Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Beatles

I watched 'The Beatles: on Record' last night (BBC2). Oh my god! how they turned my heart over. I think they were the first pop group I took any real notice of. I had three sons under 5 when they made their first album in 1963, so I didn't have much attention to spare for such things, except when washing or ironing in the kitchen with the wireless on (or was it already called 'the radio' in those days?).


I have one particular recollection of the Beatles' sound hitting me: on a day when I had driven on my own to the nearest town (Macclesfield) to shop, and was sitting in my favourite cafe having my favourite meal of mushrooms fried in butter, presumably with an omelette or something else as well.


But I was as much impressed by them for their look as their sound: suddenly, here were young men performing in well-fitting suits in interesting new designs matched by full heads of hair, thick, shiny and groomed. One of my special hates has always been the 'short back and sides', often involving a clipper cut right up the back of the neck, exposing all kinds of unattractive irregularities in the skin which would be better covered up. Nowadays, of course, men seem happy to expose their whole scalp. Personally I have always liked something I could get my hands into!


I used to find it astonishing, the frenzy of the young girls who gathered in screaming, fainting crowds, to listen to their pop idols. I could not imagine myself being so carried away. If The Beatles came my way again today, I think I might scream with the best of them.

8 comments:

den said...

I agree.

annie said...

Such memories, Judith.I lived wa-ay out on a Texas prairie, 17 miles from a town in one direction and 48 miles in the other. Too far out for TV-- but I did I hear them on our radio. I thought they had a beautiful sound, and when I later saw replays of their Ed Sullivan appearance on TV, I thought they were completely charming.
annie

Sheila Joynes' Musical Diary said...

I was only 6 when Twist and Shout came out but I had a 12yr old sister who was really "into" pop music. I remember sitting on her bed listening to Alan Freeman's Pick of the Pops - ah, those were the days. Thanks for pointing out the programme, Judith. We missed it so I'm downloading it from iplayer now!

kapgaf said...

I remember Polyphotos - our maternal grandmother took my brother and I to have them done in Baker Street. The photos are still in a drawer in my father's house.

Not many groups came to Cornwall so there wasn't much opportunity for screaming and I don't think I would have done anyway although in the anonymity of a crowd I might have done.

Avus said...

They changed the face of popular music, Judith. So tragic the subsequent lives of the group members.

Granny J said...

We did not have TV at home, but my daughter, about 5 at the time, saw the Beatles at her grandparents. She returned home from a weekend with them, doing a pretty good imitation of what she had seen.

Lee said...

I remember the uproar when they came to Melbourne.

Le Gourou de Sandwich said...

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