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Question for Beatles fans under 20
16 May 2019
12.11pm
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PurplishRain
The Cold Waters of Lake Minnetoka
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1) what was the very first encounter you had with the Beatles -- how old were you, how did it happen?

The first encounter i had with The Beatles was in the 6th grade when i picked up a book on Paul McCartney . Through there I became obsessed.

2) why did the Beatles resonate so much with you that you decided they were special and not just like any other band? (again, I'm referring to initially when you first began to realize you liked the Beatles -- I'm not so much talking about your present thoughts about it).

I heard Twist And Shout play while i was reading and i fell in love. They had some kind of presence and prowess about them. Before them I was a fan of Queen and Elvis Presley but The Beatles kinda effected me in a way that was different. I'd only feel this again when I discovered The Purple One

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16 May 2019
7.16pm
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StrawberryFields91
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1) What was the very first encounter you had with the Beatles -- how old were you, how did it happen?

There are two encounters, and I guess I'll have to put both of them here for either to make sense. I'll put the first under a spoiler, since it's pretty long and I wrote it as part of something else last year for entirely different purposes, but it serves these purposes well enough.

I was at chorus practice in first grade when I met Strawberry Fields for the first time. We had had plain nonfat yogurt for snack, and being afraid of dairy products, I was starving and in a terrible mood. I wrestled a blue plastic chair free from the stack, and dragged it to my usual spot: as away from the rest of the circle as I could get without being told to move closer. I pressed my cheek against the cold plastic, feeling the tiny worm-like indents in the surface. These chairs were all over the school, and I often speculated about how the indents had gotten on the chairs. The chair-machine had obviously been damaged, but how? Had someone cried on it, and it had eroded away the metal of the press like water to a cliff, and the little worm-shaped protrusions had been the only thing left? Perhaps someone had died, their stomach acid leaking out and dissolving all but the little bumps? Every scenario played out in my mind in perfect definition, and I was oblivious to the fact that normal six-year-olds did not think about these kinds of things. They had always just been there, and always would be, as far as I was concerned. I stared into the blue and grey speckled carpet. I knew that if I stared long enough, I would end up somewhere else, somewhere much more interesting than the dull multi-purpose room full of non-speculating kids sitting on non-speculated-about chairs. I stared into the carpet. A minute later, I was gone. I intended to stay there for the rest of chorus, the other part of my brain telling my body what to do, but what pulled me out was a song that I did not recognize. I could have stayed there, but the song tugged on my brain and eventually I let it take me back into the multi-purpose room. I looked up and saw two older girls, a fourth and a fifth grader, singing Strawberry Fields Forever . Even without John Lennon ’s voice to add the creepy, hypnotic element that I would come to worship, I could tell right away that I would love this song. The lyric sheets got handed out, and still in a daze, I stared and stared at the lyric sheet. I understood every word. I guess first graders are supposed to like Yellow Submarine , not Strawberry Fields Forever , but I first heard Yellow Submarine around that time and hated it. I didn’t understand what, exactly, was supposed to be so great about living in a yellow submarine, I mean, where did they get their groceries, and how could their friends live next door and be on the submarine at the same time? No, Strawberry Fields always made perfect sense to me...

The second time I was twelve, and flying by myself for the first time to visit my grandparents who live on the other side of the country. I had this little iPod-y thing, and I had asked my mom to put some random music on it for me (these days, I would never do such a thing: I can't stand people who "just listen to whatever.") One of the albums was Let It Be . It was the first thing I happened to click on, and it was the only thing I listened to for the rest of the trip. I was especially obsessed with Dig A Pony and Across The Universe . One thing led to another, and once I realized they were the same band who had written Strawberry Fields Forever , there was no going back.

2) Why did the Beatles resonate so much with you that you decided they were special and not just like any other band? (again, I'm referring to initially when you first began to realize you liked the Beatles -- I'm not so much talking about your present thoughts about it).

That same year, I started Middle School, which was pretty much the worst period of my life. I don't think it's the best time of anyone's life, but I had a very, very hard time because on top of everything else, I had just moved. My elementary school had been very small and community-y, and rather isolated from mainstream culture, so I didn't know anything. I pretty much didn't talk (which is still my general strategy), but somehow everyone still seemed to hate me. The Beatles got me through, alive, which was more than I had believed possible, and I had a special relationship with their music at that point. I think the reason they originally resonated with me was partially because I needed some kind of identity other than "that weird girl who's too smart and doesn't talk," but mostly because I needed some kind of friend. Music was essentially my best friend.

1) Do you consider yourselves in any way "different" from your peers your age, because of your special love of the Beatles, while they seem to be indifferent to the Beatles or only casually like them so-so?

I am very different from my "peers" (I've never liked that word) for an infinite number reasons, one of them being my musical taste.

2) If yes to 1, why do you think some people, like you, were so deeply touched by the Beatles, yet others (maybe the slim majority?) seem untouched?  Why this difference?  I realize this second question is kind of philosophical and maybe asking for sociological or psychological speculation, but I'd be interested in your thoughts anyway. 

Because some people were brainwashed, and some weren't. Some went along with the brainwashing, and some didn't. Different people have different experiences, so they end up with different needs that need to be met by different music.

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Isn't he a bit like you and me?

31 May 2019
9.42am
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paulmccsassy
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1) What was the very first encounter you had with The Beatles - how old were you, how did it happen?

I remember I must have been 15 at the time and my Dad has a large CD collection and I picked up the '1' album one day for no reason and I recognised Eleanor Rigby and Ticket To Ride from somewhere. After that I became hooked on that album and used to listen to it all the time before I discovered the other albums. After that my love for the boys grew very rapidly and I quickly became obsessed with everything-Beatles related (e.g. collected all the CD's, started reading any books on them I could find, buying Beatles merch etc.) so much so that I asked for my 16th birthday if I could go to Liverpool with my parentspaul-mccartney-thumb_gif There was no going back after that!

2) Why did the Beatles resonate so much with you that you decided they were special and not just like any other band? (again, I'm referring to initially when you first began to realize you liked the Beatles -- I'm not so much talking about your present thoughts about it).

I think they resonated with me so much because it was like I'd found something that was like 'mine' amongst all the other teenagers at school who were listening to current music, it was like when I listened to The Beatles it was my safe haven and I finally found something to feel so strongly and passionate about. I was also drawn to them because when I first got into them I quickly found out that the fandom was so big and there was so much to find on them!

1) Do you consider yourselves in any way "different" from your peers your age, because of your special love of the Beatles, while they seem to be indifferent to the Beatles or only casually like them so-so?

I feel like I am different from my peers, most people my age I bet couldn't even mention five Beatles songs let alone be a fan!

2) If yes to 1, why do you think some people, like you, were so deeply touched by the Beatles, yet others (maybe the slim majority?) seem untouched?  Why this difference?  I realize this second question is kind of philosophical and maybe asking for sociological or psychological speculation, but I'd be interested in your thoughts anyway. 

I think maybe it has something to do with 'wanting' to be affected/touched by something - without knowing it perhaps when I was younger I was looking for something to be so passionate about and so that made me more susceptible to falling for The Beatles.

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"Who's that little old man?

30 March 2020
10.59pm
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lovelyritametermaid
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1) What was the very first encounter you had with The Beatles - how old were you, how did it happen?

I probably had tons of minimal encounters with the Beatles throughout my childhood, since they're such a significant part of pop culture, but the one that I remember the most is that I had a Sesame Street CD that my mom would play in the car for me all the time when I was like six. On it was a cover "Drive My Car " sung by Elmo. I would always happily dance and sing along to it and it was wonderful and became permanently ingrained in my memory.

Here's Elmo's cover:

2) Why did the Beatles resonate so much with you that you decided they were special and not just like any other band? (again, I'm referring to initially when you first began to realize you liked the Beatles -- I'm not so much talking about your present thoughts about it).

I don't know exactly-- I just instantly felt this emotional connection to them. Their music just sort of filled me with all these emotions of happiness and appreciation and nostalgia and love and frickin' rock and roll and it was such a magnificent feeling-- like getting high. This was also during the period of time where my anxiety and depression really started to manifest, and having their music to listen to and feel good about was a constant in my life that I really needed. No matter what, the Beatles were and are always there for me. Giving me advice through lyrics, giving me joy, soothing me, transporting me to different places, and much more. And then learning about them as people really struck a chord with me-- because their personalities are so addicting and they're such interesting people with such an interesting back story and are very funny and cute and relatable in a lot of ways. They're fearlessness and confidence and wit is very attractive, and the fact that they were just boys who had hearts and souls and issues like everyone else and who were just so cool yet so human. Looking at pictures of them is like looking at pictures of friends and family and loved ones....because they are all that to me in a weird but nice way, even though I've never met them in real life and even though they've each made mistakes in their lives. Does that all make sense?

1) Do you consider yourselves in any way "different" from your peers your age, because of your special love of the Beatles, while they seem to be indifferent to the Beatles or only casually like them so-so?

Very much so. I mean, I do have peers that are Beatles fans-- both intense and casual-- but the majority are very much unrelatable in the area of the Beatles (and all areas of music outside of today's pop music sphere, for that matter). And even I find it hard to relate to my friends that are Beatles fans. They never seem to be on my level of adoration and love and appreciation. Many even call me crazy and obsessed, but I just brush it off. (I even wrote in narrative editorial about the whole situation for my creative writing class that also relates to some the other questions answered here)*

2) If yes to 1, why do you think some people, like you, were so deeply touched by the Beatles, yet others (maybe the slim majority?) seem untouched?  Why this difference?  I realize this second question is kind of philosophical and maybe asking for sociological or psychological speculation, but I'd be interested in your thoughts anyway. 

Hmmmmm......I honestly have no clue. However, I do think that every person has the potential to love the Beatles at least once during their lifetime, but it all depends on the personality and mindset of that person during that point in their life and in what specific way that best works for them ....if that makes any sense? I also believe that sometimes when it comes to music, people's brains are just wired differently mccartney-shrug_01_gif Music interests are all based on someone's true personality.

*A narrative editorial I wrote for my creative writing class on my Beatles obsession that pretty much answers all the above questions: 

I wanna know why I’m absolutely obsessed with the Beatles. Why do these four limeys and their music intrigue me so much? Why do I love them so much? Why am I so interested in them to the point that they’re all I want to learn about, all I want to talk about, all I want to listen to?  In case you don’t know who in the world I’m talking about (which, if you actually don’t, I’m not not judging you), the Beatles are a British rock band founded in Liverpool in 1960 (well, technically a little earlier, but that was also technically the Quarrymen, but I digress). The group comprises of John Lennon (rhythm guitar), Paul McCartney (bass guitar), George Harrison (lead guitar), and Richard “Ringo Starr ” Starkey (drums), and their music, at least to me, is absolutely phenomenal.

I. Just. Can’t. Get. Enough. Of. It.

I’m addicted, but why? I’ve pondered this a lot throughout my days. It keeps me up at night, and it probably keeps my friends up at night, too. After all, my friends are the ones who have to take this full force of Beatlemania every day. If I even catch a whiff of something that could possibly maybe relate to the Beatles, I pounce on it like a hungry tiger. If I had a dollar for every time I referenced either Paul, John, George, or Ringo out of context, I would have, like, a ton of money. Heck, I would probably have enough money to fully pay Carnegie Mellon University’s costly tuition (and it’s expensive, too. Just look it up!) I’m surprised neither of my friends have taken me by the shoulders and shook me, yet, yelling in my face, “What is the matter with you? Snap out of it!” My obsession rules my world, rules my relationships, rules my social life. It shakes me to my core; however, I’m not upset by this. Why would I be upset by something that makes me happy, by something that I love? I’m just plagued by the Why and the How, and hopefully, I can find some sort of answer by the end of this rambling editorial. 

I first discovered the Beatles in eighth grade. Then, I was mostly listening to the most emo, most angry stuff out there: My Chemical Romance, Pierce the Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, etc. In other words, the Beatles were off my radar with their rockin’ pop and later intensely experimental music; however, I was not unaware of their influence on culture and the music world and was curious as to why these British bugs were such a big deal. So, I went into Apple Music, and downloaded their hits, and listened. I loved it. For the next month, the Beatles were all I listened to, constantly switching between the same ten songs and nothing else. Looking back, I realize that 13-year-old me wasn’t as musically inclined as I am now, so that could explain why I wasn’t that appreciative of their work at the time, and soon became disinterested, returning back to my angsty hard rock. Eighth grade passed, freshman year passed, and then in sophomore year, I rediscovered the Beatles. This came about mostly due to the influence of friends Cole, Sophia, and Emma, who reintroduced me indirectly to my now favorite rock group through our many musical discussions. I started listening casually, which soon developed into something more. I discovered the musical-movie Across The Universe on Netflix, which plunged me deeper into the Beatles vast array of music and fully kicked me through the door into full-fledged fandom. I further intermixed Beatles songs into my daily playlist, and then graduated to listening to full albums. I inhaled it all and loved it all. Soon, I came into contact with the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, which is now my favorite movie, leading me to become invested in not only the music but the very lives and stories of the famous Liverpudlians themselves. Which brings us to present-day me, an intense Beatlemaniac who has developed a full hobby out of analyzing Beatles music and conducting personal research on the pasts and presents of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Not only that, but the Beatles have become a constant in my life, comforting me in times of upset and stress, allowing me to melt away.

But why? Why do I do this? Why am I fascinated? 

There are many factors that I can attribute to answering this question. The music is renowned around the world and the group is considered to have changed the music world completely, so it's not completely crazy to consider that I’m obsessed just because the music is really good. Also, the members of the groups themselves are icons of interest amongst popular culture, so it's also not insane to be as interested in them as I find myself to be. However, this doesn’t answer the question as to why I find myself to be alone among my peers in my complete fascination. If the music is so great, why isn’t everyone as into it as I am?

 For this answer, I simply decided that everyone is just wired diffèrenly, and I am wired so as to find great and terrific joy and comfort in the Beatles, just like how many different people find great joy and comfort in many different things. My friends Sophia and Sam are, at the moment, super obsessed with Joaquin Phoenix’s new movie Joker, whereas I remain indifferent. Everyone just has their own respective interests in things, and have their own respective opinions. Now, I’m not a scientist so I don’t know scientifically why, but I know that it’s just a fact of life, and Life just happened to throw the Beatles my way and just happened to cross my wires so as to make me connect fastidiously to these lovely Liverpudlians’ music and lives. There’s nothing wrong with loving someone deeply for no tangible reason, and no one should be judged for that. Having such a special connection with something is beautiful, and I’m happy to have such an interest that drives me and keeps me going even. The Beatles lift me up, they inspire me, and I’m not ashamed of my “obsession” because of that. Therefore, I reject the why. I reject even asking myself such a question in the first place, and, instead, I will continue to focus on the what, and what I love is The Beatles.

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