Friday, June 29, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

The first weekend in August, Anne and I will make our yearly pilgrimage to The Fest For Beatles’ Fans (aka Beatlefest, until all hell broke out a couple years ago over a copyright infringement that had been unnoticed for about 20 years or so). We have been doing this for ages, since I think, 1980. At least that's the first ticket stub I could find.

Go ahead. Make fun. Manilow, the Beatles…and YES, dammit – I’ve been to a Star Trek Convention!! You will never feel so much a part of anything in your entire life until you travel to one of these affairs. As Barry Manilow said so eloquently, “you aren’t a misfit when you are surrounded by other misfits.” They may think I have a couple screws loose at work, but at one of these soirees, I’m just one of the happy crowd bumping elbows with some lawyer from Milwaukee who’s dressed like John in his Sgt. Pepper outfit, or sitting next to a housewife from Duluth in her Yeoman Rand Classic Star Trek red uniform, including a wig with that weaved hair.

And you know what? I’ll bet 99% of the people there are happy. A crowd of happy campers, just there to get a chance to meet Manilow, or watch “A Hard Day’s Night” on the big screen followed by a great talk by Victor Spinetti or shake hands with Leonard Nimoy, who loves to bash his captain Bill, who can dish it back just as well.

So tell me, where’s the harm?

I know. I know. Maybe some people don’t snap back to reality and manage to get back to their lives. But maybe they don’t have much of a life to get back to either.

Me? I’m trying to escape for awhile. Escape work and responsibility and bills and the telephone and e-mail and laundry and shopping and cleaning and refereeing fights between the kids. Nothing says “Escape” better than a blue officer’s uniform with triangular patch over the left breast and a set of Spock ears, or the anticipation of the season’s first Beatles’ Puppet Show.

Beatle time in August means only 2 things: regression and a never ending supply of low-brow laughs courtesy of the flea market (and maybe a couple of drinks to ring in the celebration). When’s the last time you scrounged through Fave, Sixteen and Tiger Beat magazines from the 1960’s? When’s the last time you heard the name Bobby Sherman? When’s the last time Davy Jones’s love life EVER crossed your mind? There's hot news on Paul and Annette, Paul Revere and the Raiders…..the Beau Brummels…..Herman’s Hermits…..that guy named Lloyd Thaxton who drew a face on the side of his hand (the thumb was a jaw) and made stupid jokes….Music Scene….Gary Lewis and the Playboys. When’s the last time you saw your Beatles metal lunch box with matching thermos? Well, if you’ve seen it recently, it’s probably worth about $500.00….so who’s laughing now, huh?

So call us nuts. Call us crazy. But when that Trivial Pursuit question comes up: “Who was the ‘fifth’ Beatle?” you’ll want us around! We KNOW (without benefit of the internet or one single reference book) the answers to this stuff:

So embrace the "fan" in you. Share it with others. I guarantee, "a good time will be had by all..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, this was fun to read! I remember one year while we were at (Don't Ever Call It) Beatlefest, we saw news coverage of Elvis fans making the pilgrimage to Graceland for a candlelit midnight ceremony. We were tempted to make fun because, well, have you SEEN some of those people? Then we stopped and took a good look at ourselves. We may have felt that wearing T-shirts depicting Beatle album covers was the height of fashion, but I suppose there may be those out there who disagree.

And who can forget the years when the Beatle people coexisted most uncomfortably at the same hotel with the comic book convention? There was almost hissing in the halls as we passed. I admit it hurt my feelings to be dissed by someone who can prattle off the country of origin of Dick Grayson's great grandmother. (What? You mean you DON'T know? What are you? An illiterate savage?)

So I guess the takeaway is this -- whether it's baseball cards or scrapbooking or Elvis' scarves, we all have something we love irrationally. Which is why I think it most appropriate to borrow from he who is worshipped by Parrotheads: if we weren't so crazy we'd all go insane.

Anne (as in Anonymous)