Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meeting George 1964

It was a numerologists dream, but I was totally unaware of any of that at the ripe old age of 14. I had been chosen the 14th winner in a 14 person contest to see the Beatles at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. It was sponsored by KQV radio whose frequency was 1410 on the AM dial. The concert was held on September 14, 1964. It was my 14th. birthday.

We watched the concert from the first row. And that was about it. We WATCHED the concert. The screaming was constant from the time they came out until the time they left the stage. I don't think anyone heard a single chord but then I don't think anyone really minded.

After the concert we were whisked backstage to meet the Beatles. It was an atmosphere of smoke, clinking glasses, loud talking and laughter, flashbulbs going off, reporters shouting questions. It was very disorienting for a 14 year old.

We were taken through the crowd where we were literally presented to the Beatles. Our audience lasted about 20 seconds but it seemed like hours. The only thing I said was..'It's my Birthday!' Upon hearing this, George Harrison said, 'Happy Birthday'. He motioned for me to sit next to him on a trunk and a black and white Polaroid picture was taken of me sitting next to George with his arm on my shoulder.

If anyone remembers the old B/W Polaroid's, you had to coat the picture with this goo after you took the picture. Needless to say that no one thought of doing that at the time. I still have the picture, but because of the lack of secret coating, it has turned to a brown color and the image is more of a negative now than the original positive image. But I know it's there. I had it framed for awhile, but I found out that light was deteriorating it due to the lack of the coating. So every now and then, I take it out. I took it out the day he passed on and I was 14 again.

I guess you could say that I was then what is now known as a dork or geek. For a guy to be "into" the Beatles they had to be uncool. Before they hit the scene I had no interests in anything. They gave me a life, which enabled me to feel confident within myself. I am re-reading this as I type and it seems so trite and yes, dorky, but I wouldn't have traded a single moment of my experience with them growing up for anything in the world.

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