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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Yeah, Yeah, Yeah -- the Beatles Help Me Cope and Thrive! 
beatles1, beatles
I recently mentioned:
But Marilyn and I are more wrapped up in the Beatles right now than ever before in our lives. The Beatles make us HAPPY. The Beatles keep us SANE. The Beatles are apparently exactly what we need right now in our lives. It's great fun sharing this with each other.

I was asked in return:
How to they keep you happy and sane? How are they in your lives right now? Just seems odd since half of them are gone if you consider Ringo as part of the group.

I'm delighted to explain in greater detail -- THANKS for asking!

Let's approach this first from the musical perspective. Marilyn and I -- two of the happiest people I know, by the way -- have always believed music can be utilized to enhance mood. We've dealt with many friends and family who were depressed, and frequently suggested music as a potential therapy. For us, the music of the Beatles brings positivity and joy. On May 18, 2017, SiriusXM Radio began playing the Beatles on a special 24/7 channel. We have a subscription to Sirius and that channel is pretty much the only one we listen to when in our car (and we spend a lot of time in the car). But we also can listen to Sirius on our devices, and do. (Aside from Sirius Radio, we own much the Beatles music digitally on our devices, as well.)

I can't tell anyone else what to think about the music of the Beatles, but Marilyn and I appear to be in a large international group of fans and listeners who believe this is some of the best music in the world. It's fascinating to hear musical experts explaining exactly why this is true -- though we two have our own opinions about that!

Again, I can't speak for others, but do people REALLY only listen to the music of those currently living? As a fan of George Frideric Handel (especially the 1741 oratorio the "Messiah") and Frederic Chopin (especially his nocturnes which consist of 21 pieces for solo piano written between 1827 and 1846) -- among many, many other classical composers (and works) -- I find that difficult to believe. You might not place the Beatles in this category, but me? I do. If you're a Rock and Roll fan, the genius of the Beatles is incredible. Little wonder Sir Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997, and Ringo Starr will be knighted this year (recently announced). Of course, the Beatles are about more than their music -- though their music alone would be worthy of great admiration. We're constantly playing their two movies:
"A Hard Day's Night" AND "Help!"

I won't bother going into reviews, even though people also wax poetic about these films. I'll just say seeing them gives me joy (not just pleasure), and leave it at that.

Having discovered the countless Instagram accounts for the Beatles, it's frankly astonishing how many images are out there! We both look at these daily, and STILL see tons of 'new' ones we've never seen before. I wonder how many there are? I wonder if it's even possible to view every single one?

Because we've always believed in fandom and been part of one (since childhood), there's also a countless amount of fanfic available to read -- including plenty of high quality work (and I'm a picky reader, as we all know). Speaking of reading, there are countless BOOKS, too. An unbelievable amount, really.

Then there's all the video (we use YouTube for this mostly, but there are many sources). Recently as we're learning the guitar, I've been viewing specific videos regarding the Beatles and the guitar, as many consider their guitar playing (and composing) unparalleled. They used techniques that are frequently copied today.

Aside from what the Beatles accomplished as a group in the 60’s, each of these men went on to do some wonderful things. John Lennon's activism -- especially in the cause for worldwide peace -- is still inspiring today. Do you still eat meat? Listen to Sir Paul's countless videos and very gentle statements about why you might reconsider doing so. He has my attention -- and I always swore I would never change my mind on the subject. These men fought for equal rights for people of color when it was extremely unpopular to do so, by the way. (And they wouldn't play in a concert to a racially segregated arena.) That might not sound like much now, but back then it was okay to ignore the situation, especially when the bottom line was involved. The list of charities and causes helped by all four men is huge -- and we have to remember John was killed in 1980. (And George passed in 2001.)

While I will always admire how they cared (and care) about these things too numerous to even list, I still go back to how they make me FEEL. Sharing about them during the day with Marilyn frequently makes me smile, and sometimes makes me laugh out loud. I guess for me the Beatles are a mood elevator. Hearing their music -- and especially singing along to it -- makes me happy, pure and simple. Recently we took our sister Sue (who is probably bipolar) for a long ride in the car. We were listening to the Beatles, and she began to SING ALONG with the songs! We had both believed she wasn't a fan, and didn't really know their music. Clearly we were wrong. (There's a ten year gap between Sue and me in age -- more for Marilyn.) Sue was as joyful that day as I've EVER seen her, and I think I must give a healthy chunk of credit to the Fab Four.

It shouldn't take this many words to explain all this, granted. Some experiences are beyond words, anyway. It's gratifying to be able to feel this level of passion about the Beatles decades after they first appeared to the world. It's downright FUN to walk around wearing my Beatles tees and buttons. I'm proud to be known as a fan. I get approached about it right now in public -- always in positive ways. This feels a little bit like sticking up for them, by the way -- not that they need it! But Marilyn and I learned very early in life about doing just that: sticking up for the things (and people) that we cared about -- and even loved.

As for us, we remain some of the happiest people you'll ever know into our 60's (with more years to come). And we're passionate about many subjects. We find life is better when you live it in a positive way. Yeah (yeah, yeah), we're practical people, too. And as you all know, we work very hard. But hanging in there is about staying grounded. Right now I credit the Beatles with being a major focus in my life -- and helping me to be better in so many ways.

Two are gone (are they really gone?) and two remain. But even when these two are also gone, we'll never stop having the Beatles. How lucky are we? I wish everyone could have something like this to enjoy. They are both nostalgic and comforting and brand new, all at the same time. I'm smiling just typing this.

Stop me now! I can seriously keep sharing (things keep springing to mind), maybe forever. I'll save more for other posts. And thanks for sticking with me through this long entry. Or if you didn't, ignore the above and just go put on a Beatles song and listen to it -- and sing along. That's what I plan to do right now!

(Again: THANKS for asking. It was a good and a valid question. And not the first time someone has wondered about what I feel on the subject...)
Comments 
January 11, 2018 (Thursday) 11:58 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing. I am glad you took it as a positive question, and not negative. You are not the only ones who think their music is some of the best ever written. Many many music critics and artists also feel it is spectacular. Michael Jackson actually bought the rights to a lot of it. Weird as he was, he, too was a musical genius, so his opinion counts. Good for you for having such a positive influence in your life. I have seen a live review of the Beatles music on stage and it was awesome.
January 11, 2018 (Thursday) 01:38 pm (UTC)
Good analysis, Charlie. Thank you!
January 11, 2018 (Thursday) 04:01 pm (UTC)
Michael Moorcock called them "The poets of paradise". I've always liked that.

The Beatles got into one of my dreams last night. The radio was playing some of their very early recordings (which don't actually exist :))

Of course Ringo counts. He was exactly the drummer they needed, self-effacing, unshowy, immensely skilled.