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.