Saturday, January 28, 2012


Hey! Who's that guy standing over there?  He looks like a guy I knew way back when... of course, it's Paul McCartney.  Did you have a favorite Beatle?  Was Paul your favorite? Can you guess mine?  (The photos were taken at a concert in Atlanta  by my son in July of 2009.)

I love the Beatles.  Not only were they great musicians and great songwriters but they were really amazingly good singers too. (Try to play "Beatles Rock Band", the video game and see how hard it is to score "perfect" on those harmonies! My son can do it, I can only do it on the George Harrison songs!)   When George Martin (their first producer, of course)   met them, he really was totally bowled over by their charm.  Talented, good-looking and charming...I loved them the moment I saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964.  It had been such a horrible time for the country.  President Kennedy had been assassinated in November of the year before and that winter seemed very cold and gray.  The music in this country had become very stale and dull.   When they were first introduced on the Ed Sullivan Show and all the girls started screaming, and I saw their young faces and their long hair, I was hooked.  It was like the world coming in color.
This is something that I read recently by the author, Cynthia Rylant, and she has expressed exactly what I felt about the Beatles...

"The Beatles gave me a childhood of sweetest anticipation.  Our country was falling apart with war and riots and assassinations, but the Beatles gave me shelter from these things in their music and the dreams they caused me to dream."

There are lots of books  about the Beatles but one that I really like is "The Love You Make" by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines.  Peter Brown, if you remember, was John Lennon's best man when he married Yoko.  He was with the Beatles from the very early days of the management of the band.

I have read that Yoko didn't care for the book but I didn't find it offensive regarding John Lennon, at all. In fact, I thought he did a remarkable job in his story and his desciptions of his  relationships with all the members of the Beatles.   Now, which Beatle is my favorite?  Oh dear, I must tell you... I love them all.  I really don't have a favorite!  But if you really press me on the point, quiet George, playing that wicked guitar, might have to be the one...  Please listen to this Beatles' song I have chosen for you.  My son says that this song "If I Fell" is one of his favorites.  As a guitar player, he says it's clever the way that it changes chords.   I didn't get to see Paul McCartney in 2009 but I did get to see him in Atlanta when he toured with WINGS in the late 70's and  to hear him play "Yesterday" on the guitar and sing it all alone on the stage.  It was magical...


  1. I'm a Beatles fan too, Kay. I know every song. I don't think anyone could surpass them in any catagory. Paul Simon comes close. This is a most fun post. No group or person seems to have this innocence :-(


    1. Dear kj,
      Because I am such a Beatles fan, I have wanted to do this post for some time, but I find it hard to write about the things I love.
      I love Paul Simon too! He sang at the ceremony in NYC on Sept. 11th last year and I have it one of my posts in September. I truly admire not only good singers but SONGWRITERS!

  2. I was born in 1968 and "fed" Beatles songs from Day 1, so to speak. Not that my parents were ardent Beatles fans, but they did listen to their music, and especially my dad was forever collecting records and playing them, for his own pleasure as much as for ours.
    Steve was THE Beatles fan if I've ever known one! When he was a kid at school, he asked his mum (who had worked as a hairdresser before getting married) to cut his hair Beatles-style, he didn't care that this was way out of fashion by that time; he loved "his boys" and wanted to be like them. When he was a bit older, in his early teens, he and his cousin Rob played music together; Rob did the lead singing, played the guitar and the piano (not all at the same time, of course...), and Steve did the harmonizing, drums, guitar and bass guitar. Together, they won a talent contest playing the song "Yesterday", and from then on they toured pubs in South Yorkshire on the weekends, playing for money, with Rob's dad being their chauffeur.
    Rob later became a professional musician who toured with his own and several other bands in England in the late 1980s and 1990s. He still plays in a band, and they are booked somewhere almost every weekend, and recently won an award for Best Pub Gig 2011.
    Steve kept his complete Beatles guitar songbook as one of his prized treasures, when he lived here with me, he would often play the guitar for me, and we were listening to Beatles CDs all the time, The White Album having been his favourite.
    When Steve died, Rob played his own version of "Yesterday" at the funeral service.
    I have not been able to listening to Beatles songs since.

    1. Dear Librarian,
      I can't thank you enough for sharing this, it is very moving. Steve just sounds so amazing to me. It makes me wonder what Steve would have thought of an American's viewpoint and early love of the Beatles!
      Even John Lennon loved "Yesterday", he would always refer to it as an example of what Paul was capable of... Trivia: Before he wrote the words, he had the music first, and Paul would just sing "Scrambled Eggs" for "Yesterday". True story? Or somehthing that Paul made up to be funny? Who knows for sure?
      Would LOVE to know what band that Rob plays in now, I put in "Best Pub Gig 2011" in a search engine and it came up with the final 4, which one is it, can you tell me?
      My sister was born in 1966 and she knows a lot of music that her peers do not, since she had older siblings to expose her to the BEST music!

    2. Kay, I remembered the name of the award wrongly, it was the "Best Live Band" award from the Mercury Clubland Awards 2011, and the band he currently plays with are named "CoAst", they only do covers, but he also has his own music published on CD with his musical partner Phil. If you look at CoAst's website: he is the slightly thickset guy with the dark hair, the glittery stripes on the sleeves of his shirt and the red base guitar.

    3. I found it! You know, you are so good at noticing the most minute detail, did you know that? I am not, guess you can tell, put a dress on a man and you can trick me!
      Anyway, they are good! They have a link to Youtube.
      Richard misses being able to hear good, live bands in England...

    4. Kay, I was wrong all along - it wasn't "Yesterday" that made Steve and Rob win the talent contest, but "Let it Be", and Rob played of course that song at Steve's funeral. Just realized that when it was played in the waiting line on the telephone to a customer and I almost couldn't bear listening to it.

    5. Both songs were written by Paul McCartney and both are beautiful! Music can evoke more memories for me than almost anything else...

  3. Years ago I was on a small Sussex country station platform waiting for the train up to London, just me and another man, who looked vaguely familiar.

    The train was late and we waited together for ages, before the train arrived and we got on the train.

    When the ticket collector came around he told me excitededly that we had Paul McCartney on the train.

    I'd been alone with him for about 40 minutes and hadn't even realise it was him.

    In my defence, I was a professional violinist and my head was full of the music that I'd be rehearsing in London.

    Wonder what I'd have said to him if I'd known that it was him.


    1. SP, I am sure he was rather grateful for not being recognized and spoken to; instead, he could, for a change, feel like just a normal guy doing something perfectly ordinary.

    2. Dear SP,
      Sitting at a train platform with Paul McCartney...some people have all the luck. I know that he has a house near Rye, in E. Sussex. Since I have visited East Sussex more than any other place, I keep thinking I will run into him ONE DAY!

  4. I've always liked the Beatles, but their older stuff, not the music they were playing when they first came to America. Sensitive George is my favourite, followed by Ringo - love his energy, he's aged so well and is just so darn cool! We recently watched a documentary series on the life of George, can't remember what channel though - perhaps you also saw it?

    1. Dear Jane,
      I know what you mean but you are younger than I am. When they first broke in America, the music was so different and such a departure from what was going on in the music world, it truly was like a beam of light shining brightly!
      Can you imagine being George and Ringo and being around Paul and John? If you get a chance, read that book that I told you about, the one by Peter Brown.
      Ringo also was in a funny movie where he met his wife, Barbara Bach...the movie is "Caveman".
      Oh, and it was on HBO, that documentary on George, so no, I didn't see it, but maybe I will see it one day.

  5. The Beatles created fun songs that put a smile on your face; it's no wonder they were such a huge hit. I don't really have a favourite Beatle, but if I had to choose, it would have to be George. There was something very sweet about his quiet nature.

  6. Plowing Through Life,
    Frank Sinatra famously said the best Lennon/McCartney song was "Something". which is funny, of course, because it was written by George Harrison!

    I forgot to mention that my sister and I had the Beatles dolls that bobbed their heads! Our mother managed to leave them behind when we moved. Wish I had them now!

  7. Kay, I never know what you are going to share and I love that! Great post on the Beatles, dear. :-) I love The Beatles. I do remember watching them that first time they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. I had a Beatles ring. It's their early songs that I love the most. I never ever get tired of hearing them and have one of those Best of the Beatles double album of those songs and still play it. Listening to that album is comforting to me and makes me very happy.


    1. Dear Shirley!
      Hey!!! So happy to see your comment here!

      Lots of the folks that I grew up with DIDN'T remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I was six years old but I had an older sister with me and a cousin who was older than us both, so maybe that is why I remember it so well.
      Do you still have your Beatles ring? Probably on Ebay with the dolls my sister and I had!
      You never know what my blog is going to be about, never know what is rattling around in my brain!
      Hey! I made Richard some FANTASTIC cookies with the almond flour, the recipe was on your blog... they taste like SAMOAS, the girl scout cookie! Uh oh, I may just have to do a post about them!! With a link back to you, of course! ;-)

  8. I love the Beatles too (but really who doesn't). I was trying to decide what is my favorite song of theirs & you know I just can't do it! There are too many good ones & they are all so different.

    Hope you are doing well,

    p.s. I have always been a Paul girl.

    1. Dear Elizabeth,
      So glad that you love the Beatles too. When I was growing up, you were either a Beatles fan or a Stones fan, and never did the two groups agree...
      And of course, I am a Paul girl too! No, make that John...No, I really love George..but wait, I love Ringo too....See what I mean?

  9. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, Kay. I've really enjoyed yours.

    And, of course, I'm very fond of the Beatles, as well. Even though I'm 54, it wasn't until my twenties that I came to fully appreciate them. It's hard to pin down my favorite songs, but I really like "If I Fell", as well as "In My Life" and "I Will". Alison Krauss does a version of "I Will" that I really love. As far as my favorite Beatle, I guess it would have to be George. He always seemed the most gentle and humble Beatle and he loved gardening.

  10. I also meant to say that I loved Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station, that I used to watch back in the 90's with my children. He was great in that role.

  11. Hello Beth!
    We are exactly the same age! Like you, I loved Ringo as the voice of Mr. Conductor. Have you ever seen that movie where he met his wife? It may be kind of dated now, but it is still funny... it is "Caveman", and I thought he was really good in it.
    Thank you so much for your comment! :-)

  12. Wonderful, wonderful posting. If I Fell is one of my top five Beatles songs. I feel lucky to have been alive when they first appeared on the scene. Paul was my first favorite. Then it was George. Then it was John. And now it is Ringo. All the stages of my life. Infatuated teen. Mystical twenty-something. Intelligent, cool twenty-into-thirty something. And more whimsical older woman.
    Still I think George is the one in my soul. Same birthday as mine, you know.

  13. Oh, and do you know that Dhani, George's son, is in a band with Ben Harper?? Fistful of Mercy. Video here:

  14. Dear Nan,
    So happy that you saw this post on the Beatles! I wouldn't have found that quote by Cynthia Rylant had you not directed me to her website! Now, YOU will have to do a post on the Beatles and tell us the top five Beatles songs that you love!
    George's son, Dhani... I will go to check him out on Youtube now. Thank you!
    And here are my son's Top 5, if you are interested. They are:
    1) Here, There and Everywhere
    2) If I Fell
    3) In My Life
    4) We Can Work It Out
    5) Happiness Is A Warm Gun
    I really should have mentioned that my son is a HUGE Beatles fan, and my husband is as well.

  15. I liked Paul, of course, because he was the cutest, but my favorite might have been George. I think I liked his moody look.

  16. Dear Kay,
    Another one for George! :-)
    Thanks for your comment!
    I will always think of you when I get on an elevator now, you know.

  17. I'll just tell you, instead. :<)
    I Should Have Known Better
    If I Fell
    All My Lovin'
    Things We Said Today
    You're Gonna Lose That Girl

    And as soon as I send this, I'll remember others that I should have listed!

    1. Nan,
      Thank your for your list! Have you ever seen the movie, "Across The Universe"? My son didn't want to see it, being such a Beatles fan, he didn't want to hear the songs sung by anyone else, but when he watched it with me, he LOVED IT!