With all of the Beatles programs on lately promoting The Beatles: Rock Band, I couldn't help but think back to days that The Beatles changed my world forever. Like the first time I heard I Wanna Hold Your Hand. In January of 1964, I was two weeks shy of being 11 years old. I was with my older cousin, Delinda. In her friend's bedroom, we were playing records on the phonograph. Terri, with a smugness that, in retrospect, was entirely appropriate, whipped out a new, 45 rpm single. Ever so carefully, she slid the record out of its paper sleeve and onto the silver spindle. Even after hearing that song, at least 20 times that day, I still couldn't believe what I was hearing.
Over the years, The Beatles continued to keep re-writing musical expectations. It became normal to expect innovation from the band. But they changed my world again in the summer of 1967 when they released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I was with my girlfriend, Gaylene. We'd spent the weekend beating the Reno team on our Junior Tennis tour. That night, a team of sunburned, happy-tired, 14 year old girls, were having a sleepover. Sitting on our sleeping bags, Gaylene, whipped out the most amazing album cover I had ever seen.With a smugness that, in retrospect, was entirely appropriate, she slipped the album carefully out of its cover. After putting it on the silver spindle of the hi-fi stereo, she changed the setting from 45 to LP, and spun us into the future.
The husband remembers that day too. He, being several years older than I, was at a high school party out in the hills at the home of a wealthy doctor/rancher. There were about a 100 kids there and someone brought the new Sgt. Pepper's album. Every one wanted to hear the music but the problem was there was only one stereo with one set of headphones. No speakers. It took all night, but they all got to hear the album--one at a time. Each kid passed the headphones to the next in line with glazed eyes, a shaking of the head and a "Man...you gotta HEAR this!!"
All I know is one day music looked and sounded like this:
And the next it looked and sounded like this:
My world was rocked...changed forever that day...again.