Ken Mansfield lived the life that to many people is only a dream.
Mansfield was a good friend with members of The Beatles. He promoted their West Coast tours in the 1960s, managed Apple Records U.S. operations and generally led the sex, drugs and rock 'n roll lifestyle.
He fondly remembers The Beatles and still keeps in touch with the two surviving former Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
But his life changed dramatically in the 1980s, when he became flat broke and then found Jesus Christ through a lady he met in Nashville and eventually married.
Mansfield, 70, told more than 1,000 people on Sunday about his experience with The Beatles and with God during both services at Bear Creek Community Church in south Lodi.
Mansfield showed church members and guests a 20-minute DVD about highlights from his career with The Beatles, including the legendary "rooftop" performance in England of the hit "Get Back," which was The Beatles' final performance together.
"You can see me in the film because I'm the only one on the roof with a white coat," Mansfield said in a phone interview last week.
Mansfield worked in the space program before working for The Beatles' record label, Capitol Records, when he was 27. He was head of promotions for California, and it was his job to entertain members of The Beatles when their two concerts in the 1960s reached the Golden State.
Mansfield became friends with the Fab Four due to their mystique of California. He joined the members of The Beatles as they indulged in sex and drugs. He even got an Asian guru through George Harrison.
"We kept our personal relationships," Mansfield said of The Beatles. "They're very loyal to old friendship, so I was one of the inner circle."
Mansfield said he was deeply saddened over the murder of John Lennon in 1980.
"I felt like I didn't have any right to feel more of a loss than anyone else," Mansfield said. "I felt we all lost somebody."
While the surviving Beatles are friends with Mansfield, they went their separate ways, he said.
"Paul sent me a message last year," Mansfield said.
In the mid-1980s, Mansfield went broke and returned to his former roots in Nashville, but he couldn't get a job. There, he met the woman, Connie Mansfield, who was to become his life.
They really cared about each other, but the fact that Connie was a devout Christian and Mansfield had his Asian guru was a deal breaker.
"We had a lot of arguments (about God)," Ken Mansfield said last week. "We finally worked it out - and she was right."
They will celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day.
While discussing his transition from the music business to God during Sunday's services at Bear Creek, Mansfield said, "I guess I went from the Fab Four (The Beatles) to the Big 3 (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)."
In another play on words, Mansfield said, "I went from John, Paul, George and Ringo to reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."
Mansfield credits God for turning him to Jesus by causing an ego-driven Mansfield to lose all his money.
"If I had maintained my level of success, I would have never turned to God," he said.
• From "A Little Help From My Friends": "Do you need anybody? I need Jesus in my life."
"I'm redeemed by the blood of my Friend."
• "All You Need is Love" became "All You Need is Christ's Love."
• "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" became "One of the Many Grateful Worship Bands."
For more information on Ken Mansfield's books, visit http://www.fabwhitebook.com.
- News-Sentinel staff.
Bear Creek's worship team performed five Beatles songs while changing lyrics to reflect a Christian theme. Mya Wright and her team from Bear Creek sewed outfits depicting Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for four of the band members.
Worship Pastor Jebby Moates rewrote the lyrics to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "A Little Help From My Friends," "All You Need is Love," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "The End." The group got a standing ovation during its long guitar riff on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
Today, Ken and Connie Mansfield live in the mountains above Murphys. They travel all over the country promoting his books about The Beatles and Jesus. He also wrote a book with Patti Boyd, George Harrison's ex-wife who later married guitar legend Eric Clapton, one of Harrison's best friends.
People who attended the first service on Sunday said they were impressed with the program.
"It was great - a very moving message where God put (Mansfield) through a series of events in his life and turned him around," Morada resident Ron Kreutner said.
Kreutner's wife, Geri, described Mansfield as "very genuine, very humble."
Geri Kreutner recalls the excitement when The Beatles became a household name after they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 - their first appearance in America.
"I was probably more of a Beach Boys fan, but The Beatles were up there, too," Ron Kreutner said.
"I thought it was a really good message," said Lodi resident Nicole Bras, whose mother is more familiar with The Beatles than she is.