Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

I heard “She Loves You” yesterday.  It was only the squintillionth time I’ve heard the Beatlemania-defining tune, which long ago receded into whatever part of my brain is reserved for songs I will still sing along to at 96, during my final days in a nursing home.

But this time was different.  Instead of bobbing almost unheard in the background, as familiar tunes often do, this time I heard it with almost cosmic clarity.  The joyful guitar licks, Ringo’s thumping drumming, the giddily optimistic lyrics — all came rushing back, as if hearing it for the first time ever.

In fact, I first heard “She Loves You” in the early spring of 1964.  I was not yet a teenager, but back in those pre-helicopter-parent days I enjoyed freedom today’s students only dream about.  I rode my bike wherever I wanted; my bazillion High Point Road friends and I played outside all afternoon, with no adults in sight, and when we were hungry we wandered into someone’s house and found food.

Everywhere I went, I carried my transistor radio.  It was laughably large compared to today’s teeny iPods, but as fifth graders who had just discovered rock ‘n’ roll, our lives demanded a soundtrack.  The Beatles, and so many other wannabe bands, provided it.

I thought of all this yesterday because the weather reminded me so much of the first time I heard “She Loves You.”  Winter was almost gone, but spring had not yet settled in.  Both times the afternoon was chilly, the wind gusting, but the world was also filled with something fresh, something cleansing, something to look forward to.

Back in 1964, the Beatles provided that breath of fresh air.  Now, 45 years later, half the band is dead.  We’re all a bit jaded; some of us are worried, a few even terrified.  But for 2 minutes yesterday, music and weather combined to take me back to a moment when anything — all things — seemed possible.

And you know that can’t be bad.

8 responses to “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

  1. Were you too young, or too busy — to hang out at the Record Hunter?
    I remember all the kids who did…

    • I absolutely hung out at the Record Hunter. Jay Flaxman was a significant influence on my musical education. He introduced me to Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, and many other artists I still revere.

  2. Westport’s hippest moment. Talbot’s just doesn’t measure up…

  3. Judith Crowley

    I love it! I grew up on Robert Lane off Hogan Trail. We played ’til dark, chased the ice cream truck, had tag sales, traded clothes and toys and your article just brought back so many delicious memories of a great time to live in Westport. If you go down Hogan Trail today, it is as it was then. I take people down Hogan Trail to show them how all of Westport used to look.

  4. Paul Flaxman

    Hi Dan and Wendy – thanks for bringing me back to growing up in Westport. My Dad is doing well. He turns 80 tomorrow; I’ll be heading down to see him and will show him this thread. I used to ride my Schwinn stingray with the banana seat to my Dad’s store and, as you suggested Dan, we would just be on our own. Loved it. Thanks.

  5. Paul…..tell Jay that Wendy (then Gailmor) who worked at Remarkable remembers him with great affection. He was a dad to many floundering souls, and I saw it happen.

  6. Wendy, I’m sitting with my Dad right now and he has just read all this and has a big smile on his face. He remembers you well and very fondly. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  7. But does he remember that I bought at least 20 copies of “Surrealistic Pillow” to give away?!