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Beyond the Beatles part 1

Updated on October 14, 2017
from my 60's nyc perspective, the Beatles unfolded to me as the above not the below
from my 60's nyc perspective, the Beatles unfolded to me as the above not the below
this hub's author Mike Marks features his own music and paintings on his website
this hub's author Mike Marks features his own music and paintings on his website

There have been lots of folks come along with their research who give you an accurate minute by minute history on the Beatles. I could give you another one, or I could go you one better: I could give you a minute by minute history of myself as my own mind, senses and life encountered the Beatles.

I can start off by pointing out I was born in 1957 in North Hudson Hospital in Weehawken N.J. That’s the town where the Lincoln Tunnels let out on the Jersey side. It is between Hoboken, where Sinatra came from, and West New York, the neighboring town where I was raised and lived til the mid 90’s. Assuming the tunnels are not backed up with traffic, which is often, it’s about about a 20 minute ride through them. On the other side they let out into Manhattan near Times Square. I had several bedroom windows over those years but I could see the New York City skyline and the Empire State Building through every one of them. They were the constant backdrop of my environment. And before I move on too far pass it, may I point out North Hudson Hospital was across the street from a Dairy Queen. I went on to have my fair share of dipped cones and sundaes there in the 1960’s. It was a time when Dennis the Menace was not DQ’s spokesperson, he was a character in single panel, paperback book comics I’d find on a cart in a cancer ward, and he was Jay North in a cool black and white TV show. That Dairy Queen is no longer there, nor is that hospital. 1957 was a prime time to be born for being of age to be swept away by the Beatles. In 63/64/65 I might have been in a particularly unique mind and emotional state for absorbing the Beatles, but I’ll wait to say why that was.

Finally, I will claim that my memories, reaching back more than 50 years from the 21st century, may recall events distorted, jumbled and out of order. I could websearch some research and get them in a more accurate, cleaner chronological order, but I won’t, because this is a chronicle of my memories as they occur along my own mental and emotional timeline. It is one individual person’s experience of being alive and swept away by Beatlemania and all that followed from it. A subjective eye and ear witness report, a chemical blend of myself with John, Paul, George, Ringo, media and culture, as they and all of it funneled and filtered down into the test tube that is me.

Now, just to give an example of the sort of wrong order you may prepare for, I did research one memory and found it to be out of order: my memory of my first hearing of the Beatles: I recall it as a televised four-armed hand puppet singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." I didn’t get it. My cousin, Billie, Lydia, or Gloria, or it might have been our landlord’s daughter upstairs, Janet, explained to me that it was referring to The Beatles, a band from England who had yet to come to America. I remember that television broadcast as being "The Red Skelton Show" so I tried to confirm that with a goggle and found I couldn’t narrow it down... putting "hand puppet Beatles" in a search engine yields too many results, sheeeesh, the youtubes alone!

Red Skelton
Red Skelton

Of course I also put in "Red Skelton Beatles" and, though there was no mention of a Beatle hand puppet, I did discover that, after featuring The Beach Boys, the up til then more easy listening musical acts booked on his show yielded, and Red, when he couldn’t get the Beatles for one of his 1964 shows, got the Rolling Stones. Though that would have been some months after my hand puppet incident, I think that’s where my memories continue as a confusing cross reference, because I recall that same cousin or landlord’s daughter watching that Rolling Stones broadcast with me, and I recall both broadcasts being on the same small black and white TV in my kitchen. I recall her saying she didn’t like the way the Rolling Stones dressed dirty. I recall Jagger having on a whitish fringe jacket. It’s probably possible for me to go online and check Jagger’s dress for that broadcast, but I ain’t. Other historians can do that for you, or you can do it yourself. My job here is to not be distracted from my stream of chronicle, and I might get lost on a search engine detour. OK, ok, since I I already did the research on this one, I’ll mention a btw here: the Red Skelton staff is reported to have hated Rock but still, during that 64/65 season, booked, except for the Beatles, many of the British Invasion acts, the Searchers, the Honeycombs, the Animals, the Hollies, the Kinks, Freddie and the Dreamers, Kramer and the Dakotas... (so when you’re done youtubing the Ed Sullivan Show, give the Red Skelton Show a shot, it might bring up some cool performances, I don’t know, I haven’t checked).

Jagger watching, reportedly, the Red Skelton Show on a small b&w TV
Jagger watching, reportedly, the Red Skelton Show on a small b&w TV

And as long as we’re btw-ing, let me mention that, along with possible wrong orders, I ain’t gonna be correcting spelling (or grammar) either, even though it be just a "spellcheck" away: this is because my second grade teacher assaulted us students with "yeah", as in "yeah, yeah, yeah", ain’t no word, and this be my way of settlin’ that beef. ‘sides, the Beatles taught me that the creative process involves letting go of my inner editor and letting the soundwaves type unrestricted on my heart... ya never know what message may be blocked by sensible order.




CONT to: Part 5

if you enjoy this hub, please check out my art site where I post more of my own writing, my music and paintings... thanx, Mike Marks


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