Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paperback Writer

Yesterday, I saw Beatles tribute band Rain on Broadway. Now, normally, I am very, very wary about any sort of Beatles cover band, but I had heard enough amazing things about them to decide to give it a shot. To my great surprise, I very much enjoyed the show and even got goosebumps during a few key numbers. And then I started thinking about how The Beatles came into my life.

This post could be subtitled 'How My Love of Books Led to My Love of The Beatles.'

And it goes something like this: the summer between third and fourth grade, my local public library ran a reading program. If you checked out a certain number of books, read them, and gave a couple of books reports throughout the summer, you got different prizes ranging from stickers to free pizza from Pizza Hut.

Rewarding me for reading was like giving me candy for eating candy. Seriously. I happily plowed through my Roald Dahl, Ann M. Martin and Beverly Cleary books and racked up my prizes.

The ultimate prize, if you read ten books by the end of the summer, was concert tickets to a cover band called Squeaky Clean who performed hits from the 50s and 60s. In between tracks like "It's My Party" and "Splish Splash," they gave a little anecdote about how the next song they were going to play was something called a B-side. A certain DJ had decided to flip a hit record over and then all of a sudden, the B-side was a hit too. Then Squeaky Clean went into a rendition of "We Can Work It Out."

You know that first time you read a book, or watch a movie, or see a piece of art and you immediately know that you will love it forever? That's what happened to me that day. Within the week, I had made my mom buy me a tape of Beatles hits. I listened to that tape incessantly. And then the obsessive part of me took over and I slowly doled out their albums to myself, cherishing every note of every single one. I was pretty good about it, making the rationing last until college when I finally purchased Magical Mystery Tour - the only one I had left to own.

I could go on and on about my love for The Beatles, but this is a blog, not a memoir. I will just say that both The Beatles and books had a profound impact on my adolescence. It's funny when I think about how one led to the other.

Oh, and I'll leave you with this: me dressed as a certain meter maid for a Beatles-themed birthday party I threw myself a couple of years ago.

Filling in a ticket in my little white book.

1 comment:

  1. Glenn from Squeaky Clean here. Can't navigate to your FB page, but please feel free to email me at Thanks for your nice words. All a musician hopes for is to connect.