Today’s post transcends fashion. It’s about the Beatles, the cultural touchstone of my childhood. I’m exactly a month late with this post, as the Beatles first landed in America on February 7, 1964. I was asked by Vegas.com to write a little about my early memories of the Fab Four, and I was happy to participate.
Warning: Salty language ahead.
I was eight years old when the Beatles first came to the US in 1964. I was in the third grade and was more concerned with playground politics than rock and roll. But in January of that year, all the talk among the older kids on the school bus concerned the Beatles. They were working themselves, and me along with them into a frenzy of anticipation for their big performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
My older brother, Steve, and I knew that we had to arrange to be at our grandparents’ house the night of the show because their TV reception was much better than ours. My grandmother, who was always agreeable said we were welcome to watch it there, but she didn’t say anything about it to my grandfather. You might remember that he was the grandfather that chased me out of the house dressed only in his underwear.
As 8:00 approached, Steve and I got settled in with our Coke and popcorn. The magical hour was here! By this time all the songs were playing on the radio, and Steve and I knew them and were singing along and dancing and generally having a great time.
All of a sudden, my grandfather yelled out from his big easy chair, “Glyde, what in Hell is this shit?”
Steve, who was ten, and a lot braver than me yelled back, “Papaw, that’s not shit, that’s the Beatles!”
My shocked grandfather then yelled, “Glyde, did you hear what that boy just said?” to which Mamaw replied, “Well, you said it first so just sit there and listen to the music and call it even.”
This was just the beginning of Beatlemania in my house. For my ninth birthday I got a Beatles tee shirt and their second US album, Meet the Beatles. I collected all the bubblegum cards and Steve and the neighboring kids and I spent hours debating which Beatle was best. I was team Paul.
It’s hard to believe this was 50 years ago. I still feeling that first rush of excitement whenever I hear those early songs, and I still argue that “I Saw Her Standing There” is the best rock song ever. (Stones fans, feel free to disagree!)
Okay, now I want to hear your Beatles stories.