We Are All the Fifth Beatle

Posted 11/18/2010 by Brandon Wainerdi in Labels: , , , , , ,

For whatever reason tonight, I have decided to just walk around campus. I’ve been doing it much too often lately: letting the night sky climb up and the buildings grow dark, so I can plod down the cracking sidewalks with my headphones in my ears. The darkness masks my wild air guitar and hides the hilarity of me mouthing the words to every song, the lawn’s itchy grass quietly watching whispering along.

 There isn’t much to read from this, no manifestations of manic depression: it is just a quiet excuse to avoid the small room and the quiet whirring of the laptop and the mapping out of next semester’s schedules, and bask in something other than my room’s sole flickering lightbulb.

All the same, the leaves continue to gossip behind my back, as they stroll along with the surprisingly-warm November air, the clouds above them silent, wordlessly condemning the freefalls below them.

I gaze up. Acting like an under-paid tour guide, my scuffed headphones begin to screech explanations for the stretching, private art gallery, adding commentary to the panorama.  The Beatles chime in together, their haunting strains of static classics pointing out the stars above.

The music fades for the briefest of moments and I find myself holding my breath, waiting for the next song to escape from the confines of the sky. And, finally, “All You Need is Love” starts triumphantly.

            I remember the first time I heard this song, my small hands gripping the scuffed jewel case, as I rode in our old car’s leather back seat, staring at the four tie-dyed visages on the back cover, letting the waves of my father’s childhood wash over me. It’s pretty easy to map the exact beginning of my love for music: I was seven years old and I had heard The Beatles.

            As I grew up, my relationship with the Fab Four also matured, as I moved from their light, chart-climbing hits crooning simplicity and love, to their later years,  the unexplainable voyages to below the surface of the ocean and across the sky. With two-hundred Lennon/McCartney tracks listed perfectly in order on my iTunes library, they are definitely the most-collected, if not the most-listened to, band/group/musical obsession of my life.

            The greatest thing about the group is their timelessness. It’s incredible to imagine that, almost fifty years ago, my father was buying their vinyl records, singing along to the radio, succumbing to a slight strain of Beatle-mania, surely just a passing fad.  And now, earlier today, I was on iTunes filling in the gaps of my collection, digitally and seamlessly, waiting for the mp3 to buffer so I could sing along with my Macbook Speakers.

            A lot has changed since that first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I watched that set for the first time a few weeks ago, beaming because of the joy that the young men from Liverpool contagiously showed, their knees bobbing and ankles twirling, softly singing while seemingly-thousands of (mostly) girls screamed their names.

            A line from the otherwise-forgettable movie Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist really sums up this generation-spanning love for Love:

“Look, other bands, they want to make it about sex or pain, but you know, The Beatles, they had it all figured out, okay? "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The first single. It's effing brilliant, right?...That's what everybody wants, Nicky. They don't want a twenty-four-hour hump sesh, they don't want to be married to you for a hundred years. They just want to hold your hand.”

So I am still watching as the Man in the Moon rises into the evening sky, Mr. Kite passing directly under his cratered nose, listening to the same song that my dad once grew up to, feeling closer to him that I ever have before.

[Partially written many months ago and, today, revisited again. I can’t stress how great it is to have a library of material to cull from:

1 comment(s) to... “We Are All the Fifth Beatle”


Amy Kristen said...

I couldn't agree more - The Beatles are my lifeblood. Lovely article.

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