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01 November 2009

Just heard "She said she said" and am blown away So I got that Beatles box set thing, not knowing quite what I was in for. I'd loved a few of their songs, but had never listened closely to them.[More:]

Wow, let me just say that going through this collection has been an epiphany and an adventure. As for the aforementioned song, it suddenly took me somewhere I can't quite explain . . . but I ended up crying copious tears . . . and I don't feel quite the same after having heard it, kind of like I didn't feel the same after my very first psychedelic experience.

Consider me a convert to the Beatles cult.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that with some folks who would listen, because I don't know what else to do with this feeling the Beatles and this song in particular have left me with. If you're still listening, thank you.
this can happen.
posted by Miko 01 November | 23:50
As you savor your epiphany, consider this: The arc of the Beatles' career lasted from 1963 to 1970.

Seven years.

I have socks older than that.
posted by Triode 02 November | 01:30
Triode, where do you find those socks?
posted by arse_hat 02 November | 02:44
As someone whose first childhood musical love was the Beatles, and as someone who's been listening to them ever since, it's fun to imagine myself in your shoes, discovering the Beatles now. As an adult. Fact is, though, I can't really imagine it. Their music has been so inextricably interwoven with my entire life that, well, hell, I don't even know if I'd have been a musician myself if it weren't for the initial excitement that I felt as a boy (we're talking age 6 and 7, here, the years 1963 and 1964) for those four musicians. At age 6 I wanted to be Ringo Starr, plain and simple.
posted by flapjax at midnite 02 November | 07:45
I remember something from junior high school. A guy named Scott Seaton, who was one of the popular ones, said, after "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" came out (which was the first release in the US), "They're good and everything but they will never be as great or popular for a long time as the Kingston Trio."

Then in High School, every christmas season (which is when the LP's came out), listening to Rubber Soul or Revolver on the cafeteria PA at lunch.

Ah good times. Whenever I see a young barista grooving to the Beatles or their ilk, I say that I was around their age when this shit was new. Dunno why.
posted by danf 02 November | 09:59
What flapjax said. The Beatles were my first exposure to pop music, back at an age where I was still mostly watching "Sesame Street." They're part of my musical and imaginative DNA, to the point I really CAN'T imagine what it'd be like to discover them later on in life.
posted by BoringPostcards 02 November | 10:47
What flap said for me, too. Was listening to the Beatles in the womb, and forever since.
posted by Miko 02 November | 11:50
arse_hat, Triode didn't say he wore socks like that, just that he had socks like that. You probably do too, although you don't know it - single ones that have hidden for years in secret places while you desperately search your sock drawer for a matching pair to wear.

Also, re the Beatles: it always pains me that I prefer the songs McCartney wrote to Lennon's, because McCartney is such a knob.
posted by essexjan 02 November | 13:08
After they played on Sullivan I got a poster of the four, and convinced myself that the eyes were following me (this actually happens with any life size portrait if the subject looks into the camera.)

I would devise elaborate scenarios of how I would relate to them when their small plane crashed in our backyard, always featuring my showing them the poster at some point.
posted by StickyCarpet 02 November | 13:54
I'm a lot younger than most of the people in this thread, but I, too, grew up with the Beatles (I think the first album of theirs I listened to was A Hard Day's Night; it was one of two or three that had been released in the Soviet Union* and my mother had two copies of it, one of which we pretty much played to shreds) and can't really imagine what it'd be like to discover them as an adult. There's so many other groups from that I have discovered only lately, but the Beatles seem as something completely natural to me.

Yet, I still find myself wondering if I really truly know their music.

* I don't think it happened till the 1980s, though.
posted by Daniel Charms 02 November | 14:11
Yeah, it is weird stumbling into this as an adult. It's like I've been living in this house with one giant room I never bothered venturing into. And then when I finally do manage to make my way into the room, it's full of people having this fantastic party that's been going non-stop for 46 years, and I'm thinking, WTF, I've lived in this house all my life -- how on earth could I have missed this?!?
posted by treepour 02 November | 14:15
I can't imagine living to adult age and not having entering that Beatles zone for extended periods of time. How does that happen?
If I was Christian or even religious I would say (with a nod to John) that it's like not knowing anything of Jesus except that he was an okay carpenter.
posted by chococat 02 November | 19:12
But even though the Beatles have never not been in my DNA, I also sort of envy the chance to hear them totally fresh, coming across crisp and clear without the baggage of a lifetime's associations. Every now and then, listening to their music, I get a glimpse of the startling baroque brilliance of some of their work, and it feels a little like maybe it felt the first time anyone heard their new music. But it's not always easy to grasp that.

I remember, in high school, hanging out with some other friends who were pretty Beatle-obsessed, which went along well with various other, more 80s music obsessions. One afternoon we discovered that by playing with the stereo equalizer, we could isolate the channels that the music was playing through. That afternoon we heard the BEatles like never before. I know we went through Sgt. Pepper's and I think Revolver that way, and maybe Magical Mystery Tour, too. It was a real window into the way the sound was composed - there are things hidden in the layers of music that some playback formats really obscure. Hearing the same stuff in a new way, tinkering with it, was awesome.
posted by Miko 02 November | 23:09
cococat, you've got it, i couldn't have put the way i feel any better. To be fair, it's not like I'd never heard of them. We sang Yellow Submarine in 4th grade music class, and I was passingly familiar with all their biggest radio hits for most of my life. But somehow they never got into my DNA, and I think maybe this has something to do with being a naive gen-X'er growing up in Oklahoma. By default, I felt disdain for everything that popular culture had not merely produced, but sanctified. I guess I associated any such cultural sanctification with the sort of fundamentalist religious nonsense that permeated my psyche at the time.

But holy crap, this is some amazing and beautiful stuff. She Said She Said is what was really the breakthrough for me. I guess everyone has her or his own breakthrough song when coming to love bands, artists, etc. I just couldn't believe how beautiful and intense it was -- I don't know how else to put it. It was so gorgeous and elaborate and it just kept coming on relentlessly, and there was nothing I could do but surrender, and when I did it . . . reached something incredibly real. I don't think I've ever had a "spiritual" experience this intense with any other song.
posted by treepour 03 November | 02:07
er, chococat, not cococat.
posted by treepour 03 November | 02:09
Well, treepour, I reckon you might be interested in the backstory on Lennon's song? here.
posted by flapjax at midnite 03 November | 07:32
I don't think I've ever had a "spiritual" experience this intense with any other song.
So, one might say that it's making you feel like you've never been born?
posted by chococat 03 November | 12:09
I remember seeing a newspaper headline at my parents house that the Beatles had split up. I asked my father why they would, because being friends is happy. So why stop that.
He told me that sometimes friends stop being friends.
I remember my sadness upon hearing that.

That's a rather unlikely memory since I was 2 when they split up. But it's a momentous memory for me; where the ways of the world first encroached upon childlike naiveté. Like a fall from grace.

And yes, I've been listening recently to the remasters. Only started to feel sleepy at 6 am.
The musical furniture of my youth.
posted by jouke 03 November | 21:11
Some advice on how to eat healthy while immersed in test prep || Tinky Winky. Armed and dangerous!