I, Walt, do sincerely apologize for the terrible title. I’ve never been much good at titles. But it’s true. I’m deep down in it.
I didn’t even know the Get Back movie was coming. A good friend of mine, known to some as Ice Drummer, sent me a link to the trailer just a few short weeks prior to its release in November of last year. It certainly whet my appetite, but I was not prepared for what’s happened.
The entire seven hours and fifty minutes of Get Back were consumed by me over three nights. I laughed. I rocked. I shed-man tears watching McCartney pull the song that would become “Get Back” out of the ether. And at the end, I did what I do when I get obsessed with things like this. I went back to the beginning and started again.
Over the course of ten days, I spent 23.5 hours marinating in The Beatles’ creative process. According to my calculations, that’s how long it takes to watch it thrice, not counting potty breaks and other life events. I enjoyed every minute. All 1,140 of them. I could watch it again right now, but won’t, though I will one day, I think. I think I might have had enough (just) for now. But there’s a huge but. And here it comes:
I can’t turn off my Beatles part.
I know that sounds weird, so here’s what I mean. There’s a part of me that has been deeply in man-love with the Beatles and their music for as long as I can remember. Probably longer. I first remember them from my parents’ record collection, can’t say how old I was. Not that it’s a secret, I just don’t know. Seems like they’ve always been there, the Beatles. Theirs was the only music I listened to for many years. Intentionally, anyway. I knew there was other music. I knew there was Not-Beatle music. But I didn’t see any reason for it. And I didn’t understand why anyone else would, either.
I grew out of that phase, eventually. Discovered other bands, other genres. The Beatle part of me went dormant for a good while. But it woke up again years later. And that’s what it does, I’ve learned. It wakes up again years later, demands attention, then goes back to sleep again after getting what it needs. Essentially, I rediscover the Beatles every five or ten years or so, and I go through a phase where I can’t get enough. Every time, I learn something new. May be by reading, or by watching a video. Sometimes I discover new songs, or songs that are new to me, at least (“Anna Go To Him,” most recently. Where has that haunting thing been been hiding?) Then, my Beatles part goes to sleep again. Until it wakes up again.
I was just coming off my latest Beatles phase when I got that message from Mr. Drummer. Get Back was my second wind. Now here it is, late January, and it’s still going strong. That is the problem, you see. Since Get Back, not a day has gone by that I haven’t consumed something Beatles related. I rummaged through boxes in closets that hadn’t been rummaged through in years, just hoping I might find that copy of The Beatles Forever (I did) by Nicholas Shaffer I bought as a kid in the late 70s. I never read much of it, mostly just looked at the pictures. I’m reading it now, and learning new things. Things I could have known since the 70s. Things that are at times hard to believe in light of Get Back (like how how much they hated each other around the time of Get Back, which Get Back does not seem to support). There is something very post-modern about all these narratives. But that’s for another time.
It’s now April. I mentioned previously that it was January. When I mentioned previously that it was January, it was. I’m just now coming back to this post, which has been languishing in my drafts folder ever since. There are several reasons, but I will mention only one. At at a time of my choosing. Which is not just yet.
The YouTube algorithm got wind of my Beatles fetish. As a result it injects into my feed, implants if you will, a command. The algorithm wants me to act. Specifically, it wants me to spend money. More specifically, it wants me to spend money on Paul McCartney tickets.
He’s coming to town, you see. YouTube notified me as I was looking for a way out of one of its rabbit holes.
For a moment, the possibility of seeing a real-live Beatle live on stage lights me up. I must go. I must do this. I have visions of the family going. Of sharing this with the girls.
Then I saw the ticket prices. And I moved on.
Thing is, that Beatles part of me, the one I mentioned… it didn’t.
I thought to myself (and to my Beatles part) ok. Ok. I’ll go. We’ll go, you and me. I don’t know how, but we’ll go.
And now I shall reveal why I’m coming back to this post now. Now is the time of my choosing. An email has arrived. It is from my good friend, the Ice Drummer. He has an extra ticket, and would I like to go?
This series of events is possibly fortuitous, but I don’t think so. Too often in our materialistic culture we chalk things up to coincidence and move on. Not that there is no such thing as coincidence, there is. But when you feel deeply in your core that something will happen, must happen, then let go, trusting that it will… When it happens, we need another word for that.
Since then, my Beatles part has been corresponding, often forcibly, with Mr. Drummer, by email. Sharing with him, whether he likes it or not, via a medium he might like or might not, highlights from the rabbit hole. The Beatles part of me wants him to partake of my obsession. Video clips. Trivia. Et cetera. I think it thinks it’s adding value to the upcoming show. It might also just need to be heard. And it kind of wants a place to play. All of which reminds me why I started this blog, way back when.