Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a "White Album" Christmas....

Growing up during the Beatles' heyday, there always seemed to be a new album just in time for Christmas. Beatles '65, Rubber Soul, Magical Mystery Tour and the "White Album" were all released in December.

And solo albums also loom large in my Christmas memories. Two of the most popular and still loved solo LPs, All Things Must Pass and Band on the Run were under a lot of trees in '70 and '74 respectively.

Double Fantasy was released just a week or so before John Lennon was killed on December 8th, 1980. That Christmas was a sad one. A day didn't go by where you didn't hear one of his new tunes on the radio or see his picture on a magazine cover. His super Playboy interview, intended as promotion for the new album, was released, too. Double Fantasy was his first new album in five years, and that made it even sadder, knowing he was "playing the game" again.

The Beatles and Apple finally got back on the Christmas bandwagon, and a lot of stuff since the 90's has come out during the Holiday Season; Live at the BBC, a couple of the Anthology CDs, 1, Let it be...Naked, Capitol Albums Vol. 1, and Love. Not to mention the remastered DVDs of A Hard Day's Night and Help!.

But my most vivid Beatles' Christmas memory is from 1968. I got the "White Album" and a new record player (that's what we called them back then, not "stereos").

After getting over the shock of John Lennon's latest look, and a poster that was a radical departure from the "mop top" days, the "White Album" soon became my favorite. I couldn't get enough of it.

That Christmas, my hometown of Portland, Oregon was also hit with the most snow in my memory. It snowed like crazy, and kept snowing. And living in the hilly corner of town, we got more of the white stuff than anybody else.

I remember playing outside alone one night, sometime during our school break, and two "older kids" were walking by and talking about "Rocky Raccoon", which I was familiar with since I had just got the record. I'm not sure if I made the connection of the "White Album" (with it's stark white cover) coming out at the same time that my neighborhood was being blanket in piles of white snow, but I do now. And that tiny moment, overhearing those two kids discussing "Rocky", surrounded by a sea of white on a dark night, is fused into my Beatle-lovin' brain.

I'll always remember that "white" Christmas and that wonderful album that still fascinates and surprises me every time I listen to it.

So here's hoping you have a Very Beatles Christmas...and that the new Help! DVD or some other cool Beatles' item is under your tree this year. I'll be looking for mine!

1 Comments:

Blogger HaarFager said...

Isn't it glorious getting a Beatle item for Christmas!? I can practically always count on getting a Beatles calendar each year. And some of the items I've received in the last few years for Christmas are The Capitol Albums Volume 1, when they first came out; The Beatles Anthology, in hardcover no less!; The Beatles Recording Sessions - great book!
Just too many to name! I hardly ever requests albums though, as I buy them myself and usually have them before Christmas rolls around.

Love your blog! This from an original Beatles fan, too. I got turned on by the Beatles in January of 1964, before they made their appearance on Ed Sullivan. I was not quite 3 years old yet, but when I first heard "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," I noticed something was up about that song. I guess you could say that's the reason I became a professional musician. I chiefly give the credit to the Beatles for the reason why today I play lead guitar and sing in a rock and roll band. I always do Beatle songs and in fact, started my first band in 1978, also. I wonder how many other guys out there like you and I also became rock musicians because of the Beatles?

11:56 PM  

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