Monday, August 17

"I'm younger than that now..."

    by Liz Flaherty      

I was 13 when the Beatles came to America and to the Ed Sullivan Show to nestle into the hearts of so many of us. I bought all their records and tried to grow my frizzy brown hair out long, straight, and sleek. I sat through A Hard Day’s Night at least 10 times, but I never got to go to a concert. I was, in the vernacular of the day, a Beatlemaniac.
          That left me sometime after the White Album and prior to the birth of my first child, but I’m still unable to stand still or be quiet when an early Beatles’ song comes on the radio.
          Well, shake it up, baby now—twist and shout...c’mon, c’mon...
          Oh, excuse me.
          Last night, we went to see 1964 The Tribute perform. We were in nosebleed seats and, in truth,
didn’t expect all that much because, of course, we were there for the whole, real thing, so what could possibly...
          Oh, yeah, I’ll tell you something...I think you’ll understand...
          And then I did. Understand, I mean.
          Most of us in the huge crowd were baby boomers. We remembered JFK, Martin Luther King, and RFK and their lives and deaths. We remembered “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and Peace not War...
          All we are saying is give peace a chance...
          Only they didn’t, of course, give peace a chance. We remember Vietnam, too.
          A lot of us wore flowy things in the 60s. Long floaty skirts with sandals and shawl-type things over tank tops. No bras. Last night, a lot of us still wore flowy things. Only now we do it because we’re shaped differently and flowy works well with the changes. Not only do we wear bras, many of us won’t leave the house without underwires.
          Pride can hurt you too...apologize to her...
          Oh, God, I love this music!
          Duane and I were alone at the concert, but we weren’t. Not really. All around us, everyone knew the words. When to clap. When to stand. When to laugh out loud and say...
          I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.
          Oops, those are Dylan lyrics. But they fit.
          I would have loved a Beatles concert in the 60s, but no more than I loved the Tribute concert last night. Because the mechanisms you use for thinking and feeling and listening are honed and tightened by age, the intensity of those particular processes is excruciatingly wonderful to experience. I know I talk about age too much here—that’s because I know so much about it. And because it’s such a lovely thing.
          I’m always surprised when people don’t believe in happily ever afters, when they don’t believe love ever lasts, when they don’t know what an enormous gift life is. Maybe it is because they don’t write romance or Yes I Can women’s fiction—or maybe it’s because they don’t read it.
          I hope you do one or the other or both, and that as life goes on you focus on how glorious it all is. Now to the question—I know, there’s always a question, but what musical group affects you the way the Beatles still do me? Have you seen them in concert?

          Have a great week!

24 comments:

  1. Great post, Liz! I don't have a group, but that's okay...I like to read about other people's experiences. What I remember is "Michelle, ma belle, sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble...."

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    1. That was never a favorite of mine, but they sang it the other night. I kept waiting for "Paperback Writer" but they didn't do that!

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  2. *ducks head* I'm a child of the disco era.....but Mom loved The Beatles and Elvis, so my music tastes run all over the place:)

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    1. Mine, too, up to and including big band, but the Beatles have my heart. :-)

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    2. I wanted to go see Shaun Cassidy when I was 12, and then while in HS, we saw RickSpringfield and Air Supply at the fair, but my 1st official concert was REO Speedwagon.

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    3. Mine was Kenny Rogers. I have never yet been to a real rock concert!

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  3. I can so relate to this experience. I was never a Beatles fan back then, and while I enjoy listening to the oldies, I listen more to classical, instrumental music, love anything on a violin or a piano. Love Richard Clayderman and Andre Rieu. I've never seen either in concert, but if I had the chance, I'd go in a heartbeat.

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    1. I am fascinated by and admiring of classical music, but I only enjoy it in limited amounts--kind of like the big band I mentioned above.

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  4. I was a Beatles baby. I think I was eight when they first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. They kind of lost me at Sgt. Pepper. I went from there to The Doors, (still in mourning for Jim Morrison), but then Bob Seger came along. Seger was the only one I was old enough to see in concert. It was AWESOME!!!

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    1. Oh, Bob Seger--yes! And, for me, James Taylor. He is my Sam Elliott of music. :-)

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  5. I've never really 'gotten' the Beatles. I mean, I like a couple of their songs but...that's about as far as it goes. I know, my image is ruined now, isn't it?

    RadioMan & I are going to see a Garth Brooks concert in a few weeks and I'm really looking forward to it...but if I could see any group I think I'd hit a Beach Boys concert - I love them!

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    1. LOL. You're forgiven. I'm the same way with the Stones. Country-wise, I'd love to see Vince Gill because I've heard his concerts are fabulous and Alan Jackson because I like him so much. I love the Beach Boys, but have never (well, since the 60s) wanted to see them in concert.

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  6. LOL, I was pretty young when the Beatles debuted on the Sullivan show. A few years later, my older cousin gave the A Hard Day's Night and did I love it. I've been to many concerts as I had a roomie that worked for a radio station and another who worked for a record label. On my must-see list is The Moody Blues. Just never saw them.

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    1. I love the Moody Blues. I wore "Go Now" (and my mother's ears) out entirely!

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  7. Liz, I was one of those people who saw the Beatles perform live at the Indiana State Fair over 50 years ago. (Yikes - did I really write that?) The tribute acts are easier to hear when they perform. With all the screaming at the Beatles' concert you could not hear the music. I wrote about something similar on my blog recently (post titled "Dear Prudence") after seeing the Classical Mystery Tour (another Beatles tribute act) at Symphony on the Prairie. There is something so fun in being in a crowd of people celebrating music you enjoyed in your youth.

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    1. My best friend went, too--I loved hearing about it, but, oh, the envy! Thanks, Carolyn.

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  8. I loved the Beatles but one of my favorite groups is the Rolling Stones. About 25 years ago my husband and I paid a scalper for tickets. I was so worried we wouldn't even get in the door after turning over all the cash we had. We not only got in but had second row seats. I swear Mick Jaggar looked into my eyes when he strutted by. 😊

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  9. Reading these lovely tribs to rock groups is so fun. I liked the Beatles pretty well (I remember seeing them on Sullivan) but my favorite band came later: The Eagles.

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    1. I love the Eagles, too. Even though the Beatles and Beach Boys have first dibs on my musical heart, I think the Eagles are probably the best.

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  10. I saw the Beatles Cirque De Soleil show and it was stupendous. They were truly musical genius.

    My personal go-to group is probably Bon Jovi. One or another of their CD's is always in my rotation.

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  11. I love the Beatles, but Heart, Billy Joel, and Sonny and Cher got me excited. My favorite, though? Dance. My husband and I loved Bob Fosse's choreography and went to any show in the area.

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    1. Fosse was definitely a genius. I like dance, but can't melt into it the way I do singing.

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