As a young man, I went through a J. D. Salinger period. I'd read every published piece he’d written. It wasn’t hard because there were only 5 or 6 books. Recently, I turned my son on to Teddy – the last story in Nine Stories.
As usual, my son made me see things in the story that never occurred to me. He said he thought Teddy was autistic. Wow! When I was his age we weren’t that aware of autism. If you know the story, it makes sense, doesn’t it?
The Glass family really struck me. Franny and Zooey was my favorite. I’ve always loved good dialogue and that’s what the entire book is. It reminded me very much of Jean Cocteau’s Les Infants Terribles. When I was young, I was enthralled with anything young and intelligent.
The only book Salinger wrote that I didn’t really enjoy was Catcher in the
I just couldn’t relate. Ever since I was 5 or 6, I knew exactly where my life was going. I was going to be a Beatle.
Like a lot of white kids my age, they were as far as it was possible to go. I’ve made several references to them already in previous posts.
It started with the day I was listening to my favorite song, Stormy Weather by Lena Horne, on KXOK. It was followed by The Beatles version of Twist and Shout. I found religion!
The acquisition of every new Beatle record was like a holiday in our house. My mother even let me miss school when the movie Hard Day’s Night came on TV one morning. She knew The Beatles were that important to me.
Like a million other kids I strapped on my mother’s acoustic guitar and watched my shadow against the wall as I played the records end to end.
When the White Album came out, we didn’t have a record player, so my dad told us to bring it to his apartment. I played it over and over until I had completely memorized it.
My kids and I were visiting my mom recently and, for some reason, we went through my old school report cards. Dylan was amazed at how bad my grades were. Recently, he almost got a C and it was a family crisis. He pulled it up to a B but that’s even bad for him.
My only goal was to get a D and pass. My 8th grade teacher left a remark that I’d do well if I would only show up for class. That was about the time John Lennon’s Imagine came out and I played hooky every day to listen to it.
I guess I still have the bug. I’ve been accused by friends of playing hooky from life because my pursuit of music has always been more important to me than getting a real job.
Mark David Chapman got twenty years to life for the murder of John Lennon. He’s been denied parole 6 times. Each of his applications has been opposed by Yoko.
Chapman left a copy of Catcher in the
As everyone knows, today, John would have been 70. Recently, Ringo performed at his 70th birthday party. Someone walked onto the stage and put a Hofner bass on a guitar stand. Everyone knew Sir Paul was there, and Ringo seemed genuinely touched. Check it out on YouTube. Google did a great job with their logo as a tribute. I can’t help but think of The Beatles as family.
Check out this pre-
Photo by Astid Kirchherr