, college students know less and less about the Beatles.
“These kids grow up with their own type of music, but I think as they grow up, they’ll merge toward that sound, and this show will help them along,” Lark said. “I think it’s the best music ever produced.”
Lark acknowledges that not everyone is a fan of the Beatles, but he thinks the show, especially the Christmas messages, will be something WUVT’s “eclectic” listenership will certainly appreciate.
“Hopefully someone will listen to this and think it was a happy hour-and-a-half and it was different, too,” Lark said.
“Then they can go on about their day and tackle whatever it is they have to do.”
To listen to WUVT’s online live stream, visit www.wuvt.vt.edu/listenlive.
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
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