"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My Beatlemania... 50 years late. Early memories.

Let me catch you up on why I am going through a Beatlemania phase in my life fifty years after the Fab Four were popular with the rest of the world. In May Sirius Radio opened up a Beatles channel and I've been listening to it every time I am in the car. Their music just sweeps over me and reminds me of so much of my childhood, listening to it is like walking down a flower-strewn pathway of memories. The music has led me to books, of course, and to videos and movies. I have been immersing myself in everything Beatles for the past five months and my appetite seems insatiable. I keep thinking that this Beatlemania-phase will pass. But it has not subsided one bit since its inception in May.

Come with me on a yellow submarine full of Beatles memories from my point of view.
Poster similar to one my best
friend's sister has posted in their
house.

Early Memories
I was born in 1957. The Beatles formed up their group in 1960. Obviously I was too young to follow them at the beginning of their career. But you would be surprised how young I was when I became a fan. My first memory of The Beatles involved my best friend Kay and a poster her older sisters or brother had. Kay and I would stand in front of the poster and talk about which one of the Fab Four we liked best. Kay was a Lennon girl, I was partial to McCartney. We would pretend that we were married to our favorite guy and then play house. I'm guessing that this was in 1963 or 1964, making us six or seven. Pretty young for a music fans, huh? Around that time I remember walking around singing the song "I Want to Hold Your Hand". In fact, it may have been the only Beatles song I knew at the time.

Another memory around that same time involved another neighbor. I was on the front porch of Scott's (another friend) house when I learned that his sister Kathy, who was a teenager at the time, had scored some tickets to The Beatles concert in Portland (1965.) I was so jealous. I loved them so much and I thought it would be dreamy to see them in person. I don't remember any follow-up (Hey, I was a little kid!) so I don't know what the experience was like for her.

Fast forward a few years. My parents were missionaries and had moved us to Africa. For Christmas 1967 my aunt sent me a REVOLVER album. It was the first album of my very own. Some of the songs like "Eleanor Rigby",  "Here, There, Everywhere", and "Yellow Submarine" were just seared into my brain while others like "Dr. Robert" I don't recognize at all. It was harder in those days to do than today, but I may have been skipping over certain songs in favor of others by picking up and setting down the needle on certain songs.

While we still lived in Africa, my sister and I obtained a coveted copy of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I don't remember specifically how we got it since neither of us had any money and our parents never bought stuff like that. I loved every song on it and can probably still sing every single one of them by memory. I was 10 years old when it was published, my sister wasn't quite 12. The Beatles had two young fans in us.


In 1968 The Beatles released the longest single to top the music charts, "Hey Jude". It was over seven minutes long. I was glad for
the length. I would put the record on the player and rush into the kitchen to wash the dishes to "Hey Jude". I would attempt to wash, rinse, and scald the dishes in seven minutes and finish up before the song ended. My whole family remembers this silly competition I would run with myself, but I bet my mom was actually laughing into her sleeves about it because I got the dishes done really fast instead of usual slow-poke, feet-dragging technique.

We got home from Africa during the summer of 1969 in time for Abbey Road to hit the market. I still didn't own very many albums and had no money to speak of but I had to have it and somehow managed to it. Every song is seared into my memory bank as if it were part of my DNA. Then in 1970 tragedy struck. I learned, along with the rest of the world, that The Beatles had broken up. I remember I was by myself at Payless, a variety store in my hometown not far from my house. I was in the record department looking at LET IT BE, thinking sad thoughts and wondering how I was ever going to come up with the money to buy their last album. I never did manage to get it, though I did get the 45 of the single "Let It Be" (with the weird, "You Know My Name" on the B-side.) I can still recall the sorrow I felt that day and for many days/weeks/months afterwards wondering how I would survive in a world without The Beatles singing in the background.


Peter Max, pop art
 Of course, we know today that that is not true, The Beatles didn't end when they broke up. The Beatles have been playing in the background of all our lives since they formed in 1960 and every day I hear, on Sirius radio, another Beatles song I've never heard before. Those four guys were prolific as a musical group and as single artists. My my. They have endured.

One more early memory, partially associated with The Beatles, is related to an artist whose art was included on two (I think) of their albums. The artist was Peter Max and we loved, loved, loved his pop art in the late 1960s, early 1970s. I remember trying to create art posters to look like his stuff.

Expect more Beatlemania from me as I report on the books I've been reading about the Beatles, and the videos I've been watching. "Yea", I bet you are thinking sarcastically, "just what I want to read, a blog post about a music group that broke up nearly fifty years ago." Tee-hee. I hope you'll indulge me.

What early memories do you have related to The Beatles?









11 comments:

  1. <3 Love this trip down memory lane Anne. The Beatles will always be a big part of the soundtrack of my life as well... My best friends also chose our favorite Beatles. And we took turns buying the latest albums, which we'd then share. My favorite Beatle was John and has really stayed so - though I struggled with his relationship with Yoko... my best friend, also a Kathy, chose Paul. Margaret's fav was George... her best friend was a year younger & was left with Ringo... Though truthfully, over the years I grew to love each of the Beatles for their distinct personalities & musical styles. I remember watching The Ed Sullivan show & trying to take a photo of the TV images with my Brownie Starmite. I was told the film wouldn't register the images, but I had faith! :-)

    This was fun! ~Kathy

    P.S. a small correction to your memory of my trip to see The Beatles. The concert was in 1965, in Portland. Randy B's mother drove up there in her station wagon & when we got home that evening we all went to see the movie Help! A very fun, very full day - just heavenly for Beatles-crazed friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy! Hi! Thanks for the correction. I hoped that Sally would forward this to you! I'll correct the record that the concert was in Portland. Either time/place, I was jealous of you getting to see them in person. Could you hear them at all, or did everyone just spend the whole concert screaming?

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    2. Anne, I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner. I'd been really busy getting ready for an estate sale. Kathy originally forwarded the link. We could barely hear them over the screaming & I was so excited that pretty quickly I found myself screaming too!

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  2. My friend Teresa said:
    " My earliest Beatles-related memory is from when I was in pre-school. Our neighbors had a dog named Jude. When I was in high school in the early 80s, there was a Sgt. Pepper movie starring Peter Frampton and the BeeGees. I loved it, and it got me hooked on the original album, which got me interested in the rest of their music."

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    Replies
    1. Teresa, thanks for sharing. I never heard about the Peter Frampton/BeeGees Sgt Pepper movie. I am going to look for it. I've learned in all my reading that originally Hey Jude was Hey Jules. Paul wrote it for Julian Lennon after his parent's divorce. Then he changed Jules to Jude, perhaps because it was easier to sing.

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  3. From my friend Kay (yes, we are still friends):
    "Such fun memories. Oh the advantages of having older siblings with their posters and records!!"

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    1. Kay, we had so much fun as kids! Do you remember the poster I referenced? I think I remember it hanging in your basement.

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  4. My friend Ken, who is one year older than me, said-
    "I bought Meet the Beatles for $1. 1964 or so! It took me over a year to save up to buy the Second Album!"

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I remember buying a 45 of one of the Beatles songs for 49 cents. Yours was a better deal.

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  5. I was born in 1965 but the Beatles played a huge role in my childhood. My best friend and I pretended we were dating Beatles (I chose Ringo) and were part of their singing group. Yep, we were the Lady Birds with hairbrushes for microphones. When I lived in London it was just off Abbey Road, near "the" crosswalk. Such good memories!

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  6. I grew up listening to a fair amount of The Beatles since my mom, who turned 60 this year also, is a fan. My mom had of few of their albums on vinyl, but she would always listen to this 45 of I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There. Of those two songs, I've always been more partial to I Saw Her Standing There. :)

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