The Beatles live on. . . sorta

Many, many years ago (I won't say the exact number, it's too, um, many), I and a friend wanted to see the Beatles perform live. Lo and behold, a concert date in Kansas City appeared. My friend and I were wild to go. Alas, Kansas City was a ways from Ft. Leavenworth, where our fathers were stationed, and we were too young to go by bus all on our own.

Every girl should have a hero, and I have always thought of my dad that way, ever since he volunteered to drive us to Kansas City. My thirteenth year had been rough - I was a real pill and practically impossible to live with, and I knew it - so I was surprised at the offer. But he didn't back out, and so my friend and I got to see the Beatles live, although we couldn't hear much music because of the wall of screams. Screams to which we contributed in vocal-chord rending magnitude. My dad sat in the parking lot and waited for us, then drove us home, voiceless and limp with ecstasy at having seen our idols in the flesh. I have never forgotten it.

I watched Paul and Ringo on the Grammys, and while it was nice, it wasn't the same. Paul looks as if he's had a bit too much of the plastic-face syndrome, and Ringo looks like Ringo, but they aren't the Beatles without George Harrison and John Lennon. I can't watch them without feeling as if I'm betraying that adolescent ideal. I want to remember the thrill of their young, boyish faces and sly grins as they transitioned from song to song, knowing the wall of noise surrounding them made their lyrics unintelligible. They smiled through two hours of futile music, an image I'll carry with me forever.

Maybe it's nostalgia for another day and age, when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was the number one song, instead of "You Never Take Me Downtown Anymore." Or whatever the heck that filthy song is called.