In the first installment of this new weekly series, I established that my first “classic rock credential” was acquired in 1964 when, at the age of eight, I watched the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show along with the rest of the nation.
That groundbreaking musical event began my lifelong love affair with the Beatles.
As witness to this devotion, my baby-sitting money, earned at the rate of 50 cents an hour, provided the cash flow necessary to purchase Beatles’ albums priced at about $3.00 each. (But do not quote me on that price. All I remember about money in those days was the Barbie Doll wedding gown I highly coveted cost $5.00 and that was way above my pay grade.)
In addition to learning my fashion sense from Barbie, the Beatles were a major cultural influence during those formative grade school years. Every new album was an event — a 60s version of the latest iPhone release.
Unless you lived through it, it is hard to describe just how much the Beatles were integrated into all our young lives.
For example, a friend’s birthday party was celebrated at the movie theater watching Help! Singing Beatles’ songs on the school bus was a daily event. And in 6th grade, my best friend and I performed our baton-twirling routine for the class talent show to the tune Day Tripper.
As the mid- sixties progressed, I was not only a fan of Beatles’ music but related to the Fab Four on a personal level because they were growing and evolving right along with me.
So now it is October, 1969 and I am 14 years old.
Having discovered the opposite sex, my girlfriends and I gathered in someone’s basement for “make-out” sessions with our boyfriends. In the center of the room there was a huge cardboard box, where you entered to engage in serious making out.
The soundtrack of that “PG rated” afternoon was Abbey Road, for the newest Beatles’ album had just been released.
To listen to the entire album click below.
Like it happened yesterday, I remember hearing, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) while rolling around in the big cardboard box. For your enjoyment, here is a video montage of that song.
In addition to She’s So Heavy invoking special memories, the words to the song Come Together held a certain fascination for my friends and me.
While at cheerleading practice there was repeated group singing of the phrase “Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease.”
Besides Lennon and McCartney’s genius displayed throughout the album, George Harrison, known as the “quiet Beatle” raised his voice and stature with me because Something and Here Comes the Sun were among my favorite songs.
Thinking back, I remember being delighted that these were George’s songs. Harrison, the lead guitarist, had been totally eclipsed by Lennon and McCartney as a songwriter up until Abbey Road.
Then, that now famous 16-minute medley on side two totally perked-up my ears because I had never heard anything quite like it.
(Memo to the young’uns out there in web-land: In ancient times record albums had two sides and you actually had to get up off the couch and turn the record over. Yet another example of just how tough life was in the 60s.)
Further enhancing the Abbey Road musical experience was the raging pop culture question: “Is Paul Dead?”
We would sit around and carefully examine the now iconic Abbey Road album cover for any new clues that could resolve on-going mysteries like, Why was Paul barefoot? What did the license plate mean? Was that Paul’s funeral procession depicted on the cover? As we played the album the mysteries deepened.
Now it is time for you to sit back and listen to Abbey Road while sipping a glass or two of Erath Pinot Noir. If you have never tried this fine, smooth Oregon wine, you are in for a treat and Costco sells it for $14.99.
(Obviously a wine made by aging, liberal Oregon hippies but conservative Republicans can have a glass without experiencing any noticeable change in voting behavior.)
So while you are enjoying Erath’s mellow earth, heart, Oregon Zen-hippie vibe, mediate on this: Paul is still with us while tragically, George and John are not. Ringo is floating around somewhere in his Yellow Submarine, and 43 years later, Abbey Road is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Finally, you just can not make this stuff up! After this piece was finished, my husband sent me an article with the headline: Beatles get scrambled in ‘Abbey Road’ cover made of breakfast food.
A “food sculptor” was commissioned by Beefeater Grill, a UK restaurant chain, to recreate the Abbey Road album cover using selections from their breakfast menu. This is a promotion coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first recording session at the Abbey Road Studios.
So here is that infamous cover made with the likes of sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, cereal and hash browns. Now, out of respect for Paul McCartney’s strict vegetarian diet, Sir Paul is made of mushrooms.
More music, Beatles and Boomers at PJ Lifestyle: