For us newer generations of Beatles fans, it may seem alien
that the Beatles' hair, even in the early years, was seen as being shockingly long and that their music was viewed as nothing
but loud, annoying noise by disgruntled grown-ups. But, it's true. Having heard anecdotes from family members and friends,
I thought it might be of interest to add a little section devoted to recounting these memories.
So, now let us return to
A fan's account:
Incidentally, my own mother happens to have been a
Beatles fan since 1963. Her favorite Beatle was and is Paul; and her old classmates have wasted no time in telling me of how
they remember my mother loving "the boys" and listening to their records. In fact, she has pictures of a school trip in 1966
and her her hair is very much fashioned in the Beatle girl hairstyle favored by, say, Jane Asher.
She remembers collecting
articles and pictures... but - unbelievably, to me - my grandparents threw all these out once my mother moved away! (Wouldn't
I absolutely love to have those things now?!)
But, it seems one song in particular did have an impact on adults back then
- because to this day, my grandfather refers to Paul as "Yesterday-Paul". He also keeps the tradition that began back in 1963
with my mother alive - then and now, when she or I play a Beatles album, he grumbles, "Turn that down!"
Back then, the
radio seemed to play a huge role for fans - my mother remembers being glued to the speakers when the Beatles were on (she
wasn't able to turn it up any louder, as you'll note from above!). It's also quite unfortunate, for my mother, that she wasn't
able to see The Beatles live when they came back to Germany in 1966, because she didn't live near enough to Essen, Munich
However, one tangible thing remains from those days: "Help!" pictures my mother glued to the inside door of
her closet, still standing in my grandparents' apartment.
A non-fans account:
Back in the Sixties, my father was, of course,
far too cool to admit liking the bands music back when they hit Stateside in 1964. He lived in New Jersey then (can you imagine
- had that been me, I'd have walked to New York City to see them live ;)) and his most vivid memory is of seeing
the infamous Ed Sullivan Show with his family and everyone saying, "Will you look at that hair!"
A... well, an account:
Once, in the 1990's, at a Christmas party, I
talked to an Englishman who told me that he'd seen The Beatles live in England in 1962 and that they weren't half bad. Seeing
as this was at a party, and he wasn't exactly sober, he couldn't recall details (Where? When? Was Ringo already the drummer?
What songs did they play?...) - but I suppose we'll have to take his word for the fact that they were pretty good.
Speaking of the English...:
At that very same Christmas party, where
there were a lot of English people present, it seems they have a bit of a holiday tradition... You see, as a present from
the hosts, I was given the "Magical Mystery Tour" album and everyone wanted to play it... it soon became clear why - there
was a big, uproarious singalong to "Your Mother Should Know". Despite the fact that everyone was, shall we say, not so sober,
they knew all the lyrics. Hmmmm, so maybe the "Magical Mystery Tour" movie wasn't such a total flop after all? ;)