I’m listening to “Good Night” on The Beatles (9) a.k.a. The White Album. I’m taking a look at the long strange trip since 1968. My daughter asked for Beatles albums for her birthday (she’ll be 30 next year, almost as old as I was when she was born) and did not ask for the White Album, but for Sergeant Peppers and Let It Be. I bought them for her, good mommy that I am, but got The White album for myself. I remember Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black mentioning that he had to get yet another format of that album, #10 on the Rolling Stone Top 500 albums of all time.
Tonight she said she had never heard most of the songs, while they are forever tattooed on my pre-frontal cortex…or wherever memories live. Of such are generation gaps made–I’m an early Boomer and she is on the cusp of Gen-X and Gen-Y.
She can’t know that 1968 was a watershed year–my junior year in high school, that in itself only notable for being a formative time for me. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were murdered, 2001, 60 Minutes, and Hawaii5-O were launched. LL Cool J was born and Lillian Gish died. Nixon was elected–maybe he was not a crook? He lead us to our only unelected president–Gerald Ford. It didn’t occur to me that the U.S.S.R. is now retro until I was singing along…not the good old days. The White Album was written and produced after the Beatles took a retreat with the Maharishi—a.k.a. Sexy Sadie. Now that there’s facebook, I know the whereabouts of the man I dated back in the day when I dated…and how lucky I am that we both moved on.
This collection of music, the White Album was the first recording by Apple Records, which a decade later would allow a couple of computer hobbyists to use the same name to sell their computer kits with the understanding that they would never produce and sell music…Isn’t it ironic? The daughter wants the albums for her ipod.
If there is a point to all this, its that each of the songs has had an effect on my world view and who I am. John Lennon never knew me, and I’ve outlived him 30 years, yet his work changed the world and my world, more so after he found the long and winding road that led to his own door.
As I am remembering that all that I am is within me, and what is within me is ALL THAT IS, I know I have only to work at what I do to walk my own road. Watching my daughter build her business, do her work, and grow into the artist that she will be, strengthens me to walk on to that next gate when I turn 60 next month. I will still need me, and I will still feed me when I’m 64. In the meantime, I’ll teach her all the words to Back in the USSR and O-Bla-Di-Oh-Bla-Da. After all, I want to share my love for her.