Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Postcard from the Pines: Still rockin’ after all these years…

In the ‘Where has the time gone?’ department, it was just the sixtieth anniversary of the release of the Beatles first album in Britain. It was swiftly followed by the Meet the Beatles album here. I own that album, all the others which followed and a pile of singles in their jackets. I also own a lot of Beatles memories.
My oldest granddaughter discovered the Beatles…my Beatles, more than 10 years ago. I’m not sure how this happened, or why, any more than I know why they took my fancy all those years ago. She’s been through all of my memorabilia; read the clippings, looked at the photos, and admired the bubble gum cards. I do know how she feels about them. She is my Beatles heir-apparent.
We grew and still grow together, the Beatles and their fans. Sir Paul McCartney just celebrated his 82nd birthday, and Ringo will celebrate on July 7. They were, of course, a few years older than the bulk of us. Some said our boys were a bad influence. They were pied pipers, leading us willingly down a musical path from which we would not stray. ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘Beatles Forever’ were here to stay.
My Beatle friend and I, and every fan had one, shared a passion for the music and the boys. We each had a favorite Beatle, but loved all the music. Her Beatle was George Harrison, mine Paul McCartney.
We bought the records and teen magazines; bubble gum cards and jewelry and adapted British slang into our vernacular. We found English pen pals, which we were sure gave us an inside track to our Boys. We took to having tea and toast after school and calling fries chips. We were sure that no one knew the Beatles like we did.
When the Beatles first movie “A Hard Day’s Night” came to the Lyric in Cadillac we got my Mom to take us. This was no easy feat. We begged, pleaded and made a deal with her to pay for everything. We bought the gas, her ticket and popcorn. She sat in the back of the theater, next to the door, with a few other parents, who for whatever reason, were there as well. The theater was packed, the median age of the screaming, almost swooning audience, was fifteen. We screamed, hollered and sang along as the larger than life Beatles cavorted across the screen. I still remember the tremendous thrill of it; The Beatles right here in our own backyard. How could they ever top this? There were other movies and many more songs, but none carried quite the exhilaration of that first larger than life encounter.
We had, of course, seen the boys on television courtesy of the Ed Sullivan Show. The long anticipated Sunday evening coincided with a visit from the flu bug which sent me to my bed for several days. When it was time for the Beatles appearance, Mom called me to the living room. I sat, barely able to hold my head up, wrapped in a heavy blanket, but still tapping my toes and singing along. And for the first, but by no means the last time, they made me forget how badly I felt…oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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