Are you excited about The Beatles being available through iTunes? At first, I have to admit, I was all “well that’s cool, but I have Beatles CDs, so whatever”. But I moved very quickly into the “holy crap, I really need A LOT of this RIGHT NOW!” I think for me, the thing about The Beatles is that they’ve been with me for my entire life, and I think I know just about every song, every note, every word…every everything. And then I pull up the Magical Mystery Tour on iTunes and lose my shit because I forgot about that song! And that one! And holy crap Let it Be is way more brilliant than I ever remember!
So yeah. I’m excited.
Like any type of music, what you get out of it when you’re young is going to be a whole lot different when you get older, and because – as I mentioned above – I’ve known about and been a fan of The Beatles since I was really little, my appreciation of their music has undergone substantial shifts over the years.
For example. As a 7-year old, didn’t I just love the early hits – She Loves You, Please Please Me, Twist and Shout. As a young teen, my level of sophistication just shot right up (according to me, of course) and those early hits? Far too juvenile. No, for me at age 13 it was all about Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road and their ilk, and looking for the hidden meanings in I Am The Walrus and Strawberry Fields Forever, and debating whether or not Paul really was dead. Later still I was more about the rarities and the German versions and the live recordings and the solo works of each member.
And then? Flash forward to the parenting years and introducing the boys to popular music, and gaining a new appreciation for the early hits, listening to them sing along to I Saw Her Standing There and enjoying those all over again.
When I had just turned 13, my grandfather died. He was my last grandparent so it was the end of an era. My brother and I, in the hours leading up to his funeral, sat in our basement in our dress clothes and listened to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band until it was time to leave. Listening for clues in the music and lyrics, looking for meanings and codes.
Back in May, while we were getting ready to head to my mum’s memorial service, The Musician and The Artist were both at the computer in our dining room with iTunes open, listening to music for a bit before it was time to leave. At one point I walked by and recognized a song, and it stopped me in my tracks.
me: what are you guys listening to?
The Musician: Oh, I ripped your Sgt. Pepper CD to iTunes
The Artist: yeah, it’s really good!
me: it is, I know
The Musician: do you want to listen with us?
me: yes, yes I do.
So I told them that was the exact record their uncle and I were listening to before our granddad’s funeral. And their reaction was “Huh. Cool.” The significance? Kind of lost on them now. But years from now, I know they’ll remember what they were listening to before the went to their nana’s memorial, just like I remembered.
The Beatles. They’ve been there for it all, haven’t they? And they will continue to be. If you’re a fan, you can’t ask for much more than that.