Monday, November 30, 2015

Moptop Mania -- Were You There?

As a teenager in the early 1960s, I was not allowed to listen to the trending Rock and Roll songs on the radio.  The songs were deemed as evil music so I had to hide from my parents if I wanted to listen to them. 

Listen to the Beatles on transistor radio

I would lie low in my clothes closet with my transistor radio glued to my ear.  Beatle mania was alive and well on the radio.  I loved every song, but my favorites were "Hey Jude," "All You Need is Love," "She Loves You," "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "Come Together," and "Yesterday."   Although I dreamed about it, I knew there was not a chance to ever see the Beatles live in concert.  
The Beatles

I continue to love their music and each song triggers a memory  -- most of them were memories of dating or breaking up with a boy. All these years later, the memories remain vivid.

Every Christmas, my daughter searches for concert tickets to give her dad and me as a gift. As lovers of classic Rock and Roll, we are thrilled.  In addition, she gifts us with dinner and a hotel room.  It is always an evening to remember.  

THE one concert that stands out above the rest was seeing the Beatles Tribute Band, Rain. I had no idea it would be as authentic as it turned out to be.  My hubby, who had been in a Rock and Roll band a hundred years ago, was astonished at how much they sounded like the original group.  In fact, in some ways they were better (please don't tell anyone I said that!) because the sound equipment was superior.  
Rain - Beatles Tribute Band

Throughout the concert, the group did costume changes which stimulated even more memories from that era.  During the entire concert a video backdrop showing the original group doing the particular song Rain was singing stretched across the front of the stage. There were flashes of news articles about the Moptop Mania when it hit America.

I closed my eyes.  I was there.  It was 1964.  The Beatles invaded America.  I screamed.  I shouted.  I danced. Enjoying every moment, hubby laughed when he realized I was a teenager again.  Although it lasted two hours, I could have stayed there all night.  

If you are a fan, you will enjoy this tribute:  Tribute to the Beatles

And some of your favorite Beatles songs:

When I told my hubby what my post was about today, he laughed, asking me "Why didn't you talk about Little Richard?"  I had almost forgot, but yes, he was right.  That was a concert to remember forever.

Little Richard was an up-and-coming artist who was playing at a local club in Miami, Florida. Hubby and I were there.  The room was packed with people without any room to move. Little Richard asked if anyone in the audience wanted to sing and dance on stage with him. I glanced at my husband, but he was already shaking his head.  He knew what I wanted to do.  He knew I would do it.  Several people in the area started shouting for me to get on stage -- what was I to do?  

My Claim to Fame.....?

There was no way to get to the stage so I stood on my chair, stepped onto the table and started walking across the tables until I got to the stage.  I loved every moment of it and if I made a fool of myself, I didn't care.  We were 2,000 miles from home!  

It was my claim to fame and for a moment I got to "upstage" hubby as he was one of the backup studio musicians for Elvis Presley at the time.   So there!

A special note of thanks from Mark Lewis, the founder, and manager of Rain:

"I often think about how lucky I am to have grown up during the 1960’s. Not because the 60’s were really so great; they often weren’t. Here in the U.S. we were going through the Vietnam War, we lived in fear of nuclear war with a communist Cuba pointing missiles at the U.S. from 90 miles off of our shores, our beloved president had been assassinated. Our nation was split down the middle between those who felt that we had to go to war to preserve our way of life, and those who felt that the war was an unjust, and unnecessary waste of life, and that we should do everything possible to live in peace. While we were trying to land a man on the moon, our inner cities were literally burning because of racial strife. Yet somehow when I think back to my youth and the 60’s, it seems like a great time to be coming of age. I believe that a great deal of the credit for this falls onto the shoulders of four young men from Liverpool that changed music, and the world forever. I don’t believe that it was their intention
to change the world, but just to make great music, and that they did.

I’m proud to say that I was there when America tuned into the Ed Sullivan Show, and saw The Beatles presented to a nation for the first time. I remember what it was like to take the plastic wrap off of a “Meet The Beatles” LP, and be introduced to all of these classic songs for the first time. I remember looking forward to each new Beatles song, not knowing that these songs would evolve into universally accepted classic contemporary music that would last for several generations, if not eternity. All I knew was that I loved this music, and playing it brought me a great deal of pleasure, as it did for most of my generation.

Like many teenagers, The Beatles made me want to be a musician. Whenever I saw them on TV, listened to them on my record player or the radio, or went to their movies, all I could think of was how great it would be to be a Beatle, to be bringing this music to people all over the world. Of course this was just a kid’s fantasy, no different than wanting to be Mickey Mantle on the Yankees, Cassius Clay in the boxing ring, or Sean Connery, as James Bond on the movie screen. Now here I am many, many years later. Somehow the passion and joy that I experienced by performing this great music has evolved into a career. Although this was never my original intention, I feel like I was blessed. If somebody had told me back in mid-‘70s when Rain was performing at clubs and amusement parks in Southern California, back when audience members used to come up to the stage and ask “don’t you play anything but Beatles?”, that some day we’d be starring on Broadway, I’d have told them that they’re crazy."
What about you?  Did you ever attend a concert that brought back vivid memories of your youth?  Or is there a group you would love to see?  

Each month, a group of bloggers share secret subjects they have been given and for this month, I was asked, "Tell us about a favorite concert, play or live show that you've seen." It was submitted by Baking in a Tornado.  

I know you will enjoy reading what other bloggers' secret subjects were this month:

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