This lovely photo is by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Are you a Beatles fan? Do you enjoy opportunities to discuss your favorite Beatles song? If so, read on.

Earlier this week, I received an email from Frank Kresen, a connection of mine on LinkedIn. Frank is reaching out to people and asking them to share with him their favorite Beatles songs along with a 300-350 word explanation of the reason for their selection. He then plans to gather the entries into a tribute book for his late brother, Kevin Kresen, who was a major Beatles fan. Im sharing this here because it seems like a wonderful opportunity to help someone honor a loved one while gushing about a favorite Beatles song. So you can better understand this opportunity, I shared the email he sent me below with his permission.

I’m Frank Kresen, older brother to the late Kevin Kresen.

It’s been 15 months+ since Kevin passed away (March 6, 2020), and, sometimes, it feels like I’m never going to be able to come to terms with his passing. We were about as close as two human beings can possibly get. Founded on respect and lots of common ground, we were the world’s smallest Mutual Admiration Society. My world will never be the same with him gone, and I will, for the rest of my days, divide my life into Life With Kevin and Life Without Kevin periods.

It meant so much to me that so many people—from all over the country—came to pay their last respects to Kevin. I saw people at his memorial and burial services whom I hadn’t seen in decades. It was a testament to the kind of person Kevin was and to the lasting effect he had on many people’s lives.

In almost-daily email exchanges in the year before Kevin died, he and I came up with a unique idea for a creative project. Between the two of us, we knew a lot of people who love the music of The Beatles. Had these people ever been asked what their favorite Beatles song is — and why?

Kevin was The Ultimate Beatles Fan.

When The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, Kevin was 10 going on 11, and I was 18 going on 19. For all of the fanfare and mythology surrounding Kevin’s now-infamous “Beatles Club” in the basement of our house at 2839 So. Tripp, on Chicago’s Southwest Side, many people probably don’t realize that I never saw it. It wasn’t up for very long, and I was away at college in Milwaukee. I might have seen a photo of it one time.

I knew the general idea behind “The Beatles Club”: Kevin, the two Polish brothers from across the street, and someone else (I don’t know who) fashioned a fake sound-system-and-instruments setup (including a full drum set, guitars, bass, microphones and amplifiers) from cardboard or whatever else they could find. Then they would play Beatles records on a phonograph and lip-synch the songs. It was exactly what I would have done at the age of 10, had The Beatles been around then. It was a very Kresen-brothers type of having fun. (Kevin’s son Dustin related to me how his Dad told him how  worried he’d be, as a 10-year-old, that I would go down into the basement with my friends and perhaps disturb “The Beatles Club” setup.)

Yes, I’d come home for holidays from college, but all I ever used the 
basement for was to launder my clothes. It was dark down there, and I knew enough, from reading letters that my Mom would send to me in college, not to wander over to the “Beatles Club” area and perhaps accidentally walk into something. I can remember “hanging out” in the basement only once while The Beatles Club setup might have been there. I was home for some reason or another from school, and one of the singers in my first musical group (“The Summertime Singers,” 1963 to 1965), Ray Utterback, came over. We went down to the basement, sat on a mattress on the opposite side of the basement from “The Beatles Club,” and sang songs while I played guitar, late into the night. I remember particularly a terrific first-try rendition of The Beatles’ “Act Naturally” from that night.

In February 2004, my sister Mandy turned 40, and Kevin arranged a surprise birthday party for her. At the time, I was playing in “The Dinosaurs,” a two-man musical group (plus “Rex,” our electronic percussion machine) with Doug Breckenridge, also of Kansas City. We drove to Chicago from Kansas City — along with all of our live performance equipment — so that The Dinosaurs could play live in the basement of the house in Oak Lawn where our Mom and Stepfather, John Smith — along with our brother Ernie (“Corky”)   and his son, Eric — used to live.

One of the most memorable moments from that weekend was when Kevin drew aside a curtain, behind which was revealed a life-sized replica of the original 1964 “Beatles Club” setup — right down to the cardboard guitars and homemade drums and microphones. Since the original “Beatles Club” had come into existence in the same month as Mandy had been born (February 1964), Kevin thought it would be the perfect occasion to revive and reconstruct this long-lost memory. I, Doug, Kevin, and Mike Kiczula took turns at being each Beatle and lip-synched our way through about four Beatles songs.

So, getting back to that creative project that I mentioned at the beginning of this letter: I want to compile a collection of different people’s favorite Beatles song and put them into a book. Most hardcore Beatles fans will probably protest and say, “That’s impossible!!! There’re too many to pick from!!! By picking a ‘favorite,’ you’d practically be disrespecting all the rest of them!!!”

But I know that’s not true. Eventually, by a process of elimination,  everyone who receives this email should be able to whittle it down to just one. (I picked my favorite Beatles song decades ago.) Then, I want you to write maybe 300 to 350 words about why you chose that particular song.

I want to call it “A Cellar Full of Boys” and dedicate it to Kevin.

There was an early (around late 1964) paperback book I read about The Beatles titled “A Cellar Full of Noise.” This was, no doubt, a reference to The Cavern Club in Liverpool, where The Beatles rose to prominence before and after their dues-paying years in Hamburg, Germany. The Cavern Club was, literally, in a basement.

I went to England for two months in 1972 and made the pilgrimage to that club in Liverpool. Although it was the middle of the day, and the club wasn’t even open yet, the custodian was kind enough to let me in. I managed to pluck a thread from the stage-floor carpet. This was like finding the Holy Grail to me; likely, all four Beatles had walked on that thread. (I kept that thread in my wallet for several years. One time, when I was hitchhiking from Kansas City to Chicago, I slid down from the seat of the semi-trailer truck cab I was in when the driver left me off in the south Chicago suburbs, and my wallet must have popped out of my back pocket. I didn’t notice it was gone until it was way too late.)

There was a song in the Top 40 in 1964 or 1965 by the female singer Petula Clark, a Brit who had scored a No. 1 Top 40 hit with “Downtown.” She followed it up with “I Know a Place,” another good song that also sold well. The phrase “A cellar full of noise” appears also in “I Know a Place,” which, like “Downtown,” celebrates the general youthful music-club-life exuberance of the time in London and other UK cities and towns. Many other British Invasion bands left the clubs behind and moved into the Big Time,   following in the wake of The Beatles’ success in bringing new life to Rock ’n Roll.

But, for this project to be a success and a worthy tribute to Kevin, I’ll need more email addresses from, essentially, two different groups of people:

1) Everyone who came to Kevin’s visitation, memorial service, and burial service. I collected a few email addresses while I was there in Chicago in March 2020, but I’ll need help to get the rest. So far, I’ve managed to compile about 116 email addresses.

That’s not enough to fill a book. A typical book page can hold 300-350 words — so that means one person’s selection per page. 116 pages — and that’s only if everyone takes up this challenge — makes for a rather thin book.

2) Anyone you can think of who might want to take part in this book project. Knowing Kevin personally is not a prerequisite for being included in this book project. But loving The Beatles is. Kevin wouldn’t want it any other way.

So, start with yourself. Put in the time, think about it very critically,   employ the “Winner by Process of Elimination” method, choose a song, and write about it. Then put that directly into an email, or put it into a Word Document attached to an email, and send it to me at Then, try to get me some more email addresses.

DEADLINE: ASAP — but take your time with the selection of a favorite Beatles song and what you write about why you chose it.


Frank W. Kresen

Frank Kresen |


If you’re not comfortable with sharing your email address but you’d still like to participate, you can connect with Frank via LinkedIn here. No compensation is mentioned, but Frank hasnt asked for any submission fees, either. I’ve agreed to participate by sending Frank my entry. It’s hard to only pick one song because there are so many that I enjoy, but I’ve narrowed my selection down to three. Even if you don’t wish to participate, feel free to comment below with your favorite Beatles song because . . . I’m curious now.

Disclaimer: Frank seemed legit, but I dont personally know him, so I’m obligated to add this disclaimer for legal reasons. As with all things, use your best judgment before making any decision. Please see my policy regarding third-party links here. My only “affiliation” with Frank is through the email I shared and our chat on LinkedIn. I have no control over the tribute book’s compilation or publication, I receive no compensation or other personal gain for my assistance in sharing the word about the tribute book, and I am not liable for any issues anyone faces outside of my website.