Wednesday, June 04, 2008

" I Saw Him Standing There"( And he was Just 65, you know what I mean! )

I wanted to go. I was desperate to go. THEY ( this up and coming Liverpool band) were appearing at the RiverPark Ballroom**.
I knew where this was ( by the park, near the river, oddly enough) and opposite the City Baths, (where I always swam in the Pacific, rather than the Atlantic Pool, because I liked that name better...softer sounding? gentler, perhaps?) ....BUT as for me going to the River Park: my mother said a VERY firm "NO".
There was, she said, my homework ...and anyway, I was FAR too young to go out midweek ( not even a PROPER teenager yet) and she said, setting foot in a dance hall ( because that's what it was) was not to be encouraged...and the boys ( Big Will was one; he escaped to USA years ago, although some went away and came back, like I did) ...but I repeat: the boys who rang up my house suggesting I joined them, were, said my mother, MUCH older than me ( 2 yrs, actually) and they probably smoked ( they did, but merely tobacco...) and they'd probably fail all their exams anyway ( they didn't, far from it)....

SO: to my everlasting chagrin ( sounds like a disease, that) I missed seeing The Beatles... before They Hit Their Jackpot.
And that night in the River Park Ballroom, they sang " Hippy Hippy Shake" ( later sung by The Swinging Blue Jeans???) and also a rowdy song called " Hully Gully"; I've heard this song over the years and have felt forever MORTIFIED that I spent an historic evening pretending to learn French verbs at the diningroom table while really ( furiously) writing boys names in black felt tip pen all over my brown leather satchel...
BUT I saw one of them this Sunday. I saw Paul at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool ( standing there, you know what I mean) and I basked in his music, his history, his talent. I basked too in my own memories ( all kinds, happy ones and sad) as did countless others ( Liverpudlians, yes, but fans from all over the world) Paul sang " Eleanor Rigby", " Back in the USSR", " Yesterday", " Hey Jude", " A Day in the Life" and the brilliant " I saw her standing there"( and countless others)
George was always my favourite Beatle ( hangdog looks, Liverpudlian drawl).....the others were merely part of this great Band. And later I deserted the Beatles, fell for the Stones, (Jagger, especially) for their hint of the wicked, their raunchiness.....but nevertheless, the Beatles were a soundtrack to the lives of my generation ( whether you sang soprano in a choir, folk songs in a pub, rock in a cellar or hymns in church at Evensong) and on Sunday, as I watched Sir Paul at Anfield as part of Liverpool City of Culture, 2008, along with my husband, sons ( their treat to us) plus daughterinlaws's sister+husband, ....I shrieked and laughed and hmm, I cried.
BECAUSE it was absolutely fabulous.
** The Riverpark Ballroom was a little white building, pulled down years ago. In it's place is a smart retirement home. I wonder if the music of the ghostly Ballroom seeps through its walls, haunting the residents as they nod peacefully in their Parker Knowls...
PS McCartney's Support was great too: the Kaiser Chiefs ( especially singer Rick) and also the Liverpudlian Zutons, including saxophonist Abbi . Must mention Peter Kaye's introduction...very brief, but spot on!
PPS And a great w/end all together: Saturday spent on the shores of Lake Coniston celebrating the Birthdays of 2 very lovely friends ( he runs an outdoor centre where their party was held) Lots of friends/family ( incl some of mine) and all of it crowned by a hilarious dance in the early hrs to the 15 min version of Meat Loaf's " Bat out of hell"....the 2 participants shall remain nameless.


Blogger Anne S said...

How wonderful to see a remnant of the Beatles all those years after the main event or even before it.

I remember having my bedroom wall plastered with Beatles photos when I was in my tender years. I also remember dancing to Beatles records at parties in my early uni days.

I remember getting Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for my 20th birthday.

However, being out here in the antipodes in a rural region there was absolutely no chance of me going to see them live.

When the Stones came along, like you I quickly forgot the Beatles and relished the wickedness of their persona and loved their rock n roll.

Glad you had a good time after all this time!

11:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to read about your evening at the concert, Jan, and the memories it triggered.

on your PPS I'm happy to provide photographic evidence of the two participants!


8:18 am  
Blogger Jan said...

My brother wizzzed my Sgt Pepper...unforgivable!

Yes, but I don't think the 2 participants would be too happy!!
BUT Seriously, yours really was the best of parties....

4:14 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Yes, George was always my favourite too, but glad you made it!

6:03 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Hello Lucy
I imagine your part of France is looking marvellous at present....

2:09 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

George was always my fav Beatle too - but I never went for the Rollong Stones; veered off into American Country rock I guess ... :)
Wonderful reminiscing and present account of revelry and fun, all rolled into one marvellous post - thanks Jan!

11:00 pm  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Hallo again!
Thanks for finding my new place and leaving a kind comment.

This is such an evocative post. I was there with you at the dining room table with your brown satchel ( I had one of those too). I was there at the Liverpool stadium, I truely felt your joy.

I think some Beatles music is now the order of my day;)

11:40 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

CB and HERhimnbryn:
Lovely hearing from you..
THere is something even MORE special re Beatles music as one gets "decrepiter"...( and I am!)

11:38 am  

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