25 December 2017
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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"Dearly Beloved, We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life"
6 March 2019
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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Living is easy with eyes closed...