The Beatles

You certainly feel your age when Offspring come home from school, tasked to enquire whether their parents were alive when The Beatles were around. Does it make you very old? Or is it merely that teachers have grown disproportionately young? The one who asked this was actually very nice, and a good teacher. Nevertheless, I felt ancient. (Since when does pop music belong in history lessons?)

Because, yes, I was around, back when.

It doesn’t mean I know, or remember, every fact about The Fab Four, but I do recall the general feel of the era. Although I need to point out I was obviously very young when all this happened. Ahem. To prove it I can tell you I had to rely on Mother-of-witch to read what the newspapers wrote about the long-haired Liverpool lads.

For Christmas 1963 I was given a record player, and my first record, She Loves You. The Aunts disapproved of all this foreign stuff. After all, there were people around who sang in a language you could understand. But I sang happily along to She Loves You and all the others, without having any idea of what they, and I, were singing about.

Mick Manning and Brita Granström, The Beatles

Now my fellow countrywoman Brita Granström and her husband Mick Manning have produced a very nice illustrated reference book on The Beatles. I have learned things I didn’t know before. I have been reminded of what was so special about John, Paul, George and Ringo. And I remembered why I half ditched them in the end.

Brita’s pictures tell more of a story than words do, and together she and Mick have made a fab book about what came before The Beatles made it big 50 years ago, what happened once they did, and how it all ended. I know more now about their early lives (including getting some unexpected help with a quiz question I came across the same day I read the book), and I properly understand how the haircut came to be. I’ve even had a new and better explanation to their name.

Whether you’re the right side of 50, or just ten and wondering who The Beatles really were, this is the book for you. I happen to have a good friend who likes all things Beatles. I will not be passing my copy on to him.

Just thought I’d mention that. He can buy his own.

5 responses to “The Beatles

  1. I was always on the wrong side of the Beatles. My best friends of that era had older brothers and sisters, so they were on to them before I was. I had to choose my favorite based just on the pictures…Yeah, you know which one it was. So shoot me–I was seven.

    I do remember that in the school yard one day after they had hit America, my friend, who came from a family of musical people, led us in an act of pretending to smash Beethoven’s records. Not correct, perhaps, but prescient. Besides, I couldn’t have placed Beethoven in a lineup.

  2. So you liked Ringo best… That’s OK. I loved Paul, and had great difficulty understanding how anyone sensible could go for John. Didn’t know Beethoven played with them? (He’s a St Bernhard, actually.)

  3. Pingback: Bekannter als Jesus – THE BEATLES | GFM RIMPLER III, Generalfeldmarschall Preußen

  4. My first television memory is watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964. But I had to rely on friends’ older siblings for opportunities to listen to the records! My parents were older and their scanty record collection was mostly Spanish guitar. Didn’t fully catch up till after they’d broken up, and yet I knew *all* the songs. As one does.

    Have you read the lovely essay Douglas Adams wrote about listening to the Beatles’ new albums as a secondary-school student?

  5. I remember watching that Ed Sullivan show with my family. My dad, as I recall, was scathing about them. Which is odd, as he wasn’t particularly conservative in other ways.

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