Beatles’ memory feels like home
September 28, 2007
The only time I recall being star-struck was when I was 14 years old. I was at my first concert: Green Day. Crowd surfing, being held up above the heads of dancing strangers, Billie Joe’s illuminating body became only eight feet away from me. My eyes lit up and, like the pretty adolescent I was, I screamed so loud he heard me.
After a period of time and an improvement in musical taste, the idea of celebrities escaped me. Most famous people are simply regular assholes like you and me. The fact that they have earned loads of bucks for blockbuster hits or topped the Billboard charts is nothing compared to the millions of people in the world that make the same impact as them without the star-struck fans.
Thursday was an exception. A visit to Abbey Road did it for me. None of the Beatles, living or dead, were even present but the feeling came on as soon as I saw the zebra crossing (that’s a crosswalk for you Americans).
The world slowed down, and my internal organs nearly melted into a puddle of Beatle-juice. It could have flowed all over the road and up to the Abbey Road Recording Studio, which has an entrance graffittied in fanatic exclamations for Paul, John, George and Ringo.
After listening to a nearby tour guide spill silly “Paul is dead” facts, I sat on a fence to finish two Babybel cheese wheels.
My fingers became sticky from the red wax as an Australian approached me with his camera. I didn’t mention the sticky fingers when I tried to take his picture walking across the famous crosswalk. The street was mad. Fans flocked the residential neighborhood and laughed at how silly all of us looked walking slow with outstretched arms and dodging the traffic that honked and flipped us off. My new Beatles friend and I then met his friend (“my ol’ mate!”) at the nearest pub, where they poked jokes at my cider as they drank “real beer.”
As expected, we had an immense conversation. Their stories had a Kerouac vibe and their lives intrigued me tremendously. How great it is to finally meet the right kind of people in a world so big.
Before we parted ways for the remainder of the afternoon, we agreed to meet at a pub in Soho that evening.
Without a cellular, nor any idea where in Soho this pub was located, I soon found myself in a dark corner seat sipping on a cocktail with a couple of Australians. Round after round after round we wandered the streets of Soho and successfully made the last train home.
The tube station, filled with quiet people and loud trains, was then interrupted by a beautiful rendition of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?”
I felt home again.
I thank The Beatles for their magical presence which I had mistaken for that star-struck feeling. No, the star-struck tourist was not in me. It was only the comfort of familiarity presented in a new form.
Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor. She is enrolled in the Semester Abroad: Europe program and is currently doing research on the River Thames in London. Later in the semester she will be independently backpacking across Europe.
Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.