Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Beatles - 1969 (Part 2)

I remember seeing an article on The Beatles in TV Guide in mid-April, 1969. It showed the group performing on a London rooftop and stated that there would be a forthcoming TV special on The Beatles. Then, a few weeks later, Get Back was released, only to be followed a month later by The Ballad Of John & Yoko. There was also talk of a new Beatles album coming out. 1969 was shaping up to be a great year for Beatles fans.

Then my other passion was pushed to the forefront. Apollo X had gone into lunar orbit and two astronauts in the LEM had all but landed on the moon. An actual landing was scheduled for Apollo XI. I was at Camp Zakelo that July and anxiously awaited the flight. I saw the lift off on the camp TV in the lounge and asked to be allowed to see the landing that Sunday night. I also wanted to stay up late for the entire walk on the moon. The camp director was reluctant to allow me to do so as he was concerned that other campers would make the same request. I persuaded him to let me watch the whole thing by promising to write an article on the lunar landing for the camp newspaper. He agreed and a few days later I had published my first newspaper article of significance. I still have that issue of the camp newspaper, which was called the Zakolog.

Camp Zakelo was in Harrison, Maine. To keep up with world events, I subscribed to the Boston Globe morning newspaper. I remember reading about the moon landing and Woodstock in the Boston Globe. I wondered what it must have been like to walk on the moon and to attend Woodstock. What an incredible summer!
That fall Abbey Road was released. I’ll never forget my surprise the first time I played side one on my record player and heard the surprise sudden ending on I Want You (She’s So Heavy). I remember looking around my room to see what happened to make the music stop! And the surprise appearance of Her Majesty as the end of side two! Just as I was about to life the tone arm, that little tune came out of the speakers! It was so cool.

There were a lot of other great moments that year, but for me, The Beatles and the space program were the highlights.

Bruce Spizer
Beatles author / historian
Who got his start in journalism
By writing about the space program

lol ... Thanks, Bruce!!! I had forgotten about that initial shock of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" ending like that ... that was back in the day where the tone arm didn't leave the record until it hit the dead wax / label area of the album and you're absolutely right ... I, too, jumped up to see what had gone wrong ... Had we lost power?!?! Did my brand new LP skip?!?!? Worse yet, had my turn-table died?!?!? "Her Majesty" was a somewhat more-pleasant surprise ... especially since its title wasn't even listed on the original LP cover. (Yet even then the final note was still missing!!! lol)

Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us ... we'll have more on The Moon Landing tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... so keep those cards and letters coming, folks!!! (kk)