Recollections of growing up with the Beatles
OK, Beatles fans. What is your favorite Beatles recording and why? That’s a question I posted on Facebook earlier this week.
For me, it depends on the day. I have at least five or six of them at the top of my list. All tied as to which is number one. Like many of you, I’m a fan of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. Shortly after that, we moved to Gypsum, where my best friend Steve’s older sisters had all of the Beatles records at that time. They continued to purchase them until we moved back to Grand Junction in August 1969.
“Meet the Beatles,” their first American release, and “Hard Days Night” are the two I remember listening to the most. That is, at least until “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” came out in December 1965 and August 1966, respectively. It was also around that time that I saw “Hard Days Night.”
It was about that same time that Steve’s sisters moved out of the house and took all of their records. So the only exposure I had with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club,” “Magical Mystery Tour” and the “White Album” were from the 45s we bought when we went to Glenwood Springs or came to Grand Junction.
We moved back to Grand Junction in time for me to start junior high school at Immaculate Heart Of Mary. For some reason there was a turntable in the lunch room and on more than one occasion someone was playing the Beatles “Abbey Road” during lunch. But the nuns eventually put a stop to it.
The father of my new best friend, Gary, was the general manager of both the Mesa and Cooper theaters and we were able to get into movies for nothing. It was with Gary that I saw “Yellow Submarine,” as well as the movie “Let It Be.” We saw them both more than once — from in front of and behind the screen. It was an usher’s secret!
Gary also stole lyrics from the Beatles when he signed my annual at the end of 7th grade. In one instance he drew a circle around the picture of one of our classmates with an arrow pointing to “Got to be good looking/cause he’s so hard to see.”
IHM closed after my 7th grade year, and so I went to Orchard Mesa Junior High for two years. It was there that I traded a copy of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bayou Country” for the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Beatles Again.” I got the best end of that deal as I went to Woolworth’s and bought the Creedence album for $3.79. During my junior year at Grand Junction High School I was chosen as the monitor in the foreign language lab because I could use a reel-to-reel tape player. I found the tape labeled German 1 and put it on the player. To my classmates’ and my surprise it was the “White Album.” Needless to say, we didn’t get much studying done in that lab. That helps explain the C-minus I received for a grade.