Friday, October 21, 2011

Buying The Beatles Forever

I’ve just seen a face of a woman laughing.

Most Beatles fans know the title “Scrambled Eggs”
was the working title Paul McCartney used
for the music version of the song later
developed with lyrics and a string quartet
and a new three syllable name, “Yesterday.”

Some Beatles fans know the accepted legend—
Paul got out of bed, sat at a piano
and worked out the melody and harmony
right there in one sitting using nonsense words
to keep time until he wrote proper lyrics.

Really detail-oriented Beatles fans
make a face and gesture and say, “Well, yes, but—”

Paul’s room at the house of Jane Asher’s parents
was an upstairs room with a twisting staircase
and the room was small and the staircase narrow.

It’s hard to picture a piano up there.

I’ve just seen a face of a woman laughing
and asking which kind of Beatles fan I am.

I tried to keep my face expressionless but
I felt my forehead creasing, eyes narrowing,
corners of my lips pulling into a frown.

I couldn’t do it. I said, “I’ve seen pictures
of the house. And of stairways in nearby homes.
How could Paul have had a piano up there?
And if we can’t believe a simple story
about where one of the world’s most famous songs
was written, how can we believe anything
about the Beatles? I mean, really, what if
the whole accepted legend of the Beatles
is pop mythology, fiction back-story
to build context around the material
and, so to speak, colonize people’s thinking
and keep them buying the Beatles forever?”

I’ve just seen a face of a woman laughing
but there was a kind of melody to it
and it was a catchy tune performed for me.

Even though I knew she was laughing at me
there was something so musical in her laugh
instead of feeling hurt I felt like her muse.

And she didn’t run off stage after the show.

And later I wrote this with her as my muse.

And workmen struggling to get a piano
safely up a narrow, twisting flight of stairs
is the image at the end of this story.

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