I remember being in pyjamas, on the morning of Tuesday, Dec 9, 1980, eating cereal before getting ready to go to school and watching what must have been ‘Good Morning, America’ coverage of John Lennon’s assassination the night before. I would have been 13, and other than knowing ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘Octopus’ Garden’ were songs that had been used on Captain Kangaroo, I was pretty much in the dark about who The Beatles were, much less who John Lennon was.
And yet, that day began what became a lifelong love of the band that conquered the world. I remember the all-day Beatles music broadcasts on every rock radio station. I remember listening to the red and blue albums on 8-track tape with my cousin Larry. But most of all, many years later, on a bus trip in high-school to my first concert (Gowan opening for Supertramp, in Fredericton, New Brunswick in September, 1985) I listed to my friend Phil’s poorly dubbed cassette copy of The White Album. And that was it. It had been a gradual transformation, but on that bus trip the die was cast, the transformation complete. It took five years, but I was a complete Beatles fan.
I ordered the albums through my local record store when everybody else was listening to Motley Crue. I was renting Hard Day’s Night, Help, Yellow Submarine and Let It Be on VHS. I bought the first run of the albums when they were released on CD for the very first time. I went to see Beatlemania when they played my university frosh week. Within weeks of moving in to residence, I had so overwhelmed everyone in my dorm with my love of everything Fab that my Beatles listening privileges were revoked. The other guys in my dorm broke into my room and removed all my Beatles’ music. All they left behind was a note taped to a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album that simply read: ‘Marcel, your Beatles tapes will be returned at the end of the school year. There are other bands to listen to. Like this one, for example’.
I got the tapes back. And over the years I got constant inspiration from The Beatles. The following story is the original first draft of what appears in my first book, Vengeful Hank & Other Shortweird Stories.
I KNOW WHAT I KNOW
“I know how love hurts,” he said over the intercom, his voice cracking. He paused to gather his thoughts. “I guess I’m rambling now.”
“I know how 3D printers work. I know how to change a flat tire. I know quantum physics, I know Susan Powter! I know how to invest money! I mean, look around the facilities, guys. This island is tricked out!”
Somewhere along his tirade, he started yelling. “I know that if you kidnapped the two surviving members of The Beatles; the bass player and the drummer, in other words,” and here he made air quotes no-one could see, “the rhythm section, and if you also took the surviving members of The Who, who are the lead singer and lead guitarist, that should make a great fucking band!”
His words echoed across the compound. “And you guys have been here a week and haven’t even picked up your fucking instruments yet!”
Sitting unhappily in the cozy breakfast nook, Paul, Ringo, Roger and Pete glumly listened to their captor’s ravings. “I’m gonna go for a walk, gentlemen, and when I come back… I WANNA HEAR A HIT RECORD BEING MADE!!!”
The boys sat silently, sipping coffee.
Ringo cleared his throat. “Well… maybe if I tried something in two-four…”
“SHUT UP, RINGO!” they all yelled simultaneously. “Right, sorry.” said Ringo.
THE LOST BEATLES TAPES
As my followers and fans know, I also produce my writing as sketch comedy, and in some cases, produce other writer’s comedy as well. The following is one of a trilogy of Beatles-related comedy I’ve produced, which you can find on my 2nd sketch comedy album The Weirdening. The Lost Beatles Tapes Volume 1
Written & Performed by Michael Frolick
Produced by Michael Frolick & Marcel St. Pierre
SHORT BOOK, BIG LAUGHS
Like Terry Pratchett, if he was Canadian and had ADHD…
– Steve Patterson, Comedian, Author and host of The Debaters on CBC Radio One.
Intrigued? Why not check out my book Vengeful Hank & Other Shortweird Stories, available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon. Short, weird stories for everyone, not just those with short attention spans. And if you’re interested in hearing more of my comedy albums, start with ‘Got A Dime‘ on Soundcloud.