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Saturday, February 7th, 2004

Time Event
10:33p
Loving is easy with eyes closed

The cold: continues at a trading high of 37.1 Celsius. I continue to fight it; it's gotten three falls on me in the past four hours. Investors are rallying after rumors of the two-for-three infection split as coughing becomes a fresh competitive field.

Tomorrow is, sort of, the 40th anniversary of the U.S. television debut of the Beatles. (Jack Paar had shown a clip of them earlier, but that didn't get 228 percent of the viewing public in to watch and it remains a footnote.) I've built up a reputation as someone who doesn't listen to music; the truth is a little subtler. I'm just not very good at listening to it. If you put some on, I'll listen and probably have a fine time. If you buy a CD for me, I'll probably enjoy it and listen to it regularly. Tune a broadcast or Internet radio station on and I'll be fine. But going out on my own to seek out and listen to music, somehow, I missed the moment in life in which that becomes something you do.

The important exception is the Beatles, a band I know perfectly well and enjoy and will even choose consciously to listen to. I don't know why exactly, but can speculate; until my siblings destroyed them while I was off in kindergarten my mother had a complete set of LPs. Or maybe it's just that they were phenomenally talented; what other musicians have such a variety of first-rate songs with so many different sounds? Or that it used to be that every New Year's Eve ``Yellow Submarine'' would air on TV, and we all watched with delight, and the blend of wild animation seemed like a calling from destiny. They, and Heckle and Jeckle, and Mighty Mouse were the life I wanted at age eight. I'd still have to give it serious consideration. Choose your psychological theory and find my pigeon-hole.

School even helped. On flimsy grounds in seventh grade I was put in a class on music appreciation, which spent about half its time covering the Beatles in minute detail. We had a reel to reel tape machine, and could learn a valuable lesson about the functioning of magnetic media by trying to listen to the end of ``Strawberry Fields Forever'' really slow and loud to figure out if I did bury Paul.

So I have a small and dangerously imbalanced CD collection. And when I become President I will make the national anthem ``All You Need Is Love''. And it's almost inevitable that someday I'll get a copy of the Saturday morning cartoon from the King Features Syndicate animators with Paul Frees and Lance Percival no doubt doing the Fab Four perfectly. I'm all right with that.

Here's to The Beatles, my first object of fanboy adoration.

(I know I have the subject line wrong. But I like it better my way.)

Trivia: In the investigation of the then-record 1970 bankruptcy of the Penn Central, the merger of the Pennsylvania Rail Road and the New York Central line, auditors found the merged line had lost at least 305 boxcars. They were not destroyed; they were simply sent out with no record where or when. Some were later found to have been stolen by other railroads, and some sold back to the Penn Central. Source: The Wreck of the Penn Central, Joseph R. Daughen and Peter Binzen.

Currently Reading: A Thread Across The Ocean: The Heroic Story Of The Transatlantic Cable, John Steele Gordon. (Finished the Shakespeare book. Turns out it was Bolingbroke the entire time.)

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