In 1964 I was nine years old. The Beatles had landed in America and we all watched history in the making as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” rocked our TV sets that Sunday night on The Ed Sullivan Show. Beatlemania’s contagious vibe had taken root and blasted out of every top forty radio station in the U.S. My dad, of course, said it was a fad that would last only two weeks. “Mark my words,” he said, “it’s a fad.” Turned out to be a ten-year fad and the fab four became lifelong music legends! Paul McCartney was my favorite and I collected every series of the bubble gum Beatle cards: black and white, sepia and color; still have them. They’re like baseball cards, but have pictures of the Beatles on them and some have fun facts on the back. You got five cards and a stick of gum in a waxy paper wrapper all for a nickel. I can still remember that sweet gum smell lingering on the cards and wrapper for days after the gum was long gone. The British beat became infectious. One nine-volt battery and transistor radio later, I was hooked. I had to be in bed by nine o’clock and Cousin Brucie was just coming on the New York City airwaves of WA- Beatle- C, as he use to say. Lights out at nine, transistor radio on and under my pillow. Into the dark I went lulled by The Beatles, The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, and The Supremes. My initiation into music had begun.
Years later, the soundtrack of my life became wider and fuller. Spanning rock, folk rock and even classical. The 70’s was a whirlwind of concerts: Elton John, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer and James Taylor to name a few. Life was good and the music was loud, but always with a message. I love this about music, the poetic words of insight paired with emotional vibration. This is what moves us, opens us, allows us to feel and maybe just plain let loose.
Oh, to be nine again, with a transistor under my pillow, launching into a world of new vibrations.