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An affinity for the Beatles was the starting point for John Byrne’s office, where the retired Coca-Cola exec now relaxes among his beloved British icons. Cartersville-based interior designer Beverly Baribault deftly channeled Carnaby Street—circa 1968—throughout the space.
Six months before his 1980 assassination, John Lennon took his four-year-old son Sean on vacation to Bermuda while wife Yoko Ono ran the family business back home in New York. For nearly five years, Lennon’s guitar had hung, unstrummed, on a wall above the couple’s bed. He canceled his subscription to Billboard, learned how to bake bread, and became a househusband and stay-at-home dad for Sean.
This week, Chamblee High School graduate Ryan White’s critically acclaimed Beatles documentary Good Ol' Freda comes full circle in two ways. The previously untold story of Freda Kelly, the Liverpool teen who became the Fab Four’s secretary, bowed on British television Tuesday night, and on Friday Good Ol' Freda returns to White’s hometown for one last 2013 theatrical run at The Plaza Theatre.
Just like the Beatlemania craze it chronicles, fans across the globe can’t seem to get enough of Atlanta documentary filmmaker Ryan White’s Good ‘Ol Freda. After its Atlanta premiere last March (the same week the film had its world premiere at SXSW in Austin), the doc chronicling the Beatles’ loyal but unsung secretary Freda Kelly, has become a favorite on the festival circuit.
"I only knew her from chit-chatting at family weddings," White says laughing. "I didn't know her that well. I knew I really liked talking to her but my aunt and her girlfriends all came out of that same Liverpool music scene and they now work as secretaries or teachers or in a shop. Everyone was somehow connected to the Beatles back then but they don't really discuss it. I just always thought Freda was this legal secretary. I never knew the backstory."