You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)

Tuesday today. Let’s see, Bill woke me up again this morning at 6:50 which was fine. I was out of bed and doing my thing. Bill is off to his sleep apnea test tonight which leaves me solo. Not such a bad thing, though the bed will be emptier than it should.

Looking forward to President Obama’s press conference tonight. Still a refreshing thing to see and hear a world leader speak so intelligently and with authority. For some reason the right wing nuts have been going off on the fact that Obama reads from a teleprompter. What the fuck is that about?

I know the previous President, you know, the door knob, had difficulty pronouncing nuclear correctly, but all they could do is complain that Obama reads from a teleprompter? What? Did they think Bush was talking off the top of his soft skull?

They also have been complaining that Obama is busy multi-tasking. I know, that’s not right, especially since the door knob before him had difficulty watching TV and eating pretzels.

Yesterday was a busy Facebook day. Last night I was posting with a few other people, specifically Pat Longo. Nice guy, friends with my brother Frank and other WFMU types. Pat doesn’t like the Beatles. Says they’re overrated.

I can see how he might say that though I obviously don’t agree. For me, my love for the Beatles, isn’t just the music. It’s the whole cultural phenomenon that started 45 years ago and continues to this day.

They still sell plenty of records and books, and soon they’ll be on Guitar Hero or perhaps Rock Band. I don’t know, I’m not a gamer. For the seven years that they were active, they were in my eyes, four of the coolest people on the planet. Clothes, hair, & attitude still resonates. I know, I’m biased.

I love playing their songs on guitar and singing along. I’ve read their books, from badly written biographies to trainspotters writing about every recording session to the smallest detail. Moms and dads and kids liked them and still do.

I was devastated when John was murdered, and was very upset when George was attacked by an intruder and I cried when he passed away a year or so later. I shed a tear or two seeing Paul live at Madison Square Garden in 2005, and smiled sweetly when I saw Ringo do a morning set at Bryant Park for Good Morning America.

I think they were and still are amazing. There were moments that I resented them for casting such a large shadow on everything that came afterwards. The resentment was momentary and faded away and still I loved them. They probably resented the shadow that they had created and were forced to live in. Still, they weren’t going hungry.

I think one of the first musical memories I had was of my brother Frank playing Strawberry Fields Forever and when it faded out and in at the end he turned out the light in his bedroom and scared me. Strawberry Fields Forever makes for a better musical memory than Winchester Cathedral which could actually be the first song I actually recognized.

I owe my Beatles fixation to my brother Frank who gave me my first Beatles LP as a consolation for not taking me to see the bicentennial fireworks like he had promised. It was Abbey Road, their last album. Which in a way makes sense for me since I tend to do things backwards.

I started collecting their records, looking for the original Capitol Records rainbow edged albums, or releases on the Apple label, buying import singles with songs I never heard before, like The Ballad of John & Yoko.

Side note: one of the reasons that I took the job at McMann and Tate aka Wolff Olins was because they helped design the Apple Records label back in 1968. And that didn’t go so well for me 38 years later.

I just figured out a few weeks ago that John, Paul, George & Ringo, which I’m sure you know is sometimes how they’re mentioned, is the order that the band was formed. Maybe it was obvious, maybe I’m a dunce.

From July 5 1976 until December 9 1980 I felt I might have a chance of seeing the four of them perform again, or at least release a record. We know how that turned out.

But I still play them, I’m still enthralled, and I’m still a Beatles fan, and you know you should be glad. Yeah yeah yeah!

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