I suppose it’s easy to ask how some average guy born 51 years ago today in small-town central Idaho — way out in the middle of nowhere, literally on the edge of the largest wilderness area in the continuous 48 states — could have such a wildly varied taste in music.
Well, it started at a young age. It was born into me when I was around 3 years old, and my sister — Lynda Kay — sat with me on the couch in our living room on a Sunday night and worked on teaching me how to read. The television was on, and Ed Sullivan announced the first appearance of The Beatles in America.
There are just some things you always remember … yes, even as early as 3 years old. That was one of those moments for me.
I was hooked from then on. I followed them every chance I got, looked through every magazine I could find that had them in it, tried to see every movie of theirs that I could, GOT AN ALBUM OF THE CHIPMUNKS DOING BEATLES SONGS, tried to watch their cartoon on TV every Saturday morning, and my mother supported my “habit” as much as she could — even though going to a drive-in movie theater to see the wild animation of “Yellow Submarine” may have been a bit much for her country/western music-loving senses to take.
I believe it was her, after all, who gave me one of the most memorable Christmas presents of my childhood: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” on 8-track tape. Between that and “Revolver,” my young eyes were opened to a whole different world of music at a very young age.
And I’ve never turned back since then. My tastes have only expanded, grown wider and wilder and more … faithful. But The Beatles will always be known as the launching pad that propelled me to a whole different galaxy of music.
I may like to wear a cowboy hat from time to time (like my all-time favorite Charlie Daniels-style hat shown in the newly discovered and crisply scanned picture from around my senior year of high school — 1978 — when I was about 17 years old, where you see me, my Mom, and my sister Lynda off to the right side here — and dig those bell bottoms!) and boots, listen to the occasional country song myself, and yearn for those honky-tonk sounds on occasion, but it’s The Beatles who made me realize at first just how “far out” music could go.
It was a far cry from the direction I could have gone, given what was the No. 1 song in the nation on the day I was born …
Yeah, my tastes grew along with me.
A song that I once started teaching to myself when I owned a beautiful, sweet-sounding Ibanez acoustic guitar, only to sell it so I could buy an old Chevy Nova …
When The Beatles broke up, I was heartbroken for a while. But life went on, and after a while I found another band that sounded pretty … “Beatleish.”
Yep, life would go on post-Beatles. And then some. Sweet memories!