My initial thought when I looked at my newborn son for the first time was that he didn’t know anything about this world. I was responsible for teaching him everything. He was like a blank canvas and I needed to fill him with all the most beautiful colors I could in all the most harmonious and pleasing combinations. I had to show him everything: the good, the bad, and the Beatles.
It’s been over ten years since I had that thought and I was reminded of it today. I put on Hey Jude and all three children came from their rooms at the first measure of Paul’s voice and crowded around the computer to hear it. Sure, they’ve heard it sung by the baby many times and wanted to hear the real thing. Sure, I’m responsible for that. But what came next was really brilliant.
Asher said, “Is that the Beatles?”
“Yeah, that’s Paul,” I answered. “And that’s John and that’s George.”
“They both play the guitar,” she said, followed by the most manly drawn out British drawl she could muster:
“I’m Geeeorge and I play the guitarrr.. and I’m John and I, too, play the guitar.”
Ok, I realize these weren’t the ghosts of George and John speaking through my 8 year old daughter. I gave her the Live at the BBC album and apparently she’s been listening to it. Still, I’m so proud. They were born blank but now they know the Beatles.
I remember spending a lot of time with Eugene and the Beatles. He used to show me the records (records as in LPs) and I had to guess who was who. He was mortified when I announced Ringo was my favorite. Looking back I’m not too surprised that he was my first choice. He’s obviously the outsider and being one myself I was bound to pick him out as kin. Sure, I’ll admit I wish I’d said something mature and wise like John Lennon but I’d be lying if I said I did. It was Ringo.
Oh, the Beatles. It’s as thrilling to hear the kids discover Twist and Shout for the first time as it was for me, and probably for you. Real tears rise when I think of my brother practicing karate to Lovely Rita or my mother belting Baby You Can Drive My Car with her signature over-the-top enthusiasm.
Hey Beatles, here and far, thank you….