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) ...as 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.