I think it was 93 or 94, I must have been seven, we lived in an old mill town on the Willamette River, outside of Portland, Ore. It rained a lot. It was melancholic and beautiful.
I had my own CD player, I loved it, I painted it with glitter nail polish. I had two CD’s only at first. One of which deserves no mention (some Disney movie BS) and the other, Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles. I remember buying them at the mall.
Listening and playing music inside while it rained outside was a big part of my childhood. I remember feeling like my CD player and my CD’s were gold. They were sacred. I would save up my allowance and go to the Mall and buy CD’s. My brother was always trying to sell me things. Once he sold me a nearly dead Lizard, it died within hours of me buying it. But when I could dodge his tempting sales pitches, I bought CD’s.
My Dad was a classic rock guy all the way. He was an elementary school music teacher, and mostly a pianist. When my brother and I were young though, I remember him listening to music more than playing. He would spend weekends rearranging the garage or the living room in our old farmhouse, listening to Fleetwood Mac or The Band or The Beatles or something at top volume. Our house was always uncluttered and I was exposed to a constant stream of really killer music.
I was taught to worship the Beatles at an early age, but my choice to go with Magical Mystery Tour over another record was partly the influence of a friend, and the fact that it was probably the only album my Dad didn’t have. Surely he had every other Beatles Record.
I can’t remember the name of this said friend, but my memory of her is like something out of a David Lynch film – but a kid-friendly non-violent David Lynch film. Play dates at her house were always unsupervised and bizarre. We would sit in her basement listening to her copy of Magical Mystery Tour. I think it was a tape. She was the only other 8-year old around who also dug the Beatles. I remember The Hanson’s and The Spice Girls being all the rage amongst my friends. I only knew her for that year, was it second or third grade? I can’t remember. She claimed to see ghosts and wore a lot of black for a seven or eight year old. I thought she was the coolest, jamming out to the Beatles in her basement, hoping for the ghosts to come.
My Dad (Like so many others) regarded the Beatles as the best band EVER; Of course I was massively influenced by them, I think it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been influenced by the Beatles. I think it’s important to mention how into black music they were – John Lennon was the one who named Chuck Berry “King of Rocknroll”. Was it appropriative? Sure. Rocknroll was, as we all know now, created by black people. Some of their songs feature some sexist language. You have to see them in their context, growing up in post-War England. But what they did with it all – using the Indian music and western classical, all woven together with the power and magic of this Black American idiom. With acid! So in 2018 I could look at some lyrics and think they are less cool… But their musical genius is undeniable, and their work is canon.
Keep up with Heart Hunters here.
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