B is for Beatle
This is the text portion of my children's book for ages 8-12. it was published a few years back.
B is for Beatle
Once upon a time, across a large ocean, in a distant time and place, there were groups of Hurricanes, Comets, Black Cats, and Moondogs, so the legend goes.
These were not really ugly bugs, black cats, comets or even strange dogs.
They were kids or teenagers, like you who played electric guitars and drums. All belonged to a funny named band (like The Hurricanes or Comets) that played music.
These groups made music that moved your head, shook your older shoulders and rattled your neat feet. Those that listened, glistened, and you couldn’t keep any Bill still.
This far away land was called Liverpool, Liverpool is a big city in England. England is a small island country. To get to America or France, you had to hop over the ocean. Liverpool hummed to the distant sounds of American music records brought over by big ships shipping, small boats floating, and airplanes flying.
What is a record? Before CD’s(1990s)and Tape (1967), music was recorded on either 45’s or LP’s. These were made of black plastic. A 45 had two songs on it, a LP had 12 songs. A 45 was also called a single. A LP was also called an album.
Some old, older, and oldest of people were blue and unhappy. They said the music was bad. But the truth was, they did not understand it or recall what it was like to be young. They had forgotten a lot and were caught in the forgot.
Liverpool was a grey, dreary city, and except for music its young people made, it was hum drum for many dumb bums who were ignoring boring snoring many others made. Throughout the city, little islands of music suddenly sprouted. First one, then two, until Liverpool had many islands of music places.
These islands had funny names like Casbah and Cavern. Inside, many girls and boys gathered to listen and dance to the music played by Crickets, Comets, Hurricanes and Moondogs. For them, these places were wonderful and happy…only for them.
Then, one day, the Moondogs played in the Cavern.
The Moondogs were four boys: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey.
The poor Moondogs were not the best at anything. In fact, some, no, a lot of people laughed at them and their music. They would practice and practice and practice. They were always practicing, playing their guitars and singing. They would even play for free or for food. Few took them seriously.
Now other bands, like the Hurricanes or Black Cats, were shiny slick kick quicks quite polished just like a new car. Everyone (even the Moondogs) really, really liked them. These bands were always first in music contests. The Moondogs were always the last.. This just made John, Paul, George and Richard try harder to become the best.
For the Moondogs, they just really loved to play music and sing. They didn’t care what others thought. When they played, they were taken away from any double troubles to a happy, wonderful place in their minds. Music made them free as a bird and four very happy faces.
Like all kids, John ,Paul, George and Richard had to go to school, get good grades, and listen to Mom and Dad. Their dream was to be a shining star. But to do this, they knew they would have to be the best of the rest when they played music.
Many times, they all wanted to quit and give up what they wanted to be, yet, they didn’t.. Few thought the band would ever, ever, never ever be a success. Still, in their hearts of hearts, those Moondogs knew they could be a star if they continued to practice. So they did.
John, Paul, George and Richard practiced playing and singing in funny places like many whose rooms, bathrooms, on the bus was a must, and in graveyards was bizarre.
The months turned into years. Soon they began to compose their own songs. Can you read music?
Each time the Moondogs played, they got a little better until…..
One day, someone mentioned the word beetles. Like a shining bright night light might or a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly, the Moondogs turned into Beetles.
But Beetles are bugs! Ugh!
Not exactly. John, Paul, George and Richard did not turn in ugly bugs. Luckily, John spelled beetles in this way: Beatles..
Quicker than a flash can dash, the Beatles changed, rearranged and bang! Their music now was their own. They were better than many of the other bands. The people who laughed at them, quit laughing. People who did not want them around, now wanted them around. People came to them. It was as if all of the gears in a watch were synchronized or the Sun King came out from the Rain.
What’s synchronized, anyway?
Synchronized is when everything is going smoothly, everything is where it is suppose to be.
The Beatles even looked totally new, just like how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. They looked special, different, especially their hair. Their hair style was long for boys and there was no hair stuff in it (hair grease). It was shocking in 1962.
Still, a lot of olders and meanies continued to poke fun at their hair and music. But the Beatles continued to play and sing their beautiful harmonies, soon they would be the Top of the Pops in all of England!
As time went on, the magic of the Beatles was real to those who believed in them . Many, many, many kids followed them. Screamed for them. These screams were happy scream beams so it seems, not scary dumb ones. Wherever they played, very large crowds gathered with zillions.
This magic was real. So very real. Even if you did not believe in them or in magic, you could feel it. Excitement was in the air. A grey, dull world was made beautiful . This magic was really the result of all the years of hard work and practicing they had done. To be the very best of the rest. The Top of the Pop. But The Beatles were also like a family. A family just likes yours, except it had all brothers. They did all the same things you do like sleep, play, eat, school, homework, play soccer, fail at things, succeed at things and get into trouble.
Others say, The Beatles were like a fine watch. Their music, singing and personalities complimented the other, and if one person was missing, the magic would be gone. Sadly, many, many, many years later, this proved to be true.
Soon, The Beatles were almost at the top of the pop. Now, a frenzy of fans would follow and chase after them. Most were girls with names like Natasha, Carol, and Samantha or just like yours.
Frenzy is when a group or just you go crazy for something because you want it sooooo very bad. Most likely, if you frenzy, you do silly, dumb things you wish you had not done. At the time, it was called Beatlemania.
Then, one day, the Beatles played for the Queen of the land. Her name was Queen Elizabeth. John told all the princes, princesses, jacks and knights to rattle their diamonds and pearls instead of clapping. Everyone laughed. The Beatles then played their number one song, She Loves you, then Twist and Shout. The audience went crazy. Few could even hear them sing!
Later, the Queen gave John, Paul, George and Ringo medals of the kingdom for their wonderful music to the world. This was seldom done and was the highest of honors. In the really olden days, only Knights and Princesses were awarded these medals. Even today, few have received these special medals.
The Beatles magic and Beatlemania reigned over the world once they arrived in America in 1964. Americans fell in love with The Beatles, just as England had.
All across the vast American empire there was nothing but Beatle music in the air. Beatle songs like Love Me Do, Misery, You Can’t Do That, Money, Help, Hard Day’s Night and I Saw Her Standing There. Whereever you listened, The Beatles were heard! Here, There and Everywhere. Stores sold Beatle clothes, Beatle boots, Beatle hair, Beatle chewing gum cards, Beatle lunch boxes, Beatle candy. It was a wonderful Beatle world!
One special night in 1964, The Beatles were watched by 72,000,000 people in America. The Beatles had the top five songs in all the land! Even to this day, this has never been done.
How do you say 72,000,000? It’s 72 million. That’s more people in some countries!
Beyond their wildest dreams, John, Paul, George and Ringo had become the greatest rock band ever, even to this day. Through some luck, a lot of practice, and desire to be the best, they made their dream come true.
And the magic?
Well, it was in their own personalities. Together, they were magical. Everything they touched turned to gold. They made sad people, happy, with songs from their hearts that touched others. Kings and Queens wanted them. Everyone loved them (some animals did not like them, though) and there was magic between them and the millions who followed them. That magic was love. It was part of The Beatles. They loved their music and because of that, everyone still loves their songs.
Like Brahms and Beethoven of the longest time old ago, The Beatles continue to remain the Top of the Pop, even today. Their songs are everywhere. If you are humming a tune, it probably is a Beatle song.
Who were Brahms and Beethoven anyway?
They were like The Beatles hundreds of years ago. Even today, their songs are heard, played and loved. Usually by large symphonies with violins, cellos, oboes, flutes, horns and…
What is a symphony? What are violins, cellos, oboes and flutes?
A symphony is like a large band. There are over 50 people in some! These people play instruments called violins, cellos, much like The Beatles play guitars and drums.
While you can’t be a Beatle, you can be like a Beatle. You, too, can be like John, Paul, George and Ringo, with a little luck, some talent ,a lot of practice and burning desire.
What is burning desire?
It’s something you really, really, the most really thing you want to do, whether it’s sports, ballet, playing an instrument, acting, dancing or drawing. Whatever it is, just do what The Beatles did: practice, practice and practice. Really love what you do. Never let your dream go. Someday, that magic will happen.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!