Note: I just wanted to note that when I wrote this blog post I had a terrible headache. I’m not making excuses, and yet I am… because the headache made it almost* impossible to be funny.
*almost, not quite.
I was 12 when I discovered The Beatles.
It was an accident really. A happy one, which involved stumbling upon some LPs at a garage sale and purchasing them without my parents consent.
Until that time the only music I was “allowed” to listen to was Contemporary Christian Pop (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patty). My parents (God bless them!) tried to keep our “worldliness” to a minimum, which in theory is a great idea… but in practice, it makes the “world” very intriguing indeed!
My mother grew up in an ultra-religious home, with even stricter rules about music. If music wasn’t explicitly “Christian”, it was a no-go. In those days (60s), it was really black and white… (literally, the TV shows were in black and white). You were either a “Christian” or “not”… If you were a “Christian”, you were a follower of Christ and you did “Christian” things like: donate to charity, love thy neighbor, read the bible and pray. If you were “not”, you did things like: take the Lord’s name in vain, commit adultery, bear false witness against thy neighbor, kill, steal, worship satan, etc.
In the 80s it became a little more gray. You could be a “Christian” and still enjoy parts of the “world” (like, Washington State, for instance), and if you were “not” you could still enjoy a sunset (also known as: God’s paintbrush).
I was vaguely aware of The Beatles. I knew that they were of the “world” (England, specifically), so when I went to that garage sale and saw several Beatles albums for 25¢ each, I bought the lot of them. I didn’t tell my parents. I covered them with an afghan and played them when my parents weren’t home.
I don’t think I knew what I was in for. It metaphorically blew my mind.
Every album was more beautiful and magical and melodic than the next. Every song was a masterpiece… a tour de force, a chef d’oeuvre, a gem.
The Long and Winding Road.
The Fool on the Hill.
Across the Universe.
A Day in the Life.
The Beatles spoke to my soul and my brain and my heart…
I became a tiny bit obsessed. I would go to the library and scour the Encyclopedia Britannicas for more Beatles info. I learned that George Harrison was a follower of Hinduism, I learned that Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey, I learned that Paul McCartney was married (to Linda McCartney), and I also learned that John Lennon was dead… which was disappointing to say the least.
My parents found the albums (they were just under an afghan, so it wasn’t a huge surprise) and surprisingly (this was a huge surprise) they were okay with it… Sort of. They thought it was better for me to be into old-fashioned music than new-fashioned music, which was (obviously) evil.
I remember being angry that I only found out about The Beatles when I was 12. Why had no one told me about The Beatles? I had wasted 12 years of my life not knowing about The Beatles… and not having The Beatles in my life! I equated it to finding out you’ve been adopted and that your biological parents have been open to having a relationship the whole time and they didn’t really give you up, it was actually just a misunderstanding, and also: they own a chocolate factory! So, basically – you could have been having unlimited chocolate all this time?! Seriously.