The Beatles Pleased, Pleased Me

The British Invastion - The Beatles - Kennedy Airport - February 1964

By Judy Berman

Motown’s soul music and surfer music had me in its grasp. But like any fickle teen, my heart soon belonged to a shaggy-haired mop-top group from Liverpool: The Fab Four.

Parents had no sooner stopped gnashing their teeth over the swivel hips of Elvis Presley and his effect on their children’s morality when their attention shifted to a new threat: The Beatles.

When asked how long he thought the Beatles would last, John Lennon said at the time: “About five years.”

Even Dr. Billy Graham thought the group was just a blip on the screen. “The Beatles … they’re a passing phase: of the uncertainty of the times and the confusion about us.”

Both underestimated the staying power of The Beatles.

For me, it’s been a lifelong love affair. I loved their wit and mischief. But the closest I’ve ever gotten to them was watching their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 8, 1964.

Their upbeat love songs with harmonicas, guitars and drums morphed into complex orchestra arrangements with deeper messages.

Years later, we visited their Abbey Road Studios when we were in London. We walked over the zebra crossing as The Beatles did on their album, “Abbey   Road” – their last recorded album released in September 1969.

This album cover added to the rumor that Paul McCartney had died following a car accident in 1967. That speculation was fueled by his limited public appearances after he married his first wife, Linda, and while he was contemplating a solo career.

I thought it was a hoax, but I was caught up in the mystery. I honed my sleuth-like skills and examined the evidence.

On the radio, a DJ (disc jockey) claimed, that when the lyrics were played backwards, it proved that Paul is dead. Some suggested that in the song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” that band-mate, John Lennon, uttered “I buried Paul.” McCartney later revealed that the actual words were far less sinister. He said they were “cranberry sauce.”

Then, there was the album cover itself. Some interpreted it as a funeral procession. John Lennon, in white, symbolized the preacher. Ringo Starr, in black, was viewed as an undertaker or mourner. George Harrison, in denim jeans and shirt, symbolized the grave digger, and McCartney, barefoot and out of step with the other band members, symbolized death, according to sources quoted in Wikipedia.

Fortunately, they were wrong. But the demise of the group took place the following year in 1970.  They went their separate ways and onto successful solo careers.

From my teen years to motherhood, The Beatles were part of the fabric of my life. I recall playing (poorly) the song, “Good Night,” (1968) written by John Lennon and sung by Ringo Starr, to our girls when they were young.

In December 1980, I awoke to the heartbreaking news of John Lennon’s murder on the classic rock station (WAQX-FM, where I worked at in Manlius, New York). His death was devastating, to say the least.

George Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. Paul and Ringo continue their musical careers. I thank all four for the fun, creativity, thoughtful and musically diverse offerings they played for me, my family and all their fans. They did “Please, Please Me.”

Music Video: “Love Me Do” – The Beatles ’62 

Help – The Beatles – movie trailer (1965)

All My Loving – The Beatles – 1964

Please, Please Me – The Beatles (1963)  

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Main Photo – The British Invasion – The Beatles – KennedyAirport – February 1964 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Beatles,_Kennedy_Airport,_February_1964.jpg

Lennon and Rev. Billy Graham quotes from: “The Beatles an Illustrated Record,” by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler (1975).

Musical Memories and Love

The Fab Four

The Fab Four

By Judy Berman

Your first crush? No need to ask: “What’s your name?” You do remember the time … and you remember it well. How the fragrance of his cologne lingered long after he’s gone.

Looking over the music of several decades, the songs I recall tell a story of puppy love, heartbreak, exuberance, questioning, self-examination, hopes, dreams and fond memories.

1. Puppy Love by Paul Anka (1960)

My first love was a shy guy from Colorado, a real gentleman. When I asked him to go with me to a Girl Scout ice-skating party, he didn’t tell me he didn’t know how to skate. He twisted his ankle when he was practicing on borrowed skates, but he went anyways. I was the envy of a lot of girls that night.

- Paul Anka’s inspiration for this popular song was Annette Funicello, whom he was dating at the time. Annette, one of the most popular Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club, died April 18th at the age of 70. I adored both Paul Anka and Annette Funicello.

2. Why Do Fools Fall in Love? by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (1956) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sAHiR0rkJg

Ah! The dating years. I introduce my friend to my date, and he winds up dating her. So many cads, so little time.

- Frankie Lymon was only 13 when he wrote this song, but this is one question I’m sure many of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. (The song was in the movie “American Graffiti.”)

3. She Loves You by The Beatles ( 1963) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOuu88OwdK8

That magical, incomparable feeling. I was so ecstatic when I discovered my crush felt the same way about me.

4. How Deep Is Your Love? by The Bee Gees (1977). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwZhAP4Uiqw

It seemed so right at first. Then, unsure of where we were heading, I began to question if our love would last for the long haul.

- This song was used as part of the soundtrack to the film, “Saturday Night Fever”

5. What Have I Done to Deserve This? by The Pet Shop Boys (1987) – featuring Dusty Springfield http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn9E5i7l-Eg

Now the angst begins. Where did I go wrong? We planned a future together, then it was over. I briefly wallowed in self-pity before I picked myself up, brushed myself off and moved on.

6. Where Did Our Love Go? by The Supremes (1964) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izzKUoxL11E

So what happened? It seems our love was over before it even began.

7. Do You Want to Dance? by Bette Midler (1972) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV5KGvQGaMY

Let’s face it, Bette is talking about much more than a stroll across the dance floor. Her message: you’re back … and you’ll be fine. I was and I am.

8. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by The Shirelles (1960)

This is question that goes beyond whether what happened was a one-night stand. It’s one you’ll ask throughout life. We all seek reassurances from those we love whether it’s our parents, spouses, children or those we admire.

-  Some radio stations had banned this record when it first came out because they felt the lyrics were too sexually charged, according to wikipedia.

9. Remember the Time? by Michael Jackson (1992) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeiFF0gvqcc

The lyrics recall a youthful love affair, a sweet look back at happier times, of the one you wish had not gotten away. Or, better yet, it’s a bit of nostalgia that you savor and share with the one you love.

These are just a few of my favorite tunes. What songs would be on your playlist?

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-13. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or
earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original
content.

Photo: The Beatles – as they arrive in New York City in 1964.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/df/The_Fabs.JPG/600px-The_Fabs.JPG

Love That Rock ‘n’ Roll Music

icon - Rock N Roll GuitaristBy Judy Berman

“Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music, any old way you choose it. It’s got a back beat, you can’t blues it, any old time you use it.”

When I hear that tune, “Rock and Roll Music,” my first thought is of The Beatles. It shouldn’t. Their version came out in 1976. It was sung in 1957 – almost two decades before – by Chuck Berry, one of the many strong influences on The Beatles’ earlier works.

“Chuck Berry melded the blues, country, and a witty, defiant teen outlook into songs that have influenced virtually every rock musician in his wake,” according to Rolling Stone, “Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.”

That was the appeal for this rebel without a cause. My love of rock and roll took on many forms: Buddy Holly, Motown and surfer music. But the ones that caused the biggest battle at home was the splatter tunes – the cheatin’ and the cryin’, the lyin’ and the dyin’ music.

Those tearjerkers – such as “Last Kiss” (1964) by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, and “Leader of the Pack” (1964) by the Shangri Las – had a short life-span when my Dad crossed the threshold of our home.

As soon as Dad’s car pulled into our driveway, I’d race to turn off the radio in our living room and retreat to my room to hear them.

Then, Mersey beaucoup. The reception was a bit warmer for The Beatles. On Feb. 7, 1964, the Four Lads from Liverpool crossed the pond and landed at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Several hundred thousand people jammed into the airport to welcome them. Two days later, they appeared on TV’s “The Ed Sullivan Show.”The British Invastion - The Beatles - Kennedy Airport - February 1964

Beatlemania was rampant. They were cheeky, fun and cute. Their songs – many of them upbeat – were great danceable rock ‘n’ roll tunes.

“I feel happy inside, it’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide …” (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles).

Quite a contrast to tunes where the girlfriend – or boyfriend – died, leaving a heartbroken teen behind.  I’m still trying to figure out the story behind “Teen Angel” (1959) by Mark Dinning and Alex Murray.

A teenage couple is riding in a car that stalls on the railroad tracks. The boy pulls his girlfriend to safety, but she runs back to the car and is killed by the train. In her hand, his ring. Why didn’t she have the ring on? Or, just get a new ring?

Me? I would have said, “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You” and “P.S. I Love You.” [Happy Valentines Day, honey.]

What music gets your heart – and feet – to skip a beat?

Video: Beatles arrive in U.S. – Feb. 7, 1964 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Df-LvrRcEo

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-13. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo: Icon for rock music on Wikipedia. Silhouetted rock ‘n’ roll guitar player. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RockNRollGuitarist.svg

Photo – The Beatles – KennedyAirport – February 1964 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Beatles,_Kennedy_Airport,_February_1964.jpg

Video: Rock and Roll Music, Chuck Berry (1957) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH8IrcvdiD8

Video: Last Kiss, J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh4se9YMV3A

Video: I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, The Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44YitKiVZ8E

Video: The Beatles, P.S. I Love You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6ynDcrF2b8

Dancing in the Car

By Judy Berman

My red Nissan Sentra lurched and shook as we sped down the highway.

No mechanical problems. Just the usual. Thru the years, my car has been more than a mode of transportation. It’s also been our personal jukebox.

My daughters and I were rocking out to the tunes on the radio – singing loud enough to be heard above the traffic noise on 690. Passing motorists pointed at us good-naturedly and laughed along with us.

We were having a grand time. Summer was just around the corner. We rolled down the window and blared Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You.”

“I’ll make it more than just a physical dream. I wanna rock you, Chaka, baby. Cuz you make me wanna scream, Let me rock you, Rock you.” (Chaka Khan, “I Feel For You”)

Little did we realize the sexual undertones of some of the songs we were jamming to, such as Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” and “1999.”

“I was dreaming when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast. But life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.” (Prince, “1999”)

That was tame, But I just blush now when I really listen to some of the lyrics.

The music’s appeal was its danceability and, if we could have, we would have been dancing in the car.

The Beatles’ “Rock and Roll Music” was a couple of decades older. When it came on though, my girls never missed a beat.

“That’s why I go for that rock and roll music, any old way you choose it. It’s got a back beat, you can’t blues it, any old time you use it. Gotta be rock and roll music if you want to dance with me.” (The Beatles, “Rock and Roll Music”)

No trip thru Syracuse was complete until we stopped at Columbus Bakery and bought two loaves of Italian bread. The music escorted us home to Liverpool. By that time, Danielle and Jenn demolished one of the loaves. I might have had some myself. I’m sure they recall the outcome differently.

Then, as we neared home, I’d turn the corners a tad sharp in our neighborhood so that they’d tumble against one another – first to one side of the car, then the other. More giggles. They’d squeal with delight and beg me to do it again. I gladly obliged.

Several years later, the musical tradition continued. Turning onto our street, my timing was perfect. Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” came on. It’s about 10 minutes long, but we waited for our favorite part when Meatloaf, in the heat of passion, promised to wed his girlfriend.

“I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow … I’m praying for the end of time. It’s all that I can do. Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you.” (Meatloaf, “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights”)

By now, we were parked in the driveway, waiting for the next song, “Y.M.C.A.,” that closed this particular radio show.

If anyone had seen us singing and performing this disco song in our car, they would have thought we were certifiable.

This routine is just a memory chip away. When I hit rewind to replay that rock and roll music in my head, I just smile. It reminds of when Jenn and Danielle rode along with me. My girls completed my days and nights.

    What’s your favorite driving song? Comment below.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

* Photo: The Beatles at Kennedy Airport in 1964 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Beatles,_Kennedy_Airport,_February_1964.jpg

* Photo: Prince in Paris in 2009 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Prince.jpg        Author: Nicolas Genin, Paris, France

* Photo: Chaka Khan in concert in Santa Ynez, Calif.in 2006 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Chaka_Khan.jpg

* Photo: Village People – Y.M.C.A. – 1970s disco group http://www.listal.com/viewimage/52783

* “Rock and Roll Music” – music video with The Beatles (1964 song) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Rock+and+Roll+Music+Beatles&mid=AE3F5E63286E2C4B39A5AE3F5E63286E2C4B39A5&view=detail&FORM=VIRE5

* “I Feel for You” – music video with Chaka Khan (1984 song) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=i+feel+for+you+chaka+khan+lyrics&mid=DAC8A78F458AE54A4EFADAC8A78F458AE54A4EFA&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

* “1999” music video with Prince (1982 song) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=prince+1999+music+video+official&mid=64B37BACF8AEB2FD7B9B64B37BACF8AEB2FD7B9B&view=detail&FORM=VIRE3

* “YMCA” music video with the Village People (1979 song) http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ymca+music+video&mid=077162ED5F556270EC9D077162ED5F556270EC9D&view=detail&FORM=VIRE3

Vanishing Point

By Judy Berman

The bragging rights of a new car – the enviable stares, the admiring glances, the unabashed ogling. That’s now past tense.

Now the point may be not to be seen at all. Of course, that could be a problem in high-traffic areas when you want to avoid a crash.

Mercedes-Benz’ “Invisible” Mercedes F-Cell was put through its paces on the streets of Stuttgart, Germany, this week. This technology is straight out of the James Bond movie, “Die Another Day.”

Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) is driving an Aston Martin Vanquish which is being hotly pursued in a rapidly-melting ice palace by his foe (Zao). Zao (Rick Yune) aims his Jaguar XKR straight for Bond’s car, which vanishes moments before the intended impact.

“I’m looking through you. Where did you go? I’m looking through you. You’re not the same.” (The Beatles’ “I’m Looking Thru You”)

The F-Cell, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, is being manufactured in limited quantities. But the “Invisible” Mercedes F-Cell, an emission-free car, is still a car of the future.

“While the car isn’t completely invisible, you are just seeing a moving outline because the LED screen is projecting what’s behind it. The effect works best when the scenery behind is uniform, for example, while crossing the bridge in the video (link posted below), and at night when there’s more contrast between light and dark,” according to a story posted by Matthew Humphries on Geek.com.

The “invisibility” is the result of a lot of cameras and flexible LED-mats which can weigh nearly 1,100 pounds at a cost of nearly $263,000.

Is this what Taylor Swift is really singing about in “Invisible,” rather than unrequited love?

“And you just see right through me. But if you only knew me we could be a beautiful miracle, unbelievable. Instead of just invisible, yeah.”

Not to worry,Taylor. You could still be a beautiful pair. You could cruise the streets in a car that the paparazzi would not be able to detect. Perfect!

As for the rest of us who wish for a vanishing point from the maddening crowds, we’ll just have to wait for the price to come down.

—–

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

* Photos of the “Invisible” Mercedes (and a video in Motoramic. Article by Justin Hyde)

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/invisible-mercedes-brings-james-bond-technology-life-171557818.html

* Mercedes article by Matthew Humphries on Geek.com. Includes videos:

http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/mercedes-create-near-invisible-car-using-leds-2012035/

* The chase scene from James Bond’s “Die Another Day”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbAiYjovbBM

* Pierce Brosnan who played secret agent James Bond in 4 films from 1995-2002

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PierceBrosnan(CannesPhotoCall).jpg