A recent news story reminded me that it was forty years ago on april 10th when Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving The Beatles. This may seem like unimportant ancient history for most people who never had to suffer condemnation from adults for liking rock music. The fact is that The Beatles played the tunes that my generation wanted to hear. Bach and Beethoven were irrelevant old farts as far as we were concerned. As a result of relentless criticism from my elders, I clung to rock, and especially The Beatles, all the tighter.
In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I mentioned this conflict between musical styles throughout the narrative. Our minders insisted we listen to classical compositions but we found our identity in what groups like The Beatles offered. This is why the break up of the band effected me so deeply.
Though I was an avid radio listener, some news stories totally bypassed my attention. “Did you hear that new Beatles song called ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’?” I asked Geoffrey as we lingered in the Sunken Garden after school. “That’s not the Beatles; that’s Paul McCartney. Didn’t you hear that the Beatles broke up?” I felt astonished. It was as if the centre of my world suddenly vanished. That song sounded very similar to the Beatles to my ears. Geoffrey assured me that it actually did happen. “What are we going to listen to now?” I moaned. “Don’t be silly,” Geoffrey admonished, “There are other groups we can listen to. The world will go on without them. It’s not the end of the world, you know.” The break up of the Beatles certainly appeared that way to me as I walked back to the dorm. The warm, sunny afternoon lost all of its lustre as I realized that my favourite group was no more.
Each Friday, I offer excerpts from my books to let you readers gauge for yourselves if you want to purchase them. Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) offers insights into not only the world of disabled children before they were integrated into society but the public’s reaction to them. Likewise, When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) is more than a cute memoir of my experiences. I put valuable tips in the narrative that can save people a lot of grief and money. Please check out these books at the www.inscribe.org/BruceAtchison page.