The Beatles

The Beatles: Why we Loved Them

  Sir Paul McCartney is currently promoting a gallery showing in New York City of the photos he took on the famous breakout tour in America of the Beatles in February of 1964. It was such a shock to the system when they landed in America. After JFK’s assassination, the country needed something completely different. The world was changing and the shock to the system needed a purge.   The Beatles were about love. She Loves You, was what they sang. And I love her was another song title. They were loved and people laughed to see how funny and witty they were.  And older people just shook their heads in wonder. It was a time of change and the country was ready for something different.   There is a book out now trying to explain why some people become famous and others don’t. In this case, serendipity met the moment! The Beatles were needed and they were persistent and above all, they were talented. So many naysayers thought of them as a “flash in the pan,’ and there were copy-cat groups that did try to emulate their success.   The Beatles were “The Real Deal” But the Beatles became famous for a reason. Their music was seen and heard by brilliant people like Bob Dylan, who also knew they were the ‘real deal,’ and not a passing fad. And the Rolling Stones also broke through at this time. The two pop groups were sort of a Yin & Yang for pop culture and rock music fans.   Bob Dylan came onto the scene through the doors of folk music and the entrée of the Greenwich Village beatnik scene. The Beatles listened to black musicians and gathered all the ammunition they needed from a wide range of pop influences. They were not really just overnight success stories. They worked hard and were persistent.  Plus they had producer George Martin backing them and pushing them and encouraging them not to give up!   The ”It’ Factor in their Success   That is one reason why the Beatles became “The Beatles!” But there was the ‘it’ factor too. It is this elusive factor in success; where Hollywood producers have told us that if you knew how to bottle it and sell it, then there would be thousands of celebrities and famous movie stars. But there is some extra ingredient that goes in to making a star into a “Star!” of great heights.   The Beatles brought with them the ‘it’ factor and it seemed to be the fact that they were loved. Their fans loved them and adored them and screamed and cried for them. That is what made it different. The “X” ingredient seemed to be the love quotient…   What they taught us about “The Global Village”   Before the Beatles, the idea of the “Ugly American,’ was apparent in the heavy-handed global footprint Americans had managed to create. But the Beatles were able to ‘lighten up’ the messaging problem a bit!   Why? They were the continental success story and they were loved in the newly emerging “Global Village’ Not as a pejorative term, but as a realistic fact, we have all become “Globalists’ in the Computer Age. But in the early sixties, the isolation of countries and the pervasive shadow of the Cold War loomed over our lives. But the Beatles sang their songs in French (Michelle, My Belle) They sang in German: “Komm, Gib mir deine Hand!” was I want to hold your hand!   They were English with a Continental flair and their flippant humor was perfectly charming to most Americans. The Global Village opened up with the global success of The Beatles.   Changing the Conversation   The conversation was changed for the better when the Beatles first appeared on the scene. Their humor, their hair, their clothes, their music, and their entire persona and popularity became the much-needed antidote to the national malaise that had fallen over the USA. They came on the scene at the right time and in the right place. They arrived in New York City and suddenly nothing was ever the same in terms of the notions of what a ‘pop band’ was! Nothing would ever be the same…   Looking at the photos that Sir Paul took from his own camera capture the moments that followed. You can see the excitement and almost feel it in some of the photographs. They sang “She Loves You,’ but we were the ones who fell in love that time in 1964 when the Beatles first came to our shores.

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Vignettes for June: Will the real Jesus Christ please stand up?

Letting Go vs Let it Be I am grateful that I do have the time and grace and mind and heart and soul and body to know that there are flaws in the engine. Things are going to break down, and it’s not going to be what we want it to be. Things are not always going to be as they were. And we cannot have all that we want. And I am grateful that I am a huge fan of “The Beatles”. They broke up long ago, and people would yearn for them to return to the way they were. For decades, they would pine for them to come back and bring us the joy we found in their music. But I believe they told us all along how it should be. They sang “Let it Be.” And we find that letting go is hard to do. But to “Let it Be” is an even harder task. “Let it Be” is just another way of saying Let me Be. Let it go and let it be are two distinctly different things. And both are some of the hardest things we can do. By letting go, we acknowledge the past and faults and our own broken souls  and dreams that have been battered and yet survived. By letting things be, we know the future will unfold as the universe has intended in some mysterious way. And we must let it be as God intended, and as the plot should unfold. We, as writers, sometimes imagine there are multiple universes hidden inside the shell of our brain. I may invent plots that play out as dreamscapes but I know I will never realize most of them on a conscious level. Yet still they unfold and are elusive and I have to let it be. And I have to tell myself that not all things are meant to be. And not all unrealized dreams are failures. When Failure IS an option! Failure is not an option is one of the mantras I hear a lot. Sometimes failure IS an option. But you don’t give up, you try again! That is the lesson learned. When Failure isn’t an option, but giving up is! The important thing is to try. Try new things and do new things till there is no more left to do and you have exhausted all your ‘what if’s’ and “If’s, And’s, or But’s.’ You may then conclude there is nothing left to do. From sheer exhaustion, sometimes we just give up. When failure is an option, we can give up. We allow ourselves to let go and let it be. Sometimes there is failure and we still can’t give up. It’s not always that easy…It’s helpful when giving up is an option! Not just fear of failure but…  One of the greatest moments in Apollo & NASA space history was getting those men back to Earth after a massive failure of equipment during their space flight. “Failure is not an option” was their tag line. And they didn’t fail in their mission to get the guys home; but Failure is ALWAYS an option on the table. Human failure is that which we don’t know. Will the real Jesus Christ please stand up? There are so many interpretations and guises that we see cloaked in the moniker of ‘Christianity.”  I suppose we could set up a game show much like the one we had in the fifties called, “What’s My Line?”  Three different men in costumes would sit on a panel and they would present different texts and guises where -in the name of Christianity-they could say they represent all that is pure and is right and is noble in this world. Some of them are dedicated to the cause of making money. Others are true believers who would just love to believe in something! We are all seeking the truth and the light that we see when we look at the core of the Christian message coming from the real Christ. It was a simple message-Love one another. Do right by others….I have often just called it: “The Zen Christ.” It’s the Living Christ, the one we need to pull into the 21st Century. Still just musing about what Christianity means and does NOT mean to so many disenchanted people, we begin to realize how his message is misinterpreted by so many. It is a messaging problem for the 21st Century that even supersedes our current disinformation problems in American Democracy. I have long concluded that this messaging problem is ripe for those who are fanciful (such as writers and those with creative imaginations.)  We can just imagine a religion that is full of visions and stuffed with wonders. And if you looked long enough to see all that is found in the Bible, it’s easy to see how many could misinterpret the basis for the religion. And it is even better to remind all that it can be boiled down to the simplest of phrases- Love One Another. It’s a simple line-Love One Another. Simple enough to put on a T-Shirt or a baseball cap or slap on a bumper sticker. That is the way we are in modern times…we market our religion. And simple messaging is key. One of my favorite lines from the musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is the question that Judas asks: “Why’d you pick such a backward time and such a strange land? If you’d come today, you could have reached a whole nation-Israel in 4 BC had no Mass Communication!” The fact of the real Jesus Christ boils down to this: Someone dies and sacrifices himself for others. That is a very human condition.  It is a sad fact of the fate of Man…but it’s a very human thing. We can all understand it. But speaking as a writer of fiction, if there was a story or fable written…and it was distributed  throughout the cosmos, then humans would always suffer the same

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water falls in the middle of the forest

Monday Muse: Waiting, Seeking & Finding Hope

“….The Beatles song “Hey Jude: has this wonderful line after just advising “Jude” not to wait for someone to perform with!  “The movement you need is on your shoulders’. We spoke earlier of The Wizard of Oz metaphor in life, where we wait for a savior as Dorothy did in Oz, when the power to return to her home was always with her.

… Each day we are facing some type of trial or test in our life, …. Remember, the movement we have been waiting for is right there …

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