There’s a new show for the pre-school set. So what? My baby is 17. But here’s the catch. It’s a Beatles Show. It’s called Beat Bugs and it’s the typical pre-school themes of sharing, friendship, and caring, all set to Beatles music.
Where was this when my kids were toddlers? Those Barney songs were mind numbing. AAAHHHH….It’s incredible to me that after 50 years Beatles music still lives on and will be important to yet another generation.
The Beatles have been a part of me my entire life. I have been a fan since 1974 – when I was 12. I can’t point my finger to any one singular event that led to the obsession. As a matter of fact I was four years too late, as everyone knows they broke up in 1970. But the obsession was strong. My tween room was covered in Beatles posters. I took my birthday and Chanukkah money and bought every Beatles album, on vinyl in those days. I wore Beatles T-Shirts to school, which may be cool now, but in those days on Long Island, not so much.
My favorite was George. He was the cutest, of course. But his quest into Indian religion seemed to have all the answers for a kid who was always searching. Like I said, I’m from Long Island so I was brought up Jewish. Well, somewhat. We always knew we were Jewish, for all the holidays the family would get together and have big meals starting with Matzoh Ball soup and Gelfite Fish. But we weren’t religious. We didn’t belong to a synagogue and my sisters and I never went to Hebrew School or became Bat Mitzvahed. So, as I teen, I was searching for answers.
I thought George had all of them. I loved, “Living in the Material World.” And my friends thought I was “out there.”
When I went to college I put my Beatles obsession on the back burner. Tired of being teased for it in High School. I didn’t wear any t-shirts and there were no tell-tale signs on my walls. But those closest to me knew about it. My college boyfriend’s obsession was The Doors so he didn’t think my obsession was weird at all.
The first time I saw Paul McCartney in concert was when I was 26. I was living in LA. It was a miracle we got tickets. I still don’t know how it happened. So two friends and I trekked to the Staples center or whatever it was called in the 80s and there was a tall jerk standing in front of me and I couldn’t see. I cried. Both out of happiness for actually hearing Paul McCartney in person and out of frustration because of the jerk in front of me.
I saw Paul a few more times after that. In different cities. With different men.
I went through hard time in my life. I was engaged and living in San Francisco. The engagement broke up and I moved back down to Los Angeles. I was bitter. About a year later a friend tried to set me up on a blind date. I refused to go, being put off by men in general. It was the mid ‘90s, I was in my early 30s and The Fab Four was a distant memory.
Our friends tricked us into a double date to the Nutcracker Suite at Christmas time in Long Beach, CA. At intermission they ran off and left us alone. Tired of all the first date questions, I thought I would throw some at him. I crossed my arms and said to my blind date, “Who’s your favorite band.” And you won’t believe what he said. “The Beatles and The Grateful Dead.” I didn’t believe him. I thought this was part of the set up. He said, “It’s true. I have every Beatles CD.” Well, looky here. I had them all on vinyl but what good was that in 1994. Here’s a man who has them all on CD. It must be a match made in heaven.
A year later we were married! Our wedding song was, of course, “Till There Was You.” We had a boy and a girl. I used to tell my kids white lies to keep them innocent. When my son’s fish died I told him he went to his cousin’s house. I also told him when people turned 100 they started all over again at age 1.
When 9/11 happened my son was 6 and my daughter was 2. My husband was a Naval Officer. This was the first time we told them about evil in the world. Two months later George died. It was an awful day for me. My husband called me from work to make sure I heard it from him first. That was when I told my kids about death. I explained to them that people don’t really start all over again. We were all heartbroken.
One of my favorite memories with my son is when he was about 8 years old. We were sitting at the kitchen table, just the two of us, playing checkers, he was winning of course, and we were singing Beatles songs.
When I would take him to his various sports practices, wrestling, lacrosse, baseball, we would play Beatles music and sing along.
My daughter never got the Beatles bug. But now, at 17, she has learned how to play “Here Comes the Sun” on her Ukulele.
My son, now 20, and in college five hours away, has seen Paul McCartney twice with his friends, spending hundreds of dollars on tickets. Hopefully, as he sat in those arenas he had a warm feeling and remembered spending time with his mom. And when my daughter leaves next year, I hope when she takes out her Ukulele she still plays “Here Comes The Sun” and thinks of me.