I can’t honestly tell you when I realized I loved The Beatles. I remember my Memom singing “All You Need Is Love” in the kitchen of their old house when I was little… it’s actually one of my first memories–mostly because my grandmother was singing, which was (and is!) rare.
My family typically listened to “good music”, and by that I mean classic rock. I remember listening to Paul McCartney (in Wings) on the radio in the car and loving “Jet” and “Band on the Run”. Oh, and at one point in the distant past, we owned a karaoke machine, and my younger sister (L) and I used to sing “Eight Days A Week”, much to the amusement of my slightly tipsy mum and step-father and their party guests. We were “just sooooo cute”. Right.
My best friend in 5th grade, A, was properly obsessed with them. I didn’t get it. I thought she was crazy.
Other than that, The Beatles weren’t really a staple or a favorite in our house.
And then, for no particular reason, I asked for The Beatles’ “1” for Christmas the year it came out–and it was the ONLY thing I listened to for weeks on end. There was just so much to love about them–their sound was so different during the various stages of their career. For years on end, those 20-something tracks were all I knew of the fab four. There was a song for every situation and emotion. Breakups? “Yesterday”. Encouragement? “Hey Jude”. For a laugh? “Penny Lane”. For those rebellious moments? “Revolution”. And they weren’t bad songs to start out on, really. But looking back, I can’t believe that I was satisfied with a musical world lacking “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, “Because” and “Dear Prudence”.
I hit college (uni) and discovered Lennon’s solo stuff. I liked it immensely, but in a different way. It wasn’t the same, much more psychedelic/anti-war/metaphorical/weird. But it was cool. And man, was Lennon cool with those glasses. Even so, I never cared for Yoko–but who did, right?
I still clung to the safety of the “1” album, but I got more daring. I borrowed a copy of Abbey Road from the library and listened to that for ages, until it was due back. Little by little, I sampled more of The Beatles. My senior year in college, the film “Across the Universe” (ATU) came out, and I was there a few days after it opened. I was sucked in completely by the music (the storyline was less than stellar, sorry to say) and songs I hadn’t heard of, insanely interesting tracks like “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”. The soundtrack for that movie was on repeat for days.
I think ATU made The Beatles a bit more accessible for me, and I got ahold of all of The Beatles albums one-by-one. And then… I didn’t listen to them. Of course. Other things came along and I dropped The Beatles nearly completely, save for the odd song here and there (always off “1”).
Then I moved to London. And I picked it all back up again with a fervor unlike ever before. It’s hard not to listen to The Beatles here in the UK. Seems wrong not to! Now I’m loving stuff like “I Me Mine” and “Dig A Pony”…. stuff that not everyone’s heard of. I don’t think a day has gone by in the past.. ohhh… 3 or 4 months… where I haven’t heard a Beatles song.
I don’t get how you can’t like them. N doesn’t really care for them–which throws me for a complete loop. For me, if you’re British, you can’t NOT love The Beatles. I mean… it’s your musical heritage, y’know? And I’ll tell ya, I feel downright blasphemous playing Beatles Rockband, though it IS the only video game I will play.
So that’s my history with my absolute favorite band. I can not listen to them for months, and then all of a sudden, they’re all I listen to. Comes and goes in phases.
And for the record, “Hey Jude” is probably the most amazing song I’ve ever heard and will ever hear. But that’s a different entry all on its own.