I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 8 years old, riding in the cab of my dad’s work truck accompanying him on errands. In the cassette player was a well-worn Beatles Greatest Hits tape. I had listened to a lot of music on days just like this with my dad–The Supremes, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson. But none of them compared to what I heard coming out of the dashboard that day.
For years, I did nothing but listen to Beatles cassettes and read any book I could find. Even though I’m not artistic in any way, I made a case for all of my cassettes with carefully cut out photos of the Fab Four taped to the lid. In my grown up house, this has evolved into having nearly all of the Beatles LPs lining my staircase.
Every time my machine spat out a cassette, I meticulously wound the reel with a pencil eraser and performed surgery on the torn tape. My parents used to tell me I made them sick of listening to the Beatles. But to me, I don’t see how this is possible. I never get tired of hearing John, Paul, George and Ringo.
My love hit a new level in 1995. For weeks, I was glued to ABC watching the Beatles Anthology. Here, right in my own living room, I got to relive the amazing body of work I wasn’t alive to see the first time. I imagined myself living through Beatlemania.
Sadly, I was never alive at the same time as all four Beatles. There was never the possibility of a full-on reunion in my lifetime. The Anthology was the closest we ever came. With the release of John’s tracks, Free as a Bird and Real Love, we heard the first new Beatles tunes in nearly 30 years.
But I have gotten to see one-fourth of the Beatles in person.
Last year, my husband made a lifelong dream come true when we saw Paul McCartney’s Coming Up Tour. We arrived several hours early in hopes of seeing Sir Paul arrive for sound check. We waited in 90 degree heat for 4 hours only to discover we were waiting in the wrong spot. The show was still the best I’ve ever attended. Seeing an actual Beatle take the stage in front of me brought tears to my eyes. We actually got to hear Paul sing Yesterday, Hey Jude and The Long and Winding Road. It was surreal and unforgettable.
The best thing about attending Paul’s show was seeing how vast his fan base truly is. There were people of every race and nearly every age. Generations of families attended and enjoyed the show, reliving the moment they first fell in love with a Beatle.
Paul played a special show at the Apollo back in December to mark Sirius XM’s 20 millionth subscriber. I listened to online radio for days on end waiting to hear them play Band on the Run in hopes of winning tickets to the exclusive show. In the end, I didn’t win, but it was worth the try.
Paul, who turns 69 today (Happy Birthday Sir Paul!!!), is currently embarking on a brand new summer tour playing notable ballparks in the U.S. It kicks off July 15 at Yankee Stadium.
My husband bought us tickets for Paul’s show in Cincinnati this August at Great American Ballpark. It’s our anniversary gift, which coincidentally is the wood anniversary. What better way to celebrate than enjoying a night of listening to a Hofner Bass! And we’re on the field which will be the closest I’ve ever been to a Beatle.
I’m sure my inner Beatlemanic will be out in full force. I fully intended on making a sign on the astronomical chance Paul will see it during the show and bring me up on stage. A fan can dream, right.
But we do crazy things for love.