It’s an indisputable and unfortunately unchangeable fact: I
was born too late. Instead of being around in the sixties, and thus being able to experience the Beatles first hand, I was
born thirteen years after their break-up, and encountered them in 1995. But when I did, I was instantly besotted and, frankly,
haven’t recovered since (not that that’s a bad thing). Often, I feel there simply aren’t adequate words
to express just how much I adore George, Paul, Ringo and John... even if, as so many non-fans helpfully point out, I have
never met them nor will I ever.
Their music has formed the soundtrack to my life, it’s there
throughout life’s ups and downs, they make me incredibly happy, they influence me and I couldn’t imagine what
life would be like without them.
From the moment I first saw the band in A Hard Day’s Night,
my favorite was instantaneously George: talented, hilarious, intelligent, grounded, honest, intriguing, complex, open-minded,
compassionate... and so much more.
Fifteen years and counting of all-out Beatlemania have left their
mark and made for some interesting moments. Ah, the memories... Welcome to my wonderfully insane world.
After first discovering The Beatles at the age of eleven, I became determined
to find the movie that essentially changed my life – “A Hard Day’s Night”. The only VHS I initially
found was “Help!”, something I wasn’t going to complain about (I mean, it’s in color!). Eventually,
I also got AHDN, and I’ve since watched both movies to frequently that I’ve lost count of the total times and
have conveniently memorized the dialogue.
Being in my early teens, I cast aside the obvious, undeniable and (unfortunately)
unchangeable disadvantage of living in the Nineties, not the Sixties. When it came to watching Beatles footage, I went as
far as I could, without being declared insane – covered in pins (voicing such vital sentiments as I Love George, I’m
An Official Beatles Fan, I Still Love The Beatles... you get the idea), giddy and often feeling the need to behave like the
fans on the screen in front of me – though I didn’t really go as far as screaming, crying and fainting at the
sight of archival Beatles.
Isn’t it second to none to be head over heels for totally unavailable
men? When it comes to my particular favorite, what was a forty-year age difference? Okay, so that is rather significant, but
that wasn’t going to stop my adoration for George (it still doesn’t). Talented, brilliant, hilarious, complex
– he just remains the greatest ever.
Beaming when hearing the band in any public place, and screeching, “Oooooh,
turn it up, turn it up!” at whoever was driving when The Beatles came on the car radio all became second nature to me.
From the first album (then on tape), and my first book (The Beatles In
the Beginning by Harry Benson), my collection grew whenever possible. If anyone needs a present for me, the immediate
thought flashing through their heads is B-E-A-T-L-E-S (as it ought to be). And I love my collection to bits.
Who was to say that decorating my school binder, agenda and locker with Beatles
pictures was off limits?
Though I’ve moved many times, one thing has never changed: my bedroom
has to have a Beatle-themed décor. Right now, I have far less wall-space than in previous times, so several posters are stored
in the basement, but nevertheless, the space I do have is filled with Beatles, including a bookshelf crammed with
books and magazines about them.
After seeing original fans sporting self-made shirts all declaring their
Beatle devotion, I went out, got myself a plain white t-shirt and suitable marker, and set about creating my own fan shirt.
The year I became a Beatlemaniac was also the year The Beatles Anthology
aired on television (A-Beatles-C in the U.S.). What a highlight! Naturally, I taped it, so as to be able to re-watch it at
If only my hair would cooperate, I’d have gotten a hairstyle like all
of the Beatle wives and girlfriends had in the Sixties – but I had to accept the inescapable truth: my curly hair has
a mind of its own and there’s nothing to be done about it. However, Beatle fashion was another story: cue (a female
version) Beatle boots, ’66-ish sunglasses, a ’64-ish raincoat, black turtleneck sweaters, A-line dresses...
My annual Christmas “tradition”: giving the Beatles Christmas
records (lucky 60’s fan club members!) a spin, playing John’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and Paul’s
“Wonderful Christmas Time”. And the New Year kicks off with George’s “Ding Dong Ding Dong” and
“Give Me Love”. Yes, I am that crazy.
Being too young to camp out in front of a record store to get the newest
release right at midnight (though the thought was tantalizing), I made sure to get the albums on the day of their release.
Once Anthology 3 was available, I asked at my nearest Border’s if it would be possible to also purchase one
of the many promo posters all over the store. After a quick word with the store manager, the sales person told me to go ahead,
choose one and just take it... happily allowing me to go home with the album and a gorgeous poster still in my collection
1997 saw a massive highlight in my world: spending a few days in London,
including some hours in Liverpool. Basically, I fell in love with England on that trip and especially loved St John’s
Wood and Liverpool.
August 1998 meant that I was about to see my first live concert – Ringo!
Despite being what seemed like miles away from the stage, I savored every moment. And in 2000, I was lucky enough to see Ringo
a second time (and at the time, I was sixteen and it made my day when he sang "You're Sixteen..." ;)).
It’s the movie I owe it all to, so when “A Hard Day’s Night”
hit the big screen once more, I was thrilled to see it... in massive, gorgeous proportions.
Even after nine years, it’s incredibly sad for me to think of the end
of November 2001, so rather than go on for ages, I’ll just say that I was pretty much heartbroken and will always miss
May 2003 marked my chance to see Paul live – and what an experience
it was. Being the insane girl that I am, I must say that Paul made me cry – with his George tribute, “Something”.
I burst into tears - admittedly, somewhat embarrasing. :s
November 2003 meant a limited cinema run of the brilliant Concert for
George, which is so stunningly beautiful (I went to see it several times... now you know where all my money goes). Using
my previously applied Anthology attempt, I now have a gorgeous movie poster hanging proudly on my bedroom wall.
Freezing and getting drenched with rain is clearly something I would only
do for any or all Beatles – and I did when I saw Paul live in June 2004.
In 2008, Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture and I was elated to
be able to visit this frequently overlooked city, including taking the National Trust tours of John and Paul’s childhood
homes (an experience I treasure so much).
No visit to London is ever complete without a visit to Abbey Road in my world...
and I always bring a permanent marker to scribble something on the wall outside the landmark (even if it gets painted over
all the time).
2009 ended with another invaluable concert moment – seeing Paul live
on 17 December.
2010 marks fifteen years of loving (or as many pointedly tell me, obsessing
over) The Beatles, and I was elated to be able to celebrate, so to speak, by seeing Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE at the Mirage
in Las Vegas in March. As was to be expected, it was spectacular and showcased the timeless brilliance of the Beatles’
music and personalities. By the end, I was incredibly happy and also teary eyed, due to the images of the band – especially
George’s smile at the end – and loved them more than ever (even if that hardly seems possible).
Adding to my “anniversary festivities”, I used up a lot of my
savings to spend on (guess what?) something Beatles-related – by heading to the 27 June Paul concert in London’s
Hyde Park. As ever, it was entirely worth it.
So after all these years, I suppose anyone who was amused at
my Beatlemania and predicted that it'd just be a "phase" knows better. ;) It's a Beatle life, that's for sure. ;)