Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fab Two

This from the Writer's Almanac of today:
It was on this date in 1957 that Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the first time, at the Woolton Village Fete in Liverpool, England. John Lennon was almost 17, and Paul McCartney had just turned 15. Lennon had formed a band called the Quarrymen, although he had trouble remembering lyrics and didn't know proper guitar chords, because he'd learned how to play on a banjo. Paul met the band when they played a gig at St. Peter's Church. He told them that he could tune and play a guitar, and since no one in the band could tune their own guitars, they were impressed. Paul then knocked the socks off Lennon when he performed "Twenty Flight Rock," by Eddie Cochran, and didn't forget a single word of the lyrics. Lennon asked McCartney to join the band a week later.
I have a great big fat collective bio of the Beatles by Bob Spitz reposing unread on my bookshelf, and I've told myself a bunch of times how I really must read that book. The Beatles are a phenomenon that if you didn't live through it cannot possibly understand what it was. Books  have been written about them and their significance. People are still trying to figure it out. My thinking right now is more mundane. As I sit here today thinking about the Beatles, I'm just really sad that only half of them are still alive. And Lennon, the one I most identified with--don't ask me why--was a murder victim. In the US by a nut with a gun. Life is not fair.
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