Today I'm thankful for music. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up going to church and singing, was in choir for three years, band for one (french horn, by the way), took a year of piano lessons (I'm not very patient, obviously. I never stuck with one thing for very long), and have an iTunes library that I'm extremely proud of. I stay at home with Brooklyn except for my one side job: choreography for the Needville choirs. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Soundsation are the highlight of my week. Brandon turns on Pandora on the iPad during dinner most nights and dances with me at a moment's notice. I am so thankful that Brooklyn is growing up loving music too, doing everything mommy does- clapping or signing along at church, singing in the car, and dancing every moment she gets.
When I think about music that has been influential or important in my life, there's one obvious answer that rises above the rest: The Beatles. Last night, Brandon and I went to the Paul McCartney concert at Minute Maid stadium. I've always had a hard time explaining to those who didn't grow up listening to Paul and the Beatles why their music is so powerful. I just always loved it. I remember the insanity that surrounded every Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Target, etc. when the Beatles Anthology CD's came out. I'd never seen any kind of craziness over CD's before or since then. I loved when the John Lennon art collection was displayed in downtown Dallas and my Dad took us to see it. I was so impressed and enthralled that I decided to do my 4th grade biography project on John Lennon, much to the surprise and excitement of my teacher. When our family bought a much bigger TV for our living room, I can remember my sister, Lindsay, saying the first thing she wanted to watch was "A Hard Day's Night", because, as she put it, "I want to see some big headed Beatles!" The film, "A Hard Day's Night" is just one of many Beatles films. They showcased their music, of course, but also showed how incredibly silly these guys were. They were cute and likeable and instantly adored by people all over the world, even by an elementary school girl like me who was first introduced to them in the early 1990's, over 20 years since they disbanded.
It's always argued whether The Beatles or the Rolling Stones are the best rock band of all time, but to me there's no argument. The Rolling Stones have had 40 years to attempt to become what the Beatles did in 7. SEVEN years. They were a band from 1963-1970. That's it. The Beatles are the most covered band in the world- and not just by unknown, fan bands. "Come Together" alone has been done by Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker and dozens of others. Their music is both simple and amazing- simple in that there may be only 3 chords in the main melody, but amazing in that no one else thought up so many hits, so much fun and so much beauty in their short time together.
"I Am Sam" used solely Beatles songs to tell the story's soundtrack. "Across the Universe" is a film that allowed Beatles songs to tell the story of the tumultuous 1960's. Who else has music so influential that it described an entire decade, told everyone's life story, and is still touching people today?
They aren't just a band. They are a phenomenon. They are known by their first names alone. They have their own version of "Rock Band". Saturday Night Live tried their hardest for the first 5 seasons they were on the air to have The Beatles reunite on their show... causing some hilarity involving the fact that they were going to have to split the $2,000 check between the four of them. George actually appeared on the show to laugh at Lorne Michaels for that one. It was pretty great.
They were followed by the whole world, and still are. I was amazed last night at the Paul McCartney concert to see so much variety and diversity under one roof. From babies up to grandparents, white, black, Hispanic, male, female, dozens of different languages spoken... it felt like a musical United Nations. And we were all there because we felt like The Beatles music spoke to us. How could one group know how to reach us all? Because they are the greatest of all time. And despite my comment at the beginning of the show that the only concert that could be better to see than Paul would be John... by the end of the night I was seriously doubting it. Last night was one of the greatest nights of my life. And by far the best concert I have ever been to.
|Waiting for Paul!|
|Excited more than I can put into words waiting for the concert to start!|
|Loved the suit!|
|Paul (after his one wardrobe change :)) performing "Paperback Writer"|
|Paul at the piano: what I had been waiting to see since we first bought our tickets! This was during "The Long and Winding Road", but "Maybe I'm Amazed" was probably the greatest song to watch and hear him play on piano all night.|
|Paul at the piano|
|SUPER fun song called "Dance Tonight"|
|Did everyone know that First Colony Children's Minister Jim Howard has been moonlighting as Paul McCartney's keyboardist for the past 10 years? :)|
|First Encore- Sir Paul comes out sporting a Texas flag. Very entertaining.|
So today, November 15th, I decided that I couldn't just place my day's thankfulness on Facebook. It needed it's own blog entry, entirely too long for most patient people to read, but I don't care. Today I'm thankful for Paul McCartney. I'm thankful for the Beatles. I'm thankful for the 1960's. I'm thankful for guitars, ukeleles, mandolins, keyboards, pianos, drums and tambourines. I'm thankful for talented, hardworking people who have the ability to make music that can touch us. I am so thankful for music!