Simon Anthony, the hero of Tollesbury Time Forever, grew up with The Beatles. He relates the good times of his life with those early, bouyant albums and feels personally betrayed when they split up, unable even to listen to the likes of Revolver or Sergeant Pepper.
Now I was barely a month old when The Beatles split, so why is it that I feel such an afinity to them, to their music and to all they represent? I have thought long about this, during the writing of Tollesbury Time Forever and since. And the conclusion I have arrived at is that during the few short years from their first album to their last (March 1963 to September 1969 - just over 6 years!) they gave us what it is to experience life - from the exuberance of youth through the questioning and confusion of the middle years to the maturing of later life where things come to a natural end. They gave themselves to us, simple as that. In September 1969, John was 28, Paul was 27, George was 26 and Ringo was 29. I can never get over how young they were when it all finished. I qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse when I was 28, the same age as John when the Beatles split. I just can't get my head round it.
So what is it about The Beatles that moves me so? You know, I don't think I can put it into words. I once had a dvd collection of the history of The Beatles. It ran to about eight dvds. And I could never get past the first three. I started watching the fourth, when the divisions between them started to appear and I just felt so sad. Even now I struggle to listen to anything past Help even though I know the music on those later albums is wonderful.
Thinking about it, maybe it is that they represent for me Hope and a belief that Love and Goodness can overcome bitterness and acrimony. And to think for one moment that The Beatles, those purveyors of love and goodness actually succumbed to the very bitterness and acrimony they eschewed in every note and every word, well I just can't consider that for too long.
So as Simon Anthony learns to do eventually, I guess I may sit down and listen to Abbey Road. And if I had a pipe, I would probably light it up...