Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Life with the Beatles

I was not nor have I ever been the Fifth Beatle. Never was Paul's secret girlfriend in Cleveland. Never even met a Beatle first hand. Although I dated and then married one. Or two, depending on how he wore his facial hair. You see my husband was often mistaken for a Beatle, and I was pleased as punch. Not Ringo either. He could be Paul or John, depending:

Let's backtrack. My husband was born the same year as John Lennon. That made him almost 24 the year the Beatles landed in New York for that Ed Sullivan broadcast. Fifty years ago! Imagine being 24 and— thanks to the Beatles' success— feeling certain your generation was the one that was kicking up all the fuss and would be the one that heretofore mattered.

My husband swears Marlon Brando in "The Wild One" was the style he emulated in high school. I can't imagine him suited up in a black motorcycle jacket sitting on his Brooklyn stoop (motorcycle itself strictly forbidden). Even the Beatles had a leather jacket/scruffy skiffle look back before their Hamburg friends or manager Brian Epstein gave them their mod-overs.

Much after
Even more after

It was fine to have "Beatle style" (even my brother-in-law managed to do that), but once my doppelganger husband found himself seriously taken for Paul McCartney. Beatlemania was still very much at its height in 1967. We were having breakfast in a fancy hotel dining room on the New Jersey shore when a young man came up to Alan, hand outstretched. His first words were "Paul McCartney, it's a pleasure to meet you." Alan demurred and said he was sorry but he wasn't Paul McCartney (I'll bet he was sorry). There was something about the way the young man grudgingly acknowledged it and backed away that had me thinking he was not convinced. I'm sure he told a few people he met Paul McCartney in Cape May, but keep it quiet.

Why, you may ask, is this Fashion? How is it not? Aside from the effect of their clothing and hairstyles on fans and the rest of the world (often analyzed), the Beatles proved over and over how we change ourselves by how we look. Can't tell a book by its cover? Maybe. Want to sell a lot of books? Give it a cover that attracts attention.

Beatles forever after

1 comment:

  1. Dan and I watched the Grammys salute the other night, and had so many memories come swirling back ... so fun to remember. Bitter sweet and full of dreams. I was 14 when they hit New York, and like everyone else, was completely under their spell. I'll never tell my favorite. Grand to watch Paul and Ringo, and the tribute guitarists ... lots of contemporaries holding up pretty well. Except Frampton ... he's no longer pretty!
    But you know, the thing that surprised me most was how even the coolest celebrities look as dorky as the rest of us when they are in the presence of the remaining members of the Fab Four.
    I'm such a cow sometimes!