Growing up in the early 1960s. . .
|If you were a girl growing up in the sixties, you had a favorite Beatle. Life was defined by "Beatleness" beginning in about 1964. The Fab Four first appeared on the "Ed Sullivan Variety Show" just a few months after President Kennedy was assassinated. "Meet the Beatles," the first LP album to be realeased for sale in the Unitd States was being purchased by every kid with an allowance or favorite relative to hit on. I always thought that President Kennedy would have liked the Beatles if he had lived. Everybody thought he was a cool President like that.
I was attending Catholic private school in the thrid grade in 1964. With much effort I finally passed the name which Beatle is which on the "Meet the Beatles" LP. The test was administered by my best friend, who lived across the street, and was a year older. The fact that she had a really good-looking brother who was a few years older than us made it even better. I don't think my best friend ever knew the crush I had on him.
For several hours, on several sunny afternoons, Pam and I listened to her Beatle album, singing along as we got to know the words. Words were not originally that difficult. We had nothing like moving video in those days, so my best friend taught me the names of the different Beatles from their album likenesses.
"John, George, Paul, and Ringo at the bottom." I could say it without even looking, so then she would point to the faces and ask me the names. When I could pass that part too, I was confident I knew my Beatles, as much as any nine-year old could.
I knew my lyrics, and I could sing along even with a head cold. My best friend and I debated about who actually sang which song, and we read magazines like Teen Beat and Tiger Beat.
We drew pictures of pictures when we sat in class, and felt empowered as we grew into adolescence. We turned sweet sixteen during the year of Woodstock. Let It Bewas supposed to be their last album. How could Beatlesness come to an end in the year 1969? It was like the Road Runner cartoon character had come upon a cliff. Afterwards, there was nothing new to hold to, without some question, some hesitation, as it was no more a basic living creating form. Beatlesness was over, but not gone.