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Beyond the Beatles Part 5

Updated on August 28, 2013

From imagined scenerios of mystic importance, of four beings as men separated at a point to travel the four directions and remeet one day in a world of immortality and amnesia, I went through what some people might call a crazy phase. And again the Beatles became extremely important in my life.

It was 1976 when I was impacted with the doubtless that the world was not what I thought it was. I was a freshman at college at Jersey City State in Jersey City, N.J., and I had recently read Body Language, the first popular book on the subject, written by Julius Fast. I practiced it for the first time in my Astonomy class. I sat next to a girl in the front row and I crossed my leg in her direction and she crossed her’s towards mine sealing the bond enclosing us in our own shared territory while upraised wrists signified open loving feelings toward the other.

Body language seemed to be a predictable science, so I looked at that first cover, Introducing the Beatles, again. Lennon seated in the middle. his leg crossed, his foot extended toward the foreground offering it to his audience. What did the book suggest a foot symbolized again? Was it love? This body language thing demonstrated that messages are being passed between people constantly on a subconscious level, and that we are receiving and responding to these messages, and answering back, all the while we think we are engaged in some other conscious activity. McCartney on the floor at John’s feet, Ringo and George’s positions flanking John, George’s mischievous smile, like he knew what was to come, who they be and would become, confident of the affect, at the time it all made sense to me: There is a world beneath the world, and a conversation continuous within the syntax of the words we speak. Sometimes the last syllable of a word beside the first syllable of the next word made a phonetic recognized as another word connected to a different string of logic, a hidden string that is as the soul calling out, in sounds and movement, words and subtle dance, calling out that it is inside, trapped, behind the image of our perceived selves.

I saw the Beatles as Master Magicians in their initial broadcast of image and message. Or the stars of a suspicious think tank stategy.

I originally saw that cover and purchased that album at a much earlier age when it first came out in January 1964. Ten days later Meet the Beatles came out. As they came out on the 10th and the 20th of that month, and my 7th birthday was the 18th, likely they were afforded by me as requested birthday presents. I believe they were $3 each in the mono versions I bought, while Elvis Golden Records, also in my presents mix, was $4 in stereo. I wondered why an Elvis record would have more value than a Beatles record. I didn’t know the difference between mono and stereo at the time.

My place of purchase was Two Guys from Harrison, located on 15th street and Kennedy Blvd (originally West Blvd before the Kennedy assasination) in North Bergen, NJ., part of a popular chain of department stores in its day started by, well, two guys from Harrison NJ. The chain had built its success by defying blue laws that disallowed selling clothing and other stuff on Sundays. Of course my 7 year old mind thought there was a connection between the name of the store and George Harrison.

It’s record section was the first record section I had ever seen, and I would peruse its aisles' selections while my mom would go about her own shopping business there. Before the Beatles came out, before I became a record peruser, I would spend my waiting for mom time at the store’s mid landing between the first and second floors beside the escalators, a half floor that was a game room with pin ball machines and such, and a juke box. I remember playing Johnny Cash’s 1963 hit Ring of Fire on that juke.

My brother older by three years, my only sibling, was alive then, though he would die from cancer soon afterwards. I remember he was very sick when the Beatles later appeared on Sullivan when McCartney sang Yesterday. At that point the doctors were saying he must drink plenty of fluids and he was drinking a big glass of chocolate milk during that show, his drink of choice for staying hydrated. His next doctor visit the doctor was angry asking "why isn’t he drinking fluids!?" That was when he, my mom and I first learned that milk is not a liquid.

While I liked the Cash on the juke, my brother enjoyed the songs sung by the game room’s Bimbo the Singing Clown. My brother would drop a coin in and strings would start tugging Bimbo’s arms to help him dance while he sang a tune. I don’t remember what Bimbo’s tune was. I remember after my brother died I dropped a coin into the Bimbo machine I suppose to recall my brother or to feel what he felt. I didn’t feel my brother’s pleasure with Bimbo. I felt only sadness. It was that sadness I sought to relieve with Barbara but she was too young I suppose to understand.

I became very alienated from child society after my brother died. I couldn’t relate. I observed the world with an experience and feeling none of them could understand. I would lay awake at night with my child mind trying to comprehend the uncomprehensible: "Where did my brother go? What is beyond this existence? How can existence exist? How can existence never end and never begin?" The strain of such thoughts would make my stomach ache and I couldn’t sleep. I’d get up in the middle of the night and tell my parents I couldn’t sleep because my stomach hurt. I couldn’t tell them what was really wrong with me. I didn’t know the words to describe the questions I was dealing with.

I sought answers to those questions for the next couple of decades. The leap my mind needed to take to find those answers eventually led me to that crazy phrase in 1976 when I threw out all the realities I had been taught so to find answers that no reality I had been taught offered. I eventually found the answer that satisfied me by risking going into that crazy phase through any means I had to. But immediately after my brother died the only relief from questions and alienation and sadness, the only comfort zone I had, and the place I sought my answers, was in the zone of looking at and listening to the Beatles.

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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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