The Beatles

The Beatles were always it for me.

It would be an understatement to say that the Beatles bootstrapped my independent love of music. Both of my parents loved music and so from my earliest memories there was great music but my earliest remembered favorite song was I Wanna Hold Your Hand. And although much younger than most of them I too had a raving obsession about these young men like the hundreds of thousands of other young USA women. My crush jumped around all of them; first was cutie-pie Paul, then quirky Ringo, then for most of my life John (and even Yoko – what a love story!), and then George for his mystical beautiful ways (If you haven’t seen Living In The Material World… you’re missing out!). Now, I adore them all both together and separately. I feel so tremendously lucky to have had them at the earliest part of my life as musical influences.

When Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary was announced I was beside myself. The master himself, because my love of LOTR & The Hobbit series is very solid and very deep, more about that another time. So here was Jackson, the man!, going to bring the lads back! I watched the first episode with my son and it was emotionally overwhelming. All those intense childhood feelings were triggered.

Let me tell you what it was like for a 10 year old to hear the Get Back album for the first time. MIND BLOWING. I had the album; well, I had all their albums, but for that one I set up my little cassette recorder with the microphone stood up in front of the speaker and recorded it so I could then take it with me everywhere (a bit bulky as you can see) and even listen to it when i was going to sleep. And there were no fancy headphones for my little cassette recorder. It was just a single earbud kind of thing. So just imagine when decades later I heard the album on a CD it was like falling in love with the music all over again. Just decades of love for not just Get Back but all their albums. The difference with Get Back was that it came with a movie!

The only song on the album that I wasn’t thrilled with was The Long and Winding Road and I learned about George Martin’s influence on that years later, “of course!”, I thought. But I liked Hey Jude. I can remember belting that song out, full-throated, one evening as I was walking home from school. I bet there is someone somewhere who remembers a little girl singing that tune loudly as she travelled down the road. But it wasn’t my fav. My favs were I I Me Me Mine which is still absolutely rocking fabulous, I’ve Got a Feeling, One After 909, and Get Back. One of the most remarkable things about the album at the time was the verbal chat between tunes, that was something I’d never heard before. Some years later when I had the record store I had a bootleg, German I think, of all the Get Back outtakes. My friend Steve had it and I’d recorded a copy of it via my reel to reel (with auto reverse tape of course) and listened to it over and over and over again. But back to when I was a girl, that first time I heard Get Back… it was incredible. The bass. I don’t recall anything earlier than this album where the bass lines were so pumped, so intense. Even on my little cassette recording it was “heavy”. 🙂

The movie hit me just as hard. I went with two other young girls and I remember being completely mind blown, completely sad I couldn’t have been one of those people on the streets… my fandom was breathtaking. It consumed me. The three of us were all so unwilling to leave we begged our babysitting chaperone to allow us to sit there and watch it all over again (could do that back then). So the whole experience was nothing less than profound for me.

Anyway, the following interview brought me great joy this morning therefore I wanted to share it. I just love how technology brought John & Paul back together again and made Paul so pleased about Jackson’s documentary and enabled him to perform once more with John. (source)

Where he talks about singing with John starts around 3:50..

and you seen what he’s referring to here from Glastonbury last year:

Today on the way to the ranch I listened to the Get Back album and a few times it was really blasting. Here I am ~50 years later, loving the album just as much as ever. If that’s not the stuff of musical legend, I don’t know what is.

There’s only one other band that comes close to being number one for me and that’s U2. U2 will be a topic for another post another time.