Sunday, May 25, 2008

Show and Tell: In My Life, I've always loved these guys...

For some reason, try as I might, I can't get this image to show up any larger. But I think you can see enough of it to realize that it's the Beatles. I decided to write about them for Show & Tell today.
I was born in 1961, around the time the Beatles were playing the clubs in Hamburg, before they hit it big, first in Britain & then the rest of the world. So I was too young to experience Beatlemania first hand, but I honestly can't remember a time when they weren't part of my life. My mother says we saw them in their famous first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (we watched Ed faithfully, along with a big bowl of popcorn -- having only one TV channel at the time -- something that I'm sure is incomprehensible to kids today!! -- there was nothing else to do on Sunday nights). I don't remember that, but I do remember seeing clips of their 1965 concert at Shea Stadium on the Sullivan show -- my most vivid memory is not of the Beatles themselves but of girls dashing out onto the turf to pull up the blades of grass the Fab Four had walked on.
I remember watching The Beatles cartoon show on Saturday morning at my grandmother's house, & afterwards jumping up & down on the bed with my cousin, singing "YEAH YEAH YEAH!!" at the top of our lungs.
I remember my mother (who is actually younger than Ringo & John) taking me to see "Help!" at the movies when I was still a preschooler. This made a huge impression on my young psyche. For years afterward, I had dreams about Ringo's ring stuck on my finger, and falling through trap doors into cellars with tigers pacing around.
I remember watching couples in the gym at my junior high school, slowdancing to "Hey Jude," always the last song at our school dances. (In high school, we graduated to Led Zeppelin & "Stairway to Heaven," lol. What song is always played as the last dance at high school dances these days??)
I remember the awful day, when I was at university, hearing that John Lennon had been murdered. I watched a montage of clips set to "In My Life" on the news that night, & sobbed uncontrollably. It's so hard to pick a favourite Beatles song, but I think that might be it. I've told dh I want it played at my funeral.
I remember seeing the movies "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" & "Backbeat," & wishing I had been just a little older, so that I could have tried sneaking into the Beatles hotel room like Nancy Allen did. (Recently, we saw "Across the Universe," and I wondered how many younger moviegoers "got" the in-joke about the Cavern Club & the leather-clad group that was onstage near the movie's beginning??)
I remember watching "The Beatles Anthology" when it was first shown on TV, & the thrill of seeing Paul, George & Ringo, together again, talking about old times. And sitting in appreciative silence all the way through the credits of the very last episode, set to "Blackbird."
Every night as we drive home from the commuter train station, we flip the car radio to the local classic rock radio station & listen to their nightly "Beatle Break" -- two Beatles songs played back to back. The cares of the day slide away & I sing along, sometimes singing lead with John or Paul, sometimes harmonizing along with George. There is nothing in the world like a Beatles song to put a smile on my face, if only for the two & a half minutes it takes to play it.
What music never fails to put a smile on your face?


  1. I'd have to say there a whole bunch of songs that bring a smile to my face, but right now I'm listening to Chicago as I catch up on blog reading: "I've Been Searching So Long" is playing. It takes me back to a summer day in the 70s riding in the back seat of my dad's car with my siblings. This song and "Old Days" bring me a magical time in my childhood when I didn't have a care in the world. Thanks for sharing your stories and allowing me to visit some carefree times...

  2. The music that reminds me most of being a kid is Van Morrison's. I was born in '73, but my parents basically lived in a media blackout for much of my first 10 years, so I don't remember the radio hits of that era. Instead, they had a great vinyl collection, and Van Morrison is someone whose songs are just embedded really deeply in my subconscious. It's not so much that it makes me smile, but more that it makes me feel safe and cared for, the way I often felt as a little girl.

    Thanks for inviting us along the trip down memory lane.

  3. I'd have to go with Great Big Sea - their music has seen me through some great times and some really tough ones. They seem to have a song to fit almost any mood, and it either brings a kind of catharsis or it cheers me up. "Ordinary Day" especially helps me keep going when the going gets tough.

    For just zany fun music, I like "Istanbul not Constantinople" (not sure of the real title) and "I'm Henry the 8th I am" and a few Weird Al Yankovick tunes too. I try to remember to draw the curtains so nobody will see me dancing around like a maniac.

  4. What wonderful memories and how fun!
    I tend to be drawn to music that makes me feel melancholy. Pretty much anything by Miguel Bose works for me.

  5. Carly Simon does that for me. I like the simplicity of her stuff. I also have an appreciation for the beatles, but not a deep appreciative love like you. I was born in 78 and the craze had passed.

  6. We are a TOTAL Beatles family (kids, grandkids). Love the Beatles (and went to see LOVE too).
    Our blog is based on Imagine (OK, not Beatles)... enjoyed reading your S&T.

    Alyson LID 01/27/06 (IA China)

  7. I'm a huge Beatles fan as well and there is not one that doen't make me smile when I hear it. Ditto to pretty much anything by Van Morrison. Just so many memories and emotions tied up in that music.

  8. Me too! Me too! My mom considered this "children's music" so I memorized everything they ever did by the time I was five.

  9. I'm currently reading "Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America," and it's a great read so far!

    It's curious how many Beatles songs figure into our IF story. On a rather stormy-silence car ride after an argument about IVF, "Let It Be" came on, and I just lost it. "Ob La Di" sent me into fits of angry tears. I wallowed in "Across the Universe," "Golden Slumbers" and "Hey Jude."

    As a little girl, I remember watching my dad work on his classic Mustang in the garage, where a huge silver boom box was always playing a Hall & Oates or Blondie tape.

    I do love Van Morrison. Our wedding first-dance song was "Into the Mystic."

  10. Andie/Surprise: lol re: "I'm Henry the Eighth." My mother also took me to see a Herman's Hermits movie around the same time we saw "Help!" I got a record player for Christmas & then a Herman's Hermits album for my birthday shortly after that. I still have it! & I still love British Invasion rock of all sorts. I keep telling dh the next time Peter Noone plays a casino around here, I want him to take me. I'll bring my album & wave it from the audience to catch his attention, lol.

  11. How funny - we were singing along to the Beatles all the way back home on our return trip today! I found myself sniffling a bit through Eleanor Rigby - though "Yellow Submarine) made for a rousing chorus about the 200 miles into the trip mark.

    I was quite put out that I did not have "Sgt. Pepper's . . ." in the car. I got my first kiss with that playing as a soundtrack. I was oh so young and his name was Rusty and my brother dared me to kiss him . .. :0)