I love The Beatles! As a matter of fact, I have been a huge fan of The Beatles since 1963. That’s a long time to like or love anything or anyone! My dad bought me my first Beatles album, then many more after that. My dad was a pretty cool guy, to say the least! I was not able to attend any concert performances by The Beatles, but I staged daily concerts in my family’s Florida room, where my friends and I sang and danced to their music. I have never been fond of sports participation and, about once a week, I convinced my elementary school teachers to allow me to stay inside during recess to listen to one of my albums. (Even at a young age, I had a strong preference, that continues to the present time, for good music over any form of sports.) I know the lyrics to every song by The Beatles and I enjoy listening to their music, as often, and as loudly, as possible. There is now a radio channel that is 100% devoted to The Beatles; it doesn’t get any better than that! I grew up at a time when many people had a favorite Beatle. There were Paul people, George people, and Ringo people, but I was always a John person. To this day, I try to learn everything there is to know about John Lennon. Every time I visit New York City (including for work), the first place I usually go is Strawberry Fields, in Central Park, followed by a pilgrimage to The Dakota. I have a collection of Beatles memorabilia fit for a small museum and the music room in my home is decorated with vintage posters of The Beatles. I even play a bass guitar that is a replica of Paul McCartney’s! Oh yes, I do! I have a vast knowledge of Beatles trivia and without fail, I celebrate milestones, such as their birthdays, every year. I have Beatles inspired art, clothes, shoes, sunglasses, and jewelry (including one of my prized possessions, a necklace that says “IMAGINE” that was a long ago gift from David’s parents, that I wear at all times). As I write this post, David and I, along with two dear friends, Bob and Nancy, are planning our trip to Liverpool, England, the birthplace and home of all four Beatles, where we will attend the International Beatles Week festivities. I can hardly wait! At this point in my life, when I have lived longer than the time I have remaining, I am not ever going to stop loving The Beatles. Good music is good music, and The Beatles are, as it has often been said, the best band in the world.
I got to know the Beatles as I got to know Melissa. That is to say, while I knew the Beatles’ music, I did not have much of an appreciation for them. But as I absorbed them through Melissa, a self described Beatles freak (with a particular fondness for John Lennon), I learned the history, both of the Fab 4, and of her. For Melissa, the Beatles were a daily part of life, and they still are. She has posters, albums, movies, collectibles, and even a Hofner (look alike) bass she plays regularly. Many trips we’ve taken have included spending time on the Beatles’ connection – to London and Liverpool of course. But, also to New York, where a stop at Strawberry Fields is high on the list, for every trip! Of course, there are Beatles connections in Miami, not to mention the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate them more all the time. It is really amazing how the musical archives keep pumping out “new” releases – things to buy – but also to consider how the pieces of music, and the whole experience was created. A recent article in the Wall St. Journal written by the grandson of Ed Sullivan’s producer is an example. As a young child, the writer and his brother were introduced to the band on the set of Ed Sullivan’s show in Miami Beach where The Beatles performed. The Beatles were in their very early 20s. And, no one knew what was to come as they rocketed to the peak of Beatlemania. I’ll never be counted as a Beatles freak, but I’m looking forward to our Liverpool adventure.