Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beatle Babies

When I was a skinny ten year old living in Anaheim, the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. They stole the hearts and ignited the imagination of my little group of pals who lived on Paradise Road. Long before Guitar Hero, before air guitar, Wayne and Garth or Garage Band, we spent many warm summer days playing Beatles in my friend Carolyn’s garage. I was George, Carolyn was John and Susie was Ringo. No one wanted to be Paul. We were all going to marry Paul. My little ten-dollar portable record player (beige, with a white handle) played “She Loves You” over and over while we strummed imaginary guitars and sang into invisible microphones. In the video of my mind I see three little girls with bare feet, madras shirts and denim shorts, performing their hearts out to a sold-out crowd of stuffed animals and miscellaneous pets.

It didn’t matter to us whether we had equipment or knew how to play. We were rock stars.

It is important not to lose connection to the imaginative child that once was, the one didn’t need talent or fancy equipment in order to be somebody, to be an artist, or be inspired by those who are, heart and soul. The imaginary play of those years trained me to visualize, hear, and organize my creative ideas today. There is a platitude that states “If you dream it, you can do it.” Although it sounds trite, it is true. You have to visualize a project before you can make it happen. Find the time, find a way. And don’t worry whether you possess the skill, because that comes with doing. The result may not be exactly what you pictured, but might be better, because creative ideas build upon one another, and that’s how we learn.

Well, none of us grew up and married Paul, obviously. But as time went on, I taught myself to play a real guitar, and subsequently spent many happy years playing bass in a cover band throughout Southern California, having the time of my life. It started in a garage, with nothing. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Indeed.