So, I have a problem. The first step is admitting, right?
PART ONE: CATCHING BEATLEMANIA
Honestly, the early sixties hysteria of The Beatles is alive and well… in my freaking soul.
For more than a decade I have dealt with random bouts of Beatlemania. Like I’ll have this week-long urge to listen to their albums, watch documentaries, “A Hard Days Night” or even “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” if I’m really feeling it. Just this little burst of Oh yeah! I forgot that I really love them! And then after hours and hours of their music, the excitement dies down and I can go about my life again.
But something happened at the beginning of this year. I got a baaaaddd case of Beatlemania and it NEVER WENT AWAY. It’s been months. I don’t even get what is happening to me.
I can tell you that the timeframe is a DIRECT correlation with the difficulties that Daniel and I have been facing the past several months. It was just this one day, that I hadn’t really seen my husband in a while because of his horrendous work schedule and things were feeling grim. I was buckling Jack into his car seat and … there it was. A CD of A Hard Day’s Night in a box on the floor. So, I took it and listened to it. And I was absolutely and incurably infected.
I don’t really think that anyone knows how bad it really was, especially in those first few months. I mean, actual tears every day listening to their music. Watching the same interviews and documentaries over and over again. Beatles music from the time that Dan left to the time he got home (which was a looooong stretch).
Now, lemme just stop right here, because it’s about this point where somebody feels like they need to tell me they don’t like The Beatles. And all I gotta say to that is **IT’S OKAY. YOU ARE FINE.** You do not need to like The Beatles just because a lot of people do. Art is completely subjective. You do not have to be insecure about having a different taste from me.
… Like, I don’t know. I don’t really care that they’re popular or not. I just like them. Their music and the them that make up the group. I’m just into it. I’m into the hysteria and the influence and the history. And dang, the songs honestly just fuel my freaking heart.
PART TWO: LENNON THE MYSTERY MUSE
Then the Beatlemania grew into something else completely bizarre. A hurricane flood of creative juices that I could not even handle.
There was this influx of story ideas that all came from a weird fixation on a young John Lennon. Which, honestly is totally surprising. Truth. Because if I personally were to travel back in time and hang out with all of them, I can confidently tell you that I would get along with Paul the best. Paul and I have more common interests, I think. Stuff like, literature and theater, dogs and kids, generally being polite to people that don’t deserve it. That kind of thing. So I do not know where John came from. But he is the most aggressive muse I have ever had in my life.
I finally started a novel to appease this like, compulsive need. But, Lennon would not stop haunting me every day. Sitting in the effing corner like “When are you finishing the bloomin book?”
“IDK when are you getting off my BUTT! You Liverpool WEIRDO. This doesn’t even make sense to write this. This has no benefit to my branding or career or anything.”
“I don’t care about that, love. I’m tellin’ you. I’m your muse. And I’m not going away until you finish the book.”
“I don’t want to write a book about you. You’re weird.”
“Well that’s a pisser innit? Coz you’re going write it.”
“No. You’re not even fun to be obsessed with. I’ve seen like 15 documentaries about you in the past eight weeks and you know what they all say? They say, ‘Oh, Lennon… really interesting guy’. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS JOHN? IT MEANS THAT YOU WERE FREAKING WEIRD WHEN THEY MET YOU.”
“Alright, listen… can you finish the book by April?”
“I wrote books quicker than that you know.”
“Yeah, but you are… I… John, now be reasonable here.”
“Write the book or keep waking up with Paperback Writer stuck in your head every morning. Your choice.”
“John, please. Think of my children, okay? Think of my husband stuck at work, I’m basically a widow! I have to run an entire house by myself.”
John puts his feet up on the table and pushes my laptop over to me with his Beetle-boot. “Right. Better hurry and finish it then.”
… FOUR MONTHS LATER AFTER RE-WRITING IDENTITY CRISIS AND THINGS HAVE CALMED DOWN…
*startles and screams at John’s manifestation on my couch, spilling a bowl of popcorn all over the floor like a campy comedy*
“Right. So, listen. That book you started a few months ago…”
*eyes my hallucination suspiciously* “The one that I’m 40 thousand words into? What about it?”
“I just don’t feel like there is enough of me in it.”
“… I told you I don’t want to write a book about you. And I’m not going to. Go away.”
“So right then, here’s a really fantastic idea… completely new book. But this time. Actually all about me. Joost lichrally a bewk about me this time.”
*throws my ink quill to the ground and flips writing desk over*
Honestly, not sure what I’m going to do. I’m still trying to ignore him. But it is reeeally difficult…
PART THREE: SEEING PAUL MCCARTNEY AND REALIZING A DANG OL’ DREAM
A couple of weeks ago, it happened. I saw an actual Beatle, in real life. Like we were in the same room. Singing the same songs. Sharing the same moment.
I don’t want to be dramatic but… (see above).
That concert (to me) was comparable to when I witnessed a solar eclipse. It was something that I had always wanted to do, but never thought that I would get a chance to. Like that guy is pushing eighty. There was not a lot of time for me to snag this bucket list check mark. And then I did, dude.
When he came out and picked up his steely base in his left hand. That iconic chord of A Hard Day’s Night rang out. I SCREAMED. Okay. And I’m not talking about a little “Woo Hoo! Yeah!” I mean it was like an actual uncontrollable piercing screech that rang out through the stadium.
And if you are thinking that I flew into hysterics and bawled for three hours like a teenager from 1964… uh, you’d be right, bro. A PACK AND A HALF OF TISSUES LATER. No, but I’m being completely serious. I actually sobbed almost the entire time. The guy on the other side of me actually nudged his date and gestured to me like ‘What year is this??’ The only difference between me and the OG fans is that they’re all like, “PAULIE! WAA! MARRY ME!” And I’m like, “PAULIE! WAA! I’M A PART OF HISTORY RIGHT NOW!”
I can’t help it that I’m a huge nerd. But, hey look. I get obsessed over stuff. I just do. Titanic, Cleopatra, Abraham Lincoln, Pompeii. But this time. This time. I could actually see in person this historical figure that I had come to know so well.
Paul: Alright, I’m gonna play a song now…
Literally everyone: YAY! WOOO! YEAH!
Paul: Alright, I’m gonna tell you a story now…
Just me: YAY! WOOO! YEAH! Talk about George Martin!
We had a seat right in front of the piano… He came around to play it. Stopped right in front of my section. Pointed up to my ROW. Waved… And made little binoculars over his eyes to show he was looking right in my exact direction.
I LEPT FROM MY CHAIR AND SCREAMED AND RATTLED BOTH OF MY ARMS AND MADE SUCH A DARN SPECTACLE THAT THERE WAS NO CHANCE HE DIDN’T AT LEAST SEE MY MOVEMENT SO THERE I MADE EYE CONTACT WITH A BEATLE AND I WILL FOREVER HOLD THAT IN MY HEART UNTIL THE DAY I DIE.
It’s just fun. It’s fun to be in love with a thing. And it’s fun to be so passionately moved in a creative way. I’m sure the Beatlemania will fade away eventually, but I’ll always love them for saving me from just a really crappy year.