A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In My Life with the Beatles

Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
        Anyone in my generation who was not affected by the Beatles must have been living on a desert island or something of that nature.  The past 50 years have been so acutely touched by the influence of Beatlemania and the drastic culture quake that shook up the world with its coming.   In the future historians may even label our time as the Beatles Era.

           Who could miss all of the attention the media has been giving the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles to America?   We'd just gotten past the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy--the date that anyone with an awareness of what was going on at that time has indelibly etched in their memory.  Since the arrival of the Beatles came so soon after the assassination of JFK, the two events seem to be somehow tied to one another.   We moved from sorrow and disbelief to elation and anticipation of things to come.

           Most in my age group probably saw the Beatles when they debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show.   Some of you may have been somewhat cynical about those mop topped boys from the UK.  I know I was.   My younger sister was totally caught up in the fervor of the fad.  I made fun of her for getting so excited about it all, yet I watched with a curiosity.  It was hard not to like the Beatles and the music really was kind of catchy.

           After their films A Hard Day's Night and Help! came out I started counting myself as a fan.  My sister still was the one who owned their albums, but I was now listening to them as much as she was.  I was bitten by the bug of the whole British Invasion and began to keep track of which groups were doing what songs.    So much good and intriguing music was pervading the airwaves and starting to end up in our record collections.

           I was still in junior high school and living in Northern Indiana.    I began to listen faithfully to Chicagoland AM radio station WLS and was buying 45 rpm records of the hits that appealed to me.  Not the Beatles though.  This group still belonged to my sister.  I listened to them, but my sister owned the records, fan mags, and other memorabilia.    She even went with one of her friends to a Beatles concert in Chicago.  She said later that she couldn't hear the music for all the screaming in the audience.

          Then something happened to turn things topsy turvy.  As Christmas approached in 1965 there were reports that the Beatles next album would be a radical change from anything that had come before.   I was there by my radio on the day they began debuting songs from the album.  The reports had been right.  This was now a new sound--a deeper, more complex Beatles.  The song "Michelle" received repeated airplay.  The new album Rubber Soul was my top request on my Christmas list for that year and my mother got it for me.  

          I was now the boss of the Beatles in our household.  My sister grew out of her infatuation with the boys.  The pictures came down off her walls and she became interested in other music.  From that album on,  every Beatle album thereafter became a revered part of my ever growing collection of vinyl LP's.  So many fond memories are connected with the hours I spent listening to that music.

         Today the music of the Beatles still sounds good to me and holds a special place in my heart.   My tastes have expanded far beyond the Beatles and I have a much more diverse range of musical interest.   The Beatles impacted so many others in the same way as they did me.   The nature of music and entertainment still remains influenced by their music.   The adjective "Beatlesque" has often been used to describe certain musical styles that are reminiscent of what the lads from Liverpool did in their time.

          Like them or not, the Beatles impacted history in a notable way.  And they certainly influenced me and the way I listen to music.

           Were you around when the Beatles arrived on the cultural scene?   What did you think of the Beatles?    Do you like their music now?     How much do you think the Beatles and their music will be remembered a hundred years from now?

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Oh yes Lee I was around when the Beatles first came on the scene. How well I remember fans outside concerts halls screaming for them.
    I'd just got married when they had their first record release, how can I ever forget them?.


  2. I was born in 1964, so to me, the Beatles was the band Paul McCartney was in before Wings. I did go through a brief Beatles phase in high school. Then Lennon was killed and their music got overplayed and I got sick of them. Still am. The only thing I like of theirs now is the movie/soundtrack of Yellow Submarine. I dial away from the Beatles on the radio so fast.

  3. I was the boss of my house for the Beatles too. I kept scrap books, I doted on every piece of news about them, gnashed my teeth when George got married, sputtered when John and Cynthia broke up. gasped when they started (at least in my mind) getting high.
    And I loved all their songs. I still know all the words to most of them. I remember being so much IN LOVE with George that my father tried to talk me out of it by telling me that young men like him had scratchy faces due to the beard hairs... hahaha.
    Mimi's Watercolors

  4. When the Beatles first hit the scene, I didn't like them, having been raised listening to jazz, blues and classical. I didn't become a die-hard fan until the summer of 1967.

    I LOVE their music, it is and will always be as eternal as the American Songbook.

  5. Yvonne -- You were at the heart of things when the fervor cranked up. No doubt that you remember.

    JoJo -- Interesting that you would have this aversion to their music that is still so beloved by many.

    Mimi-- You sound like how my sister was until I took over.

    Bish -- Like you I leaned toward more the more traditional music like what my parents listened to. The music that came with and after the British Invasion broke down my resistance to rock.


  6. My Mom kept her turntable in the kitchen, and I grew up with her playing her Beatles albums as she cooked dinner. Their height of popularity was slightly before my time, but I knew all of their songs just as well as any teen of the '60s.

  7. One day this past week I took to task a "writer" who made a list of "11 bands that surpassed the Beatles." As one person I heard said, "the fact that they are the standard 44 years after they broke up says it all."

  8. My mom named me after that song, Michelle.

  9. If you can call a 4-year old being around, then I was. I don't remember when I first became aware of the Beatles, but once I did, I was hooked. I was devastated when they broke up and continually hoped they'd get back together until December of 1980. :(.

  10. Kelly -- I think if I'd been born in your time my mother would have been listening to the Beatles as well.

    CW -- That would be a difficult list to come up with and get a general consensus on.

    Shelly -- It's a beautiful song. One of my friends named one of their daughters likewise.

    Thea -- I think a lot of us waited for that Beatles reunion and it was often rumored.


  11. I remember watching their first appearance on Ed Sullivan. I was 7 and saw it with my 16-year-old aunt. I don't remember hearing much of it, though. A day or two later I was at a friend's house and he was all about The Beatles. For me, the White Album really blew me away; I think I played it every day when I was in high school. I think I've finally managed to collect just about everything they wrote and have it on my iPod. I think I'll go listen to some of it...

  12. I was born the year they broke up...but often comment my four best friends in high school were named John, Paul, George and Ringo....

  13. John -- The White Album was like the culmination of the group's career. What could they have done to top that? It would have been interesting to know what could have been.

    Mock -- Three names are normal, but I wonder how many boys were legitimately named Ringo?


  14. I was born in 76, so I missed the first bout of Beattle mania. A friend in middle school got me interested in their music, and the liking has stuck ever since.

  15. I wasn't born when they hit the scene so I never got into them. However, my son went through a Beatles fad while he was in high school. He thought they were the best band ever. He still listens to them from time to time.

    I laughed at your mention of vinyl. My first albums were vinyl. *sigh*

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  16. Dear Lee, I was in the convent when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and we didn't look at television or read newspapers or listen to radio at that time. I didn't leave the convent until the end of 1966 and by then everyone knew about the "fab four." I came to appreciate their music as I did Joan Baez and others. I know so little about music, however, that I didn't realize until these last few days--when there have been so many accolades given to them by musicians--just how much they influenced other composers and musicians. Peace.

  17. The Beatles were my mother's music, and--being the rebellious child I am (ahem, *was*)--I thought they sounded old and outdated. Enter high school and music-savvy friends who taught me about the deeper side of the Beatles: the genre-bending experimentation, the layered lyrics, and how all of that had shaped the very music we were listening to then (this is end of the 80's), and... well, I never looked back. The Beatles feature prominently on my Writing playlists ;)

  18. I was one of those teenage girls with Beatles posters all over my room. In fact I still have both "Meet The Beatles" and "Rubber Soul" in my old album collection. Their music never gets old.

  19. Jeri-- It's much like me and friends of mine who picked up on big band music and the early jazz era. Good music should be passed on and not forgotten.

    Elsie -- The Beatles were one of the best bands ever!

    Dee -- The Beatles undoubtedly changed music in some very big ways and their influence will probably continue to be felt for years to come.

    Guilie -- I think many young people rebel against what their parents liked. It's just the nature of things I suppose.

    LD -- The music of the Beatles might sound old to younger folks, but it certainly never gets old with us. I don't listen as much as I used to, but when I do it still evokes great memories and feelings for me.


  20. I brought back "Rubber Soul" from a summer in Scotland where my kids and I lived on a goat farm on an island in the Firth of Clyde. The album had just come out. We must have played it hundreds of times.

  21. Hi Arlee, of course I was around when the Beatles hit the scene! Who could forget them? (My parents were NOT in favour). My adult sons think they're great. I still get teary with eg 'Yesterday'.
    Garden of Eden Blog


Tell your story. Express your thoughts. We want to hear from you. This blog no longer accepts comments from "Anonymous"--That guy is really starting to bug this blog. If you want to leave me a comment then please register if you aren't already--it's easy to do and I really want to hear from you.

Arlee Bird