Christmas Time Is Here Again With The Beatles

Christmas Time Is Here Again With The Beatles

December always reminds me of The Beatles. Back when I was a kid, a baby really, Christmas time was when Capitol Records could be counted on to release a new Beatles album. already if it was a compilation such as The Beatles Story. I also got the treat of a special Beatles single that was recorded as a holiday gift to their fan club members but inevitably ended up on the radio airwaves. These singles weren’t songs, per se, but a Christmas greeting which allowed the zany side of the fab four to come out. Beatles songs also mixed very well with Christmas carols as any new material was guaranteed to be played to death no matter the season. December is also the month in which some little worm shot John Lennon in the back five times in front of his wife in the name of Christ. at the minimum that was the reason he initially gave.

Back in the early sixties there was this Christmas card. Very popular, you saw it around for years. It was a painting of these choir boys, very British looking. Back then all the American kids had real short hair, the Johnny Unitas crewcut look. But in England the kids had the ‘pudding bowl’ cut. Basically, your typical Beatles cut. So on this Christmas card are these little boys in a choir. They’re standing in rows, holding these big hymn books in front of them, they’ve got on shirts and ties and choir robes and they’re singing, you assume very well, in harmony, right? Well, what made this card so popular is that the kids are all either missing teeth or they’ve got black eyes and bruises like they’ve been fighting. These perfect little angels when they’re singing are tough little brats the rest of the time.

So here come the Beatles. Very British, with the choir boy hairdos, wearing shirts and ties but with those matching, collarless jackets. Just like they’re wearing choir robes. And what do they do? They stand in a row holding electric guitars in front of them and they sing in harmony. Maybe we didn’t realize it at the time but we’d seen the Beatles for years. We’d bring them out every Christmas and when they’d swear and smoke and drink, no one freaked out. We know our little choir boys are really very naughty… that’s what we love about them.

Christmas time also reminds me of perhaps the biggest change in my young life. In November of 1963 JFK was shot and that event cannot be overestimated in the lives of those old enough to have known who he was. In January of 1964 my family moved from the only home I had ever known to across town which to me could have been across the universe. Then, less then a month later in February, the Beatles landed at JFK and changed my universe much more than physically moving could ever do.

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