High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the Record: The Cold Facts About the Beatles

You say you want a revolution? How about a revelation instead? It surprised me when I realized that nearly all of my favorite Beatles songs were popular during cold weather months and the Christmas season.

I have always associated the Beatles with winter. Maybe it was because most Americans got their first exposure to the Mop Tops during the bitterly cold months that followed the Kennedy assassination.

Perhaps it had something to do with the way Beatles records were produced. Their recordings had a clean, pure, uncluttered sound that reminded me of cold, crisp air and freshly fallen powdered snow.

What a pleasure it was to sit alone in the dark by a toasty fire and listen to the Beatles for hours! Throw in a large can of cheese popcorn from LG; three bags of potato chips: Senft's, Martin's Bar-B-Q Waffle, and Utz Jalapeno; one cubic yard of homemade trail mix; a summer sausage, cheese ball, and box of sesame sticks - all from Hickory Farms; a great big ole huge sour dill pickle right outta the barrel at 7-Eleven; a fruitcake; a pack of Parodi cigars; a steaming plate of brussels sprouts smothered in peppermint gravy; and a dozen Carlings and you had the makin's of a fine evening, partner! Okay, I admit that one of those essentials doesn't fit. Make that a dozen Rolling Rocks.

The bottom line is that somehow, for me at least, the Beatles just seemed to go with the colder months of the year.

To help me make my cold case about the Beatles, allow me to introduce exhibits A through F.

Submitted for your disapproval:

a. Beatlemania started in America after the release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at Christmas time, 1963. The song dominated the winter of 63-64 and held onto the #1 chart position for 7 weeks.

b. Christmas 1964 saw "I Feel Fine" hit #1 for 3 weeks and the flip side, "She’s a Woman" reach #4, making that 45 the best performing Beatles two-sider to date.

c. By the time the Christmas season of 1965 rolled around, the Beatles had another monster double-hit 45 on the chart, this one surpassing "I Feel Fine" in terms of longevity. "We Can Work It Out" claimed the #1 spot for 3 weeks and the killer bee, "Day Tripper" made it to the #5 position.

That Beatles doublesider was the ticket to ride at the Dell in December, '65. Of the two songs, "...Tripper" was hipper, and my best buddy and I were captivated by the lyrics. As newly inducted Dell Rats, we could relate to the song's bold male perspective. Always eager to present ourselves as a couple of continental types, we wasted no time learning the lyrics and assimilating the terms day tripper, one way ticket and Sunday driver into our vocabularies. As it turned out, however, there were few if any Dellettes who were actually impressed by us bogus Brit blokes...blimey!

d. "She Loves You" was a #1 smash during the winter of ’64.

e. "Eight Days A Week" was #1 in the winter of ‘65.

f. In addition, two of my favorite albums, Rubber Soul...

...and Magical Mystery Tour were released during the Christmas holiday season.

Those are just a few examples. There are many others.

However, let's not forget the grim anniversary that we are observing this week...the assassination of John Lennon. We are painfully aware that John was taken on the cold night of December 8th, 28 years ago. As we pause to mark the anniversary of another senseless killing, let us also remember the life, legacy, and music of John Lennon and the messages of hope that he offered to the world.

We all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

Love is the answer

Give peace a chance

Have a Shady day!

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