I have no idea why, sitting inside in the midst of a typical cold, dreary, rainy vile New York/New Jersey pre-winter (disgusting weather being the only aspect of life in my wonderful adopted east coast home to which this SoCal beach kid has never adjusted) I flashed on a night almost 50 years ago at Dodger Stadium.
It was the warm southern California night of August 28, 1966, and my sister and I were in the stands watching The Beatles live in concert. The only video I could find of that event is this raggedy 8mm silent film taken by one of the concert-goers. Their excitement is evident in their inability to keep their hands still.
You will note in the brief film that the letters advertising the sponsoring LA radio station — KRLA — is more prominently visible than the group singing. This was in the day when radio stations were the make or break powerhouses that determined the fate of rock and roll acts.
If you ask my sister, I think she would agree that — while it was virtually impossible to hear the music — the excitement almost certainly represented the most visceral and intense experience we had had up to that point in our lives. I still have the program and ticket stub.
My sister may not remember this (I only did moments ago) but our beyond-wonderful Mom surprised us with the tickets at least partially as a reward for a pretty difficult tonsillectomy I had undergone earlier that summer.
After a day filled with serious news and other gravitas, I’m almost always looking to come down with music. And I never have even the slightest idea where I will end up. Ave Maria is just as likely as Cream. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto has as good a chance as Skeeter Davis.