Archive for the ‘Beatles’ Tag

No Invitation   4 comments

Monday through Friday, 7:00 –  7:25 AM, you’ll find me in my recliner, cup of coffee in hand and cat in lap. That’s because I’m addicted to the Today Show, and for those  twenty-five minutes of news, Matt, Savannah, Al & Natalie are my friends,

The gang

After that, with the show devoted to other stuff, they’re background noise, as I try to get one housekeeping  chore or another out of t he way before I go to work.

But last week, my curiosity was stoked by the steadily growing throng of pre-adolescent and adolescent girls staking their claim to Rockefeller Plaza so they’d have prime viewing space to see a band  called One Direction – 1D for those in the know.  It started out on Monday, exponentially increasing each day, until Friday, the morning of the concert, the hysterical crowd stretched from Fifth to Sixth Avenues and 48 to 50th street with an estimated 18,000  girls filling every square inch and their screams rising up to at least the tenth floor of the  office towers penning then in . Mind you – maybe 300 of them might, just might be lucky to get a glimpse of the boy band.  But  for each girl, being able to add their screams  to the other 17,999 was worth it to them

It brought to mind Beatlemania, and I couldn’t help contrast my viewing experience in a much quieter, less connected era.  I loved Paul, John, Ringo, and George, (and yes, in that order), but let’s just say I was an armchair fan, making due with watching their three celebrated appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. “Ladies & Gentleman, Four fine lads all the Way from Liverpool – The Beatles”!!!! And the girls in the audience would scream every bit as frantically as the 1D’ers,

Now, the Ed Sullivan Show was a viewing staple in my house,

ed sullivan show

but, after sharing the Four Fine Lads with my parents and brothers for their first two appearance, unlike the 1D girls, by the third go round, I was determined to have a solitary viewing .  So I quietly slipped away to watch the TV down in the basement room, where at least if I couldn’t scream, I could unabashedly let those tears run down my cheeks. I’ve never figured out why the sight of young rock idols brings forth involuntary tears in adolescent girls.

Don’t ask me why but my father came down a few minutes later. Knowing him, he probably just wanted to keep me company. And what timing! He settled into an armchair just in time for “Ladies, and Gentleman, all the way”  etc, etc.  Out trotted the Beatles, their hair bouncing and flouncing  with every step. They immediately launched into  Love,  Love me do. (I don’t know how I remember these things –  I just do.) Well, they hadn’t even gotten as far as  “You know I love you”  when Daddy  hauls himself out of the chair and marches to the door in a huff, proclaiming over his shoulder as he left the room.

” I can’t watch these sissies with that long hair.” Long  hair?” Now I ask you? This is how they looked at the time.

on Ed Sullivan

At any rate, Having been raised to be respectful, ( and wanting to live at least fifty more years) I refrained from asking  “Who asked you to come down here in the first place?’

Which brings me back to last Friday morning, and 1D.  Being curious as to just what kind of hunk of boydom would motivate 18,000 girls ,with fall closing in and with it an end to sleeping late,  to get  up at God knows what hour  to come down and join these seriously die-hard fans who’d been sleeping on the streets of New York for five days,  I had  to see them, and hoped they’d begin their concert  before 8:30 when I’d have to leave for work.

Ah, I was in luck. the screams grew in intensity as I bent over the bathroom sink, brushing my teeth. I straightened up and padded barefoot into the living room,  toothbrush in hand, as  Matt Lauer, serving for me as a twenty-first century Ed Sullivan, yelled into his microphone,  “Here they come, One Direction!’  I grabbed my glasses for a good look as,  five  young men, in their late teens(?), early 20’S.s (?)  in disparate types of out on the street dress, emerged from 30 Rock and bound up on stage.  My attention was drawn to one, who had a flannel shirt tied around his waist, a la yours truly when I get hot raking leaves in the fall leaves.

As  the cameras zeroed in on him, I  took in his scruffy beard, somehow out of keeping with his youthful face, and his carefully trimmed short hair. I turned on my heels and returned to the bathroom. I didn’t say a word, but a thought was resounding in my head,  “Short hair! I don’t want to watch this.”


And then the echo of a long ago voice – “Who asked you to come out of the bathroom?”

One Word Can Make A Big Difference   6 comments

I was driving south through Florida last month, surfing the radio stations and came  upon a station that covered the widest range of classic rock I’ve ever heard. However, their catch phrase, “we play the songs you know every word to.” is a bold-faced lie.  Are they denying the fact that most singers are graduates of The Bob Dylan School of Diction?

Singers like Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, and Stevie Nicks. Nobody knows every word of a rock song. How can you know what you can’t understand?

The station is very fortunate that I cannot recall their call letters because if I did I just might have reported them to the FCC. Why? Because it’s dangerous to propagate false confidence. When you’re sure you know the words of a song you have no hesitation singing aloud.  And that just might lead to a rude awakening.

Take Jack S, a guy I knew at the Jersey Shore. It was 1969 and he had heard this great song by the Beatles.

He just had to sing it for everyone, “Hey Dude!”

And then there was Mrs. S, the mother of a friend and no relation to Jack S. It was 1974 and Disco was in full swing.

She loved to sing the anthem of the dance floor, “Do the Hot Dog.”

Speaking of disco, Eddie, the Best man at my wedding, couldn’t understand the story behind one of the songs from Saturday Night Fever. There’s John Travolta dancing under the disco ball with his sometimes dance partner, a woman with a full head of disco hair.

So why he wanted to know, were the Bee Gees  singing

“Bald -headed woman, Bald-headed woman to me.”

And since people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,   I’ll fess up. I recently heard my favorite Bruce Springsteen song, Born to Run, delivered directly into my head via an  iPod  I was on the tread mill, lip synching along until Bruce and we came to the part where we’re  exhorting Wendy to come with him, flee New Jersey, start a new life and I nearly came to a halt. What? What was he saying? Tramps?  “Tramps like us, Baby we were  born to run.”   You mean it’s not champs? Champs are born to run, not tramps!

Maybe I’ll write my own song, about the dude who meets a bald headed lady and they dance the hot dog and when they’re through, they jump on a freight car with all the other champs who were born to run, and they’ll all be wearing their gold medals and blue ribbons.

OK, it’s your turn. What songs did you think you knew? Use the comment section to share. Nobody will laugh, I promise.