November 23, 2010 – The news last week that the Beatles are finally on iTunes is big for music fans, so big that Apple built an ad campaign around its release. I don’t recall any other ad campaigns for iTunes, so this is the first of its kind, for me anyway.
I was only four when the Beatles came to America in 1964, but my sister, who was 12 at the time, was lucky enough to have seen them in concert. She has her own crazy story about the events leading up to that concert at Philadelphia’s Convention Hall, which include a photo of her standing in for tickets that ended up on the front page of the Philadelphia Bulletin, and front row seats at the concert, but I had a Beatle adventure of my own when I was 12, too.
It was February 1972, two years after the Beatles had broken up. John Lennon and Yoko Ono were in Philadelphia for a week to host the Mike Douglas Show. The show was filmed on City Line Avenue, in the same building as the local news, and John had been spotted doing weather reports for the news team.
Seeing him on television had my friends and I hopping a few buses to the station the next afternoon (something parents would never let 12 year olds do today) and we waited outside to see if we could get John’s autograph. Hours later, just as we were about to go home, we hit the jackpot.
John and Yoko came out to the parking lot (with Flip Wilson of all people) and signed autographs for the small crowd that had gathered. John was dressed in a khaki suit with a cap on his head of the same material. In the cap was a pin of a yellow submarine.
I remember saying, “I like your yellow submarine pin.”
He looked at me, smiled and replied, “Why, thank you very much.”
It was all he said, but it was enough. I had his autograph, and we shared a few seconds of our time. He was kind to me despite the fact that I was a kid who saw him as a Beatle, something he tried very hard to move past at that time.
I may never have seen the Beatles in concert, but I did get to speak to my favorite member of the Fab Four, and it was a moment I will never forget.