Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Fab Four

Alright. Those of you who really know me are fully aware of my love for The Beatles. I've grown up hearing their music most of my life as my dad has most of their original records. My dad grew up in that generation of hysterical girls screaming their lungs out at their concerts, their premiere into the US on the Ed Sullivan Show, and experienced each album when it was just released. How I wish I had grown up in that generation.

When I was about 15 or 16, something shifted. All of a sudden, it was like I was hearing The Beatles for the first time. I was really listening to the lyrics and harmonies and it's like my axis shifted, a light had turned on. I was in love. 

As my brother-in-law Doug said, "They were like the Einstein of music. They were revolutionary and changed everything about music." Those people who think The Beatles are cliche and out of style are probably the people who have only listened to "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Hey Jude" over and over again on the oldies stations. In order to appreciate them, you have to go deeper than that. The older I get, the more I appreciate their later albums like  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club and Let it Be. To get in an idea, try this one on for size. It's one of my favorites: A Day In the Life.

My favorite Beatle is absolutely and positively George Harrison. Aside from being the most attractive one in the band, he is one of the greatest guitar players in history. At least to me.

I am not naive enough to think that The Beatles were pure and innocent. They definitely had their faults and vices but I choose not to dwell on that part. There's something intangible about them that draws you in and secures your affection. Their wit and easiness in front of journalists, their music that takes you deeper into the human psyche than most music I know, and their devotion to their music which did not end with The Beatles. Each song I listen to is like greeting an old friend; its presence is familiar and comfortable. I love how they continue to charm new audiences every generation; I can't wait for my future kids to "discover" The Beatles just as I did. Even though John and George are dead, Ringo has gone off the deep end, and Paul is playing concerts for Obama in his spare time, I'll always have them in my mind as they were at the peak of their career: young, full of life, and untainted by the fame that would be their demise.

I've Got a Feeling that All You Need Is Love and to Think For Yourself about The Beatles. As for me, I choose to Let it Be, travel Across the Universe, and Follow the Sun all the way to Strawberry Fields Forever.

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