Thursday, September 10, 2009


I read Colt's blog about the Beatles last night and it spurred me on to actually write one that has been floating around in my head ever since the hype for Beatles Rock Bank began--and yes the hype worked on me. I bought the whole damn Beatles Rock Band package even though I already own Rock Band. Of course Colt urged that insane move so he could have the Rock Band instruments I already have. But that's not what I came to talk about.
I came to talk about what a difference the Beatles made in my life. I was one of the millions whose life was changed after that first Ed Sullivan Show. I was in the 5th Grade and I think I can truthfully say I was St George's most ardent Beatlemaniac. I came early to a love of popular music. A Ricky Nelson LP (Look that term up those of you under 40) for Christmas when I was in the first grade; my dad bought Bobby Darin and for some reason I was drawn to The Lettermen and Frankie Laine, but the Beatles, now that was a whole new thing--obsession. I had it all: posters that ruined the paint on my bedroom walls, Beatle dolls, a lunch box, a pillow. All kinds of stuff that would be worth a small fortune now. I did take excellent care of all the vinyl and have lovingly passed it down to my son who thankfully appreciates this kind of crap even more than I do. I loved it all and I lived and breathed Beatles for a long, long time.
Somehow I'd forgotten how much I really truly loved them until the Rock Bank hype. It's not even just that I loved them and their music. It's that they taught me so much.
It was the Beatles that first had me actually listening to words of songs for story and meaning because they wrote their own material. As I assess the artists that I went on to love, the ones that I really admire are all singer/songwriters: Elton John, Toby Keith, Jimmy Buffett to name the BIG THREE in my world. So they taught me the power words of a song can have and the value of making those words your own.
They taught me the value of humor in disarming people who insult or ridicule you. Can you believe the world thought there was something sinister in long hair? It really did. This also served as a primer to my education in WTF as I began to try to figure out why people are so concerned with what other people are doing even when it really has no effect on them.
I saw how celebrity can be used effectively and not so much as George spread Eastern religion and tried to feed the hungry; Paul worked for animal rights and John wanted us to give peace a chance.
When Brian Epstein committed suicide, I was shocked to learn that people really did discriminate against "homos." That's what we called them then, but even with my limited knowledge of sex, I was pretty sure that which sex other people were attracted to really wasn't contagious and that we should just let them be happy and not mess in their love lives.
Paul and Linda showed me true love and the ability to raise healthy good children in a glass bowl and validated my choice of Paul as my favorite.
John taught me that even though your intentions are noble and just, you can totally go about things the wrong way. And he taught me that people you admire can greatly disappoint you (Yoko, yep, I'm a Yoko hater), but in the end what they do with their lives is their business and not yours.
George grew as he aged and I really love his later stuff and I adore the Traveling Wilburys.
Ringo just makes me smile and we all need to smile as much as possible.
Maybe the most important thing the Beatles did for me is shape some priorities. Colt told me one time when I was lamenting about the CD's filling every corner of his room that I had a kick ass music collection and that he admired that and it was one thing he wanted. So I take credit for his music obsession and I am thrilled that he came to love the stuff I love early in life and then spread his musical wings and was exposed to and grew to appreciate many more genres than I ever will. Would I have had that kick ass collection if not for the Beatles, probably not.
Books--Books are a big deal for me. On of the first grown up books I HAD to own was John Lennon's IN HIS OWN WRITE. Jeez, it was clever. I learned to love owning good books and that's another trait Colt has picked up. I happily bought him many, many books on the Beatles, the Kennedys, US presidents and it worked. He's well rounded, well read, and curious about everything.
Concerts--I have a great concert resume and am still adding to it at the ripe old age of 56. I am so happy now that I can take Colt and Maggie along with me on these magical mystery tours to see live performances. The first concert I took Colt to was Crosby, Stills and Nash. He didn't like it much but now is proud to say it was his first concert. It was watching the Beatles at Shea Stadium that made me want to go to see a live concert. It was wanting a concert resume like mine that made Colt want to go to concerts and he is building his concert resume.
So in a lot of ways, the Fab Four not only shaped my life, but they influenced the way I influenced Colt's. Obladi. Oblada. Life goes on.


Colt said...

The other thing I failed to mention in my blog that I thought you might have would have been how excited I was when we would get close enough to SLC to hear the really good AM Oldies station.

Jodie Smith said...

That's true; I had kind of forgotten that. Remember the trip they were doing a 1969 weekend and I was so thrilled because that was "my era" and then I didn't like anything they played?