I must have been in my early teens when the Beatle mania burst into my part of the world. John, George, Paul and Ringo filled my small world, leaving space for none else. Those were days of the turntables, spool tapes and radiograms. I used to keep the spool tape ready and wait expectantly, tensely for a Beatle number to be announced on the radio, then bounce to the tape recorder & switch it on when McCartney’s voice drifted from the radiogram, through the disturbance and all.
Of course the elders were disapproving – of the Hard Days Night and the No Reply----; and ‘when my heart went zoom’ my father's face would turn livid, and would look as though he’d have a blood vessel burst when the voice scaled higher & higher with ‘miiiiiiine!’.
It didn’t improve matters when my siblings started demanding that their trousers be stitched skin tight and they be permitted to grow hair. On the last count my father held his ground but lost out on all the rest to the Beatles. We begged and pleaded and managed a good collection of The Beatles LP's and singles.
Now, I’m well into fifties and must confess that I never really grew out of the Beatles. I have tried to analyse this lifelong obsession with this group. It’s funny, the way I sit bolt upright when I hear a Beatles number unexpectedly or the way I buy a magazine if there’s some indication that there’s an article on them inside-----. Initially, I toyed with the idea of presenting a research paper on their lyrics but soon gave up the idea because the requirements of research and its methodology can never provide space to reveal the way this alien group dominated my childhood imagination, then pursued me with different types of appeal in all stages of my life and continues to create an intense, almost unbearable nostalgia with Yesterday and And I Love Her and I should have known better------------
If you think long enough on it, it’s strange how in those days when we never saw their live performance on TV, when all we had were stills of LIFE magazines which I treasured till recently, we KNEW how they performed, how they looked in action! and the shots we saw much later were not any different from what we imagined them to be. Could it be that they are an extension of some suppressed impulse in you waiting for release?
Paul was my favorite; maybe because it was his voice that rendered all those numbers in an untrained but irresistible style, and which sent my mind thru' the English countryside that I’ve never visited. He is still capable of evoking pictures of the aging Eleanor Rigby looking out of her lonely window or a 64 year old couple in the Isle of Wight with grandchildren Vera, Chuck and Dave on their knee!
And their melody, I wish I knew enough about music to go into its intricacies. But this I know. There are very few songs that move me like And I Love Her and Yesterday. Never have I heard such absolute harmony of the sentiments and strain as in these two songs!.