One of my favorite Christmas memories is from the fourth grade. I walk downstairs to our olive-green, shag-carpeted living room to see what Santa has left. I hear music from The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
This was the 70s and having a stereo was a big deal. Imagine my amazement when my dad pointed out that behind the blue suede (yes, blue suede!) chair was a record player/stereo, complete with an 8-track. Playing my favorite band, The Beatles.
That stereo brought years of enjoyment – I even lugged the enormous thing to college. My family grew our music collection through a mail order business that sold 8-tracks or for those of you from Cincinnati, trips to Swallen’s.
Max and Calvin started the fourth grade this year and while their listening methods are different – they have Alexas – they have been digging The Beatles after seeing the film Yesterday this summer. (I cried through half the movie.)
Max, in particular, has become obsessed. He asks me lots of questions, “What was the Beatles’ first song?” “Why did they break up?” “How did John die?” “How did George die?” “Did they stay friends after they broke up?”
On vacation in Canada this summer, he adopted a British accent, calling us “mate.” He tried to tell me that Abbey Road is in Liverpool…not London.
But his mama schooled him – I did take a 300 level class at Indiana University (much to my dad’s dismay) – The History of the Beatles. Best class ever, besides The History of Rock n’ Roll. I also lived in London and traveled with my brother to visit Liverpool for the day and missed all the tours because we slept so late. (But that’s another story.)
Where do books factor into all of this? Well, once I had a captive audience, you can bet I brought out all of my many Beatles’ books that I’ve collected and been gifted throughout the years, including a new one my husband bought me for my recent birthday, The Complete Beatles Songs, The stories behind every track written by the Fab Four by Steve Turner.
This book is Max’s favorite because he can look up the origin of each song and chatter to me about it. At night, I hear him singing “Eleanor Rigby “in his bed.
It’s pretty sweet. I plan to enjoy it until he turns into a teenager and scoffs at my choices.
Check out this book for kids about The Beatles: Who Were the Beatles? by Geoff Edgers and illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau. Max loved it.
Just for fun, I’m including a photo of another birthday present – a painting by Tobin Sprout. I wrote about him when I first started this blog.