Friday, June 08, 2007

"MY Turn at the Wax Nostalgic"



You would think that since I'm such a "big Beatles fan" to the point that I even have a "Beatles & Bizarros" blog site, that I'd have a lot to say about this month marking the 40th. Anniversary of the release of The Beatles' l.p., Sgt. Peppers. But the truth of the matter is that the time when that happened is a little fuzzy to me.

What I can remember would be something like this:

I wasn't quite 16 years old yet. That wouldn't happen for nearly another month and a half. I had just gotten out of school for the summer, and I was killing time by walking around and looking in the drug stores and "5 & Dimes" in this little burg I live in now. ( but at that time I actually lived in a similiar "little burg" 5 miles further South). At a drug store there, in their l.p. department, I first saw the album but didn't have enough money to buy it.

Probably the following Friday night or a Friday night shortly afterwards, my folks made their semi-monthly trip to Bowling Green, KY. (35 miles from here) to the Sears store, and I saw it again in their l.p. section, and since my birthday was quickly approaching I asked mom if I could have an early present by them buying the album for me (which they did).

It was probably late that night by the time we returned, so I didn't listen to it until the following day, and as I DO recall, I listened to it several times. I thought it sounded a a lot different from the previous albums I had by The Beatles, but I liked it quite a bit just the same. The inserts, I'm sure, got misplaced or lost quickly, or were jumbled in as part of something when I sold my original comic book collections. (I never sold my original Beatles l.p.s.)

I also remember that for the first few years of having that l.p. (and any others that I had before or afterwards) all I ever heard them in was mono because neither I (or any of my friends, at that age) had a stereo and neither did my parents. I didn't get my first stereo until either late 1972 or early 1973, finally breaking down and buying on "on credit" at our local (now defunct) Grants store. Any other time I heard it was probably on the radio, either the one in my folk's house, a pocket transister, or in my car. The only record player I had was one I got at Christmas circa 1962, which, although played records at three different speeds, was really made just for listening the 45 RPMs. (It was a small record player with a sapphire needle, maybe not over 12" x 24", and had a zebra stripped case). Even so, it didn't take anything away from all of the many, many hours of pure enjoyment I got from listening to so very many l.p.s on it. Not just The Beatles, but The Doors, and CCR, and Otis Redding, and Sly and The Family Stone, and The Stones, Iron Butterfly, The Turtles, etc.,etc., etc.

I was "aware" of the summer of love, but at 16 it really didn't mean a whole lot to me. I'd seen films of the hippies on the evening news, and, well, that was about all of the exposure I ever got to that crowd until sometime later in my life. Afterall, I lived in the midst of "Nowheresville, Kentucky", an area that didn't get out of the 1950's until 1971, and was still slow to adapt to anything new in the world for many years afterwards (and still is).

Another thing I remember was the various clues to what was the hoax regarding the death of Paul Mccartney being on that l.p.. Paul with his back turned towards us, the hand over his head on the front cover and the look of a funeral at the crowd's feet. I used to have a magazine that was published on that back in the latter 60's; wish I still did (need to hunt on online auctions for that one) that listed all of those little "clues". (Unfortunately an ex-wife got my original copy damn her soul to hell.)

As for the music itself, I can sing right along with probably any song on it. But, that's not unusual for me as I can more than likely sing along with ANY Beatles song. "Sgt. Peppers" was just one more step in my love for the group's music and great talent.

I'm still just as big a fan of them today.

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