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Strawberry Fields

This week instead of taking a trip outside somewhere, I thought we’d take a trip inside my mind, down memory lane.

When The Beatles released, “Strawberry Fields,” in 1967, it was the start of a musical and cultural revolution that began with Paul McCartney playing some hypnotic notes on a mellotron before John Lennon sang the cryptic words, “Let me take you down.” The song was a precursor to the “Summer of Love” that gave birth to the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. It looked to me back then that the world was going to change for the better. I felt lucky to be alive and able to witness such mind-blowing things like rock ‘n’ roll festivals, communes, braless hippie girls, free love, LSD, pot, long hair, moustaches and naked hippies frolicking in mud and ponds. It only lasted for two years. In 1969, the Manson murders had happened and the Rolling Stones free Altamont concert were two big needles pricking holes in the colorful balloons that had been floating in the sky and in the younger generation’s LSD-soaked, psychedelic brain trust.

But for a couple of years, things really did seem magical, at least to an optimistic and wide-eyed, nine-year-old Beatles fanatic like myself.
I really felt certain our culture and the world would transform into a beautiful, peaceful place where you’d be free to pursue anything that interested you. There would be no judgements, just peace and love. And that seemed like a beautiful thing to look forward to. That feeling started to take root the first time I heard “Strawberry Fields” on the radio. Let me take you down...

It was a gloomy, weary-dreary day in the second week of February, 1967. Our family lived in Louisville, Kentucky at the time and I was riding shotgun in our family station wagon with my mom at the wheel. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and we were headed to the A&P grocery store to get some supplies that my mom needed to make our Sunday dinner with. I was bored at home and went along for the ride. The radio was tuned to one of the two rock ‘n’ roll stations that Louisville had on the AM airwaves, WAKY. The other was WKLO, but why would you listen to WKLO, when you could listen to WAKY? Plus, my favorite DJ “Weird Beard,” was the nightly DJ, so my allegiance in Louisville rock ‘n’ roll radio always laid solidly in WAKY.

“I’m A Believer,” by the Monkees had just ended as my mom slid our family wagon into the A&P parking lot. She found a space and was maneuvering into it when the Sunday afternoon DJ said the following mind-shattering words: “Okay, as promised earlier, next up, the groovy new song by The Beatles! But first a few words from the cats that pay the bills around here.”

My head felt like someone had pumped a canister of helium into my left ear and it had zoomed straight to my brain. A new Beatles song! It had been a long dry spell since there was any new Beatles product on the market. The last single they put out was in August of 1966, which was “Eleanor Rigby” with “Yellow Submarine” on the flip side. The album, Revolver had been released at the same time. It had been seven long months and in this time frame, The Monkees had come walking down the street and had stolen The Beatles thunder. I remember talking to my older brother Jim just a week earlier and wondering when The Beatles would have a new song out. Well, today was that day!

Then my mom parked and turned the car off.

Just as she grabbed her purse, I grabbed her arm and shrieked, “Turn the car back on!”

My mom looked shocked and with me still hanging on to her arm said just one word, but it was said rather sharply, “Why?”

“Didn’t you hear the radio? There’s a new Beatles song coming up after the commercials,” I stated with great and utter urgency.

“My mom shook loose from my grip and said, “I’ve got to get this shopping done and get home and get dinner started, you can hear the song later.”

As I mentally digested the tone of finality in my mom’s calm dismissal of listening to the new Beatles song, I felt queasy and sick to my stomach. My world was suddenly collapsing around me. The helium had left my brain and I felt like I had been pushed off a 157 foot cliff while holding a 50 pound boulder. I had to act and I had to act quickly.

“No, no, no, no...I, I, I, have to hear it now. I have to hear it now. Please..please...PLEASE!” I begged like some distraught, stuttering lost soul sitting in the electric chair pleading for one last cigarette before the switch was thrown.

My mom slumped in the drivers seat and my hopes were heightened. Then she started the car and said, “If it’s not on in a couple of minutes, we’re going in.”

I thanked her profusely as a commercial for the Ratterman Funeral Home was being beamed across the WAKY airwaves into our car. I laughed because the son of the owner of Ratterman Funeral Home was in my class at Holy Trinity. His name was George Ratterman and I used to tease him by saying people were dying to get into his dad’s funeral home. Ah, the laughs came fast and furious back in those youthful, carefree days.

After the commercial ended the DJ was back and made this spine-tingling announcement, “And now as promised, the new song from The Beatles! Get ready, because this is a different sounding Beatles than you’re used to, here’s the new song, “Strawberry Fields!”

I leaned in and turned the radio up and for about four minutes nothing existed except for my eardrums and the new Beatles song. I was shocked when I heard it. It didn’t sound like anything The Beatles had done before. There were strange sounds and while I recognized John Lennon’s voice singing, he sounded different. The whole tune kind of echoed the dreary day outside, it sort of plodded along and didn’t really have a catchy chorus, guitar solos or anything that resembled a Beatles song up to this point. I couldn’t wrap my 9-year-old mind around it. Towards the end of the song it stopped and then started up again and some really weird music ended the song.

As soon as it ended my mom turned the car off and said, “Okay, let’s go.”

I looked at her and said, “That didn’t sound like The Beatles.”

“If I were you I’d stick with The Monkees,” my mom said and we went in to the store. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my brother Jim that I had heard the new Beatles song.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally left the A&P and were headed back home.
Two seconds after my mom pulled into our garage, I threw the car door open, ran inside our house and I sprinted up the stairs and burst into the bedroom I shared with my brother Jim. He was laying on his bed reading a copy of Mad magazine.

I was out of breath, but I managed to blurt out, “I heard the new Beatles song!”

Jim bolted up on his bed and shot back, “What?”

By now I was sitting on my bed and had somewhat gained my composure and caught my breath.

“I heard the new Beatles song and it’s called, “Strawberry Peels,” I excitedly told him.

My brother’s eyes widened and his mouth flew open as he asked, “What did it sound like?”

“I don’t know, it was kind of weird,” was my honest answer.

Immediately Jim started quizzing me about the song, asking who sang it, was it fast, how long was it and what did it sound like. As I strained to think of something to compare it to, I finally thought of something.

“It’s kind of like that last song on Revolver,” I told him.

“Tomorrow Never Knows,” Jim answered back and nodded his head.

Then we both sat there thinking about it and then all of a sudden, Jim got up and lunged for his transistor radio which was sitting on his desk. He turned it on and we both sat there waiting for WAKY to play the new Beatles song again.

We sat on my bed and listened. We heard The Four Tops, Dusty Springfield, The Mindbenders, The Rolling Stones and Nancy Sinatra, but no new Beatles song.

“Are you sure you heard a new Beatles song today?” My brother asked as a commercial came on.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” I shot back defensively, “it’s called “Strawberry Peels.”

“If you’re making this up, I swear I’ll kill you,” Jim said shaking his fist at me.

“”Why would I make it up?” I asked incredulously in light of this highly questionable accusation.

Jim thought about it for a minute and answered back, “I don’t know. Why do you take off your shirt and dance around like a retard at the end of “Leave It To Beaver” every day?

Reruns of “Leave It To Beaver” were shown every weekday at four in the afternoon. It was a family favorite and usually Jim and I, along with my older brother, Tom and my older sister Terry would watch as June would confide in Ward that she was worried about the Beaver. One day when the closing credits would came on, I took off my shirt and start dancing like a maniac to the bouncy music that played as the credits rolled. I loved that music. Nobody liked me doing this and I think it was kind of disturbing to my brothers and sister. But the more I was told to stop it, the more I wanted to do it. My brother Tom beat me up a couple of times for not stopping when he told me to, but nothing could stop me from doing it. After a few weeks, everyone either left the room or just ignored me when I started the shirtless “Leave It To Beaver” dance. I didn’t really have an answer for my brother as to why I did this, but it didn’t matter, the DJ was back on the air and it was good news.

“By now you’ve probably heard that The Beatles have a new single out.
And now as a treat to you Sunday listeners, I’m going to play both sides, back to back, babies! So here we go with “Strawberry Fields” and then you’ll hear “Penny Lane!”

“It’s ‘Strawberry Fields’ you retard!” My brother laughingly spat out at me.

I just rolled my eyes and shrugged my shoulders as we listened to both of the songs.

Afterwards we both agreed that “Strawberry Fields” was a weird sounding song. “Penny Lane” sounded more like the Beatles and it was a little catchier. We both wanted to hear them again and the next day after school we talked our mom into driving us to the mall so we could buy the 45.

We walked in to the mall with our mom and agreed to meet back by the big green and grey ceramic turtles that were near the front entrance in a half an hour. Then we hightailed it to the center of the mall where the record store was located and ran to the back where the 45’s were placed in wooden racks. We raced to the Beatles section and found it. Not only was there a new Beatles record in the rack, it came housed in a picture sleeve! The front was a picture of the Beatles with spotlights going off. But it didn’t look like The Beatles at all. They had shorter hair and moustaches and George had a goatee. John Lennon had round, wirerimmed glasses that were like the ones John Sebastian wore in the Lovin’ Spoonful. None of them were smiling and they had on long coats and John had a scarf on. We stared at that for a few minutes and then Jim said, “They look kind of cool like this.”
I nodded my head in agreement. Then we flipped it over and it had the names of the songs and what we assumed were baby pictures of The Beatles. After checking out the sleeve, we bought the record and then went and waited for our mom while sitting on the ceramic turtles and staring at the picture sleeve.
We went home and instead of watching TV, we listened to that 45 over and over on our family’s fake wooden console stereo in the living room, until our mom told us to stop playing it. So we took it and went up to our room and continued looking at the picture sleeve. We both agreed after repeated listenings that we liked both songs, but “Strawberry Fields” was the best. We were both big fans of The Monkees, but “Strawberry Fields” made The Monkees sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

“I can’t wait for their next album to come out,” Jim remarked while holding the record.

“I bet it’ll be like nothing we’ve ever heard before,” I said staring straight ahead. I remember feeling like things were going to start changing. And they did. But just for a little while. Five months later, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band came out and kicked off the “Summer of Love” and everything seemed possible and wonderful. But then time marched on as it always does.

None of the things that I had hoped would happen as I grew older came to fruition.
Sometime in the early ‘70s, I realized that all the ideals, revolutions and revelations I had read about, believed in and listened to in song, weren’t going to come true. It kind of depressed me, but in 1975 I discovered The Ramones and took salvation in punk rock, booze and drugs. It wasn’t the same drug experience that the kids had in the 60’s though, I just wanted to get fucked up and forget about all the things that didn’t come true.

On December 8th, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon four times in the back and killed him.

The next day I was driving to work and thought about the first time I heard “Strawberry Fields” in an A&P parking lot with my mom in Louisville, Kentucky. At that moment in time, I stopped trying to forget about things and realized I was lucky to have such memories to replay over and over, like little movies in my mind.

Further Reading:
Songfacts, The Beatles Bible and Performing Songwriter.

Let me take you down, cause I’m going to...Strawberry Fields.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


Bonus Swizzle Stick Donation!

My friend Isabella from Seattle recently came into a cache of swizzle sticks and decided to share the wealth with myself and with all of the TWM readers. They're really cool and I want to thank Isabella for sending them in! Isabella's been blogging longer than most people, she started in 1999! Her latest blog is called Get Me Off This Crazy Thing...Called Life. Check it out here, she's a great writer and it's an interesting blog. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow Isabella here. Check out the swizzle sticks she generously sent in below, they're too cool!

Thanks again to Isabella and to everyone who's donated swizzle sticks in the past. Check out the collection below, it's really getting big. I haven't gone out swizzle stick hunting, so maybe that'll be next week's post.

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Reader Comments (44)

epic post today! sometimes i forget that in addition to being a great blogger, your also a wonderful writer. thanks for the memories!!

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

That was a great read. Thanks for sharing Marty.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I was only one year old in 1967 ... but I wish I was 10 years older. Awesome post - great writing - and I feel like I was there ...

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

In 1967 I was in the seventh grade, and the old hormones were just beginning to really rage, and I remember that my own braless hippy goddess fantasy was at the top of my own personal chart, with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel with her black leotards and the racing stripe up her leg was a close second. Went through that whole era convinced that I had been born ten years too late...

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

I related to this post in a big way. I shared the hope of things getting better for the future, only to find out that it was all a pipe dream. I was a Beatle fan but i shifted to the Stones when The Last Time came out.....Thought they had a rougher, dirtier sound. That changed for a bit after i heard Strawberry Fields........It was the strangest song i had heard up to that point. It still knocks me out. After that song....i had to declare the Beatles and George Martin to be the most imaginative and creative musical group of the time. I was puzzled as to why neither song was on Pepper. I guess i thought that was cool too......Up to that point, most singles appeared on artist's albums. The Beatles were breaking all the rules about what an album was and what you could do with it as an art form! Yeah........This old man misses those days! Great Post Marty!

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor Dungpie

@Bobby D.: Thanks, glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane!

@Jason: Thanks, glad liked it, it was fun to write and remember! Thanks for reading it!

@GENE: I feel lucky to have grown up in that time and witness all that happened in the Sixties. Thanks for the nice words about the writing!

@Jaws: I have fond memories of Diana Rigg too! What a babe!

@Professor Dungpie: It was a wild time to be alive back then! I agree with you about "Strawberry Fields," it took me a few listens after we bought the record, but it's probably my favorite Beatles song. I read an interview with George Marting and he said they didn't include the songs on Sgt. Pepper, because they felt they were too old to put on the record and he said that later he felt it was a huge mistake. I miss those days too, Professor, thanks for chiming in!

September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Love this post! As much as I love your trips outside, and seeing New York through your blog, this trip down memory lane was awesome!
I especially liked your mom's advice to "stick with The Monkees", ha! (and yes, by comparison, they do sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks!) I also loved the part about your dance routine at the end of Leave it to Beaver. Hilarious. I watched those reruns, too, as well the Monkees tv show. WOW.

Glad you liked the swizzles - not all of them are totally awesome, but it's kind of cool to have ones from someplace in Cheyenne WY, and how could I resist sending you one from a rural bar (the Stardust in Kent!) in WA? I cannot for the life of me figure out what is up with those Roaring 20's swizzles, but I like them. I hope one day my collection of swizzles is as epic as yours!

Thanks for the promos, Marty - you rule!

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsabella
September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Just to get away from melancholy, your "Leave It To Beaver" story was hilarious. Perhaps like Beaver, you were a a one man wrecking crew.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

We still miss Swami!

@Isabella: Glad you enjoyed the post and it's cool you watched the same TV shows as myself and my brother! Thanks again for the swizzle sticks, that was really cool, I'm going to go hunting for some this week! And I'm happy to give you a couple promos, everybody should check out Isabella's blog and Twitter feed!

@csp: I had no idea they shut down Strawberry Fields. So much for Strawberry Fields forever! Thanks for the Beaver linkage, the end of it's hilarious! I wish I had a video of me doing the shirtless "Leave it to Beaver" dance, it would be truly disturbing!

@The old gang from Jim's office building: I miss him too and I'm grateful for memories like this that bring him back to life, even if only in memory form. I was always happy he had his studio in that building with all you nice and cool people. He loved going there and I thank all of you for the kind words when he died. Okay, I think I need a drink now! Thanks for the message, I hope you're all doing great!

September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Love hearing those childhood stories.
Well I was the same age when Strawberry Fields came out, but had already declare to my pink-shirted classmate Julian (a surprisingly cool nine-year old in my dull C of E school) that I was a Stones person. Though of course, the song, as did all Beatles songs, was permeating the air. Grew up in the north-west of England, about an hour from Liverpool. I don't think I felt as hopeful as you did as a nine-year old, but maybe that was because we'd just moved to a new town which I hated. Also maybe the English just have rather limited expectations, even as kids! But the music was definitely exciting.
Actually I'd say that in the later sixties I started listening more to soul & ska, then after running into David Bowie in 72 became a demented fan of his & later into punk & other stuff. ...
We lived through some great musical times.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

Great, great post, and fun reading. I was twelve when SFF/PL came out. Went out bought the 45, played PL because it was the one with the radio play. Then I flipped it over and flipped out. 'This was something new' to me and definitely the direction i wanted to go.

Forge on, Marty!

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichael

Whenever I see Roberta Pedon, I seem to forget about everything else. The hippie chick with the perfect breasts. You know I have similar memories of the Beatles, I just think about George at KRLA or KHJ Los Angeles around 1968 and he was there with the DJ on the radio, previewing the White Album, song by song. So cool he was. I was totally consumed by them, and to a certain degree that feeling has never left me.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Oh man,

I was a good 9 years away from existence in 1967, but sometime around 1986 or so I found a bunch of my dad's old 45's and wouldn't you know that "Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane" was one of the ones that blew my mind. It might have set me on the course I'm on now...who knows? Another 45 we found was Louie Louie which me and my younger brothers would spin on our little Disney record player and absolutely SPAZ to...We'd pull our shirts off and run around the house throwing things at each other. It was a good rock and roll time.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

Wow. A perfect 10 of a post! Even the Russian judge gave it a 10! I feel like I was there. Going to read it again when I get home cuz my boss is snooping around my desk and I want to relive the energy of it all. Amazed how well you remember things, especially considering, well you know...

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@onemorefoldedsunset: It's funny how back then you were either a Beatles or Stones person! I liked the Stones, but always picked the Beatles over them. Interesting on your take of the same era from England, we need to talk more about that! Maybe over several beers at Hank's! Do you know what happened to Julian?

@michael: That song really was the start of a new era. I read where Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and tha Raiders bought the single, took it to producer Terry Melcher's house, played it and then said, "What the fuck are we supposed to do now?" I love that story! Thanks for chiming in!

@Al: I would love to hear tapes from that radio show! I'm going to search online for them, that must've been to cool to listen to!

@randall: Cool that you had your own "Straberry Fields" experience. I feel sorry for kids these days, because watching American Idol is nothing like hearing the new Beatles song on the radio!

@Spike: Thanks and tell the Russian judge I'll treat him to a drink at The Russian Vodka Room! I hear you about the memory, I can remember all that, yet, I can't remember certain nights from the last month! Cheers!

September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Gee, Ward, it was like Christmas, Halloween, my birthday, and April Fool all wrapped up in one day!!
First, the conclusion to the "Great Travolta Card Watch of 2012: and then this fabulous post!

Sadly, I think the first time that I heard "Straberry Fields" was when I was about the same age ... but 10 or so years later and it was the the Sandy Farina version. My parents had broken down to my pressure and finally subscribed to "The Movie Channel" on cable. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was in heavy rotation that month and I fell in love with Peter Frampton & The Bee Gees because I didn't know any better :)

This may be the greatest snippet of modern American literature: <I>Jim thought about it for a minute and answered back, “I don’t know. Why do you take off your shirt and dance around like a retard at the end of “Leave It To Beaver” every day?</I>

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

@roadsidewoncers: Glad the Tavolta cards showed up! I forgot all about the movie channel. I've only seen a few scenes from the Sgt. Pepper movie and they were truly cringe-inducing. However nothing wrong in falling in love with Peter Frampton and/or The Bee Gees! Glad you liked that snippet, Jim gets credit for that!

September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

@roadside wonders.. Wasn't Sandy Farina a total babe...
My cousins took me to see that in the theater..I had such a crush on the brother charactor.. dougie..
i was ten.. hummmmm
the the muppets had a movie out and that was history..

I grew up with the Beatles on the radio all the time being the younger sister of a much older brother..
i think he was embarrassed i wanted to see Beatlemania and Sgt peppers..Marshal Crenshaw was in Beatlemania when i saw it.. i think i was 10 or 11..Then there was that cool movie with Nancy Allen called "I want to hold your hand" It was to make sure younger kids who missed out on the real Beatlemania could now enjoy it...
not sure how all this would play out today though...

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@Gidget: That would've been cool to see Marshall Crenshaw in Beatlemania! And I've never seen the movie, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," I need to see if that's on Netflix or Amazon.

September 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great post today Daddio!
I remember that initial Sunday evening in 1964 as if it were 'Yesterday'.
There will never be anything like them ever again.
I also miss those AM Radio days when bands would have a new single out every few weeks.
Ahhh, for the days of browsing/buying/shoplifting vinyl from F.J. Korvette's vast record department.
I miss the 'Literary Stylings' of one Mr. Martin Wombacher.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" Thanks, Daddio! We sure have lived in interesting times! I feel sorry for those that missed it, I don't think they'll ever be a time like that again. Memories...

September 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great writing today Marty, I was always very jealous of not being a wild, horny, cool clothes dressed teenager in the 60's, but then along came Punk Rock. The Ramones, the Clash, the Dead Boy's, the Jam, the Damned, CBGB's & Max's made my fucking head spin around. So, I guess we all get out turn, if your in the right place at the right time.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdannythefreelancer

@dannythefreelancer: Thanks, glad you liked this post. You were certainly in the right place at the right time. I love your tales of your musical journey's in and out of NYC! You have lived the life, my friend!

September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Was in the Berkley Hills, outside of San Francisco, when I first heard Sgt Pepper's during the Summer of Love, it fucken blew my mind away. Thanks to the Acid I was taking daily at the time I still feel messed up and wasted, even after so many years but I thank the Beatles for what they did, they in a way turned my world around which it was trying very, very hard to do anyway. But for years I held onto I Wanna Hold You Hand, thought it was a great song, too.
Thanks for your memories ;)

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: That must've been wild to have been in San Francisco when Sgt. Pepper's came out! The Beatles turned a lot of world's around! And thanks for your memories!

September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hey Marty - your most excellent inner-journey has bathed me in a flood of memories and evoked that magical time which is now fast receding but never forgotten ! I have so many stories that i dont even know where to start - so many millions of us shaped and formed by the music. Cherie Curie is no John Lennon but I love the Runaways and didn't even know they did that cover of Strawberry Fields so thanks for that surprise ! I can still remember exactly how I felt on December 8th 1980 - thirty two years later I can still hardly believe its true and the loss is just as sharp and painful. On a happier note, my daughter recently got married to " Here Comes the Sun" as she walked down the aisle. It was an all-Beatles music wedding, to the total delight of everyone, and as a gift I gave her my long-loved vinyl copy of Abbey Road. So happy that the next generations are carrying on the love.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

Marty, this is your best post ever! And the dare click to that AmBand video is amazing....reminds me just how far behind the general teen was when compared to where their idols already were.

I'm a couple years older than you, and I remember when the video was premiered on Ed Sullivan I was very disappointed. Not in the video or the song, but that it was obvious the Beatles would never again actually perform on TV....they'd just send film. But the look of them, the clothes, the facial hair, and the song! Wowee. Loved it all and just wished I was older to grow a 'stache and that some place in my dorky hometown sold clothes that cool. As for the sound of the music, well, that left an indelible impression, especially Strawberry Fields. It cemented my fascination with sound, with production, as the main instrument in any recording...a lesson Bowie, Crimson, Ferry and many others obviously took to heart as they marched through the 70s.

What a great era.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdark1p

Great post Marty! Strawberry-Orange Peels!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

@Kat: I was high on mescaline the night John Lennon got shot and in the morning I thought I had dreamt it. Imagine my shock when I turned on the TV set and found out it had really happened. On the way to work, I thought about the story you just read. I've replayed it many times in my mind and glad it brought back memories to you as well. Too cool about your daughter getting married to "Here Comes The Sun." A copy of Abbey Road is the best wedding present I've ever heard of!

@dark1p: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the memories and cool to read yours. I too couldn't wait for the day to grow sideburns and a moustache just like the Fabulous Four. And you're so right about Bowie and the others, they marched through the doors that the Beatles kicked open. A great era indeed and I feel lucky to have seen it first-hand.

@Marco: Thank you, glad you liked it. Strawberry Orange Peels forever!

September 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

One small point in reply to a comment from Monday....the Beatles had a long-standing policy of not including songs that were singles on their LPs. They felt this was asking the fans to pay for the same song twice. And that's why you have The Beatles Again, which was an LP of their singles released near the end of their time together. The LP had become the dominant force by that time, so they put all the singles on one platter in case we wanted to listen to them in a way that made our lives a little easier. Better sound quality over the aging 45s, too.

For George Martin to say that Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane weren't on Sgt. Pepper because they were 'old' by the time that LP was released was a very odd comment for him to make. But the man was a recording and production genius, he can say anything he wants! lol

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdark1p

Oh, hey! I just realized that was you telling the George Martin story! lol....Mr. Perceptive here...and I haven't even had a drink!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdark1p

@dark1p: I think Sgt. Pepper was the first Beatles album with no singles from it. Revolver had Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine on it. I agree with you about George Martin, I always wonder if he hadn't had been their producer, what their music would've sounded like. I'd say it's time for you to have a drink, my friend! Cheers!

September 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh Marty!!
Thank you for sharing this story with us.

"Strawberry Peels."

I love the Beatles. Always have. Always will.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@meleah: Thanks and glad you liked the "Strawberry Peels" misstep! My brother always gave me shit about that!

September 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

1967 I was 6 years old, man Time fly by & because of Dyslexia, I'm 15 now, LOL
I played the ending of Strawberry Fields backwards & it does sound like an Ambulance !
Memories, some Good , some Bad, but that's Life !
I remember 1967 well because it was the Year of my Dads Death which he Died of Radiation Treatment for his Lymphoma Cancer, it was The New Treatment for Cancer in 1967 & I guess my Dad paved the way for others to get it to work. His Death made it to The New York times, & my Mom never explained to me why he was in the paper until I was much older, so I thought for many years he died of Cancer.
Anyway Cheers To All The Great Memories !

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Marty Man, ABSOLUTELY wonderfull tale! (And sorry for not bein' around.....stuck up north havin' about the busiest month of my life...yadayada....GREAT posts on guitars, Colony and Tiki Bar).

But let me take a chance on cheering you up a bit with a crazy take on things = The Sixties Ain't Ovah!
What I mean by that is that if you look around at our crazy world, MANY of the things that are "good" are sourced in the Sixties = cool music, dancing, partying, sexual liberation, civil rights, feminism, protesting, community organizing, preservation of sensible farming methods, political shit-disturbing, multiculturalism, recreational drugs (within REASON dammit), environmentalism, comics (INCLUDING Mad Magazine), solar/wind alternatve energy, bellbottoms.....oh, ok, maybe NOT those, but etc., etc.
Even the pc "revolution" vis-a-vis Woz/Jobs, and the net itself is sourced in the Sixties impulse.

I KNOW that one can poke holes in my list......but the way I look at it is that what we were trying to change back then was....well, EVERYTHING about our world. And that's kinda the journey we are ALL on, aware of it or not.
We are trying to figure out what we are REALLY about as a human race.....after realizing that most of written history is inaccurate, and most religions are sourced in tales a hundred thousand years in development; after realizing that we can break out of antiquated belief systems.......it's going to be a New World someday.....it's just going to take a long time. If we were mistaken about anything back in the Sixties, it was that everything would change quickly as soon as everyone could see the truth of the blinders we had all been born with or into. Nope......humankind is just like that horse that won't take a drink.
I KNOW the forces of darkness are lined up against us.....but here's another hopeful note to end upon. If you look back in human history, a pattern emerges where just about every 60 years or so, some kind of cultural revolution takes place which then goes on to effect the remainder of the society (if not the entire world)......the East Village was the center of such a time back in the early 1900s, then Paris in the mid-1800s, then London in the late 1700s, then Paris again in the early 1700s, etc.. Well, 2020 is about the right time period.....and with the tech that will be available by then......tomorrow never knows.
And I'm bettin' that you STILL throw off your shirt and dance around when you call up the YouTube LITB clips:+) Sip Ahoy!

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

@JHwang: Too funny about being dyslexic and 15! Yes, memories are good and bad, thanks for sharing yours. Cheers!

@DrBOP: Good to hear from you and I agree with you and Ringo, tomorrow never knows. Just have to keep chooglin' and hope for the best! And I'm doing the shirtless dance right now!

September 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

One of my favorite TWM posts, and you didn't even have to get on the subway for this one. As a hardcore Beatles-head I enjoyed it immensely. I came after the Beatles; I have my own memories of discovery, but that was in the 90s. I was a headphoned explorer, experiencing the wonder of the music in the quiet isolation of my college room while the rest of the world was listening to Radiohead or Nirvana or the Spice Girls. I can't imagine what it was like to experience this stuff firsthand, when it was all the rage, when you never knew what these guys would come up with next. This story gives me a more vivid picture of what it was like to be an original Beatles fan than maybe I've ever heard. Growing up with songs like "Strawberry Fields" as a shining example of what great music can be, I think the effect of that on a child is immense. Compared to these days. I feel sad for kids growing up today, growing up with the idea that music is mainly computer generated, a cheap vehicle for self-promotion, product promotion, self-aggrandizement, etc. It's just not good anymore! "Strawberry Fields" is one of my favorite songs. I am not prone to hyperbole but "Strawberry Fields" is out of this world. The melody, the lyrics, they are inscrutable, totally original sounding. Where did they come from? What other music could possibly have inspired "Strawberry Fields"? Impressive even for John Lennon. "No one, I think, is in my tree/I mean, it must be high or low" possibly my favorite lyric ever.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimatebeef

@legitimatebeef: Thanks, glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane! I do feel very lucky to have been a kid and a music fan in the sixties. It's like there was something new all the time. The Beatles were something to have experienced in real time. The amazing thing is that they were in the public eye for a short time, about six years. In five years they went from "Love Me Do" to "Strawberry Fields." Pretty amazing! I love that lyric too!

September 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great post Marty - I have always wondered what it would have been like to hear the songs I love when they were new. Long live the Beatles!

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

To quote Pee Wee Herman, I love that story. Fo swizzle.

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Britta: Thanks, glad you liked this! And yes, it was always exciting when you knew a new Beatles song or album was coming out.

@Biff: And to further quote Pee Wee Herman, I have to "hand it to you" for that comment, Bifferoonie! Now someone cue up, "Tequila," please!

September 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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