The Beatles: Now and Then

By | November 2, 2023
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The Beatles: Now and Then

Today, November 2, 2023, The Beatles, or at least the surviving two, are going to release what will be the last Beatles song.   It’s difficult for me to comprehend that The Beatles have been with us for over 60 years now. They’ve been a part of my life for most of my life.  A big part of my life.

And today is a special day – the world gets its final Beatles song.

The Beatles changed my life in so many ways. I was a fat, pimply-faced, unpopular high school student back in 1963. The world was swirling into Beatlemania and I was unimpressed. The radio stations were playing Beatles songs almost non-stop and the major radio stations were having contests to “meet The Beatles” when they came to Cleveland. My sister, God rest her soul, was a HUGE Beatles fan and she was lucky enough to win a radio contest and she got to meet The Beatles. Really!

Now, I’m a fat, pimply-face, unpopular high school kid with a flat-top haircut and my sister and all her friends are going crazy over these long-haired guys from England. I was jealous. OK?

I loved their music and I was inspired by The Beatles to take guitar lessons – and everyone laughed at me. I didn’t learn much at those guitar lessons but I did learn a lot by spending hours and hours and hours and hours locked away in my bedroom with my guitar, a book of guitar chords, and as many Beatles songbooks as I could get my parents and grandparents to buy me.

I am not kidding – I got home from school around 3:30 and I would practice guitar until dinner at 6:30 PM. Then go back into my room and practice until bedtime. I did this for months.

I asked my best friend at the time,  a guy named Richard, who also took guitar lessons if he wanted to start a band and get famous – like The Beatles – you know adolescent dreams.  He, being as unpopular as I, jumped at the chance. So we found a drummer and a bass guitar player and formed a band called “The Mutations”. We played one disastrous gig on New Year’s Eve 1964. We all were so embarrassed.

I kept practicing guitar and I was getting much better at music than my bandmates. The bass player introduced me to a friend of his who was an amazing guitar player- far better than I.  He and I became friends and formed a band that was very successful on a local level. We made some good money playing local clubs and had a small taste of success – the kinds of things you dream of when you dream big dreams.

I lost weight, I got rid of the pimples, my hair was long and I was now a popular kid in school.  Our band was a local success the guys in the band were my best friends. While other guys my age were working part-time jobs at fast food places, retail stores, and the like, I was doing something I loved doing and getting paid quite well for it.

The Beatles inspired me to write songs. I wrote my first song when I was 15 years old. It was called “Captain Bad”. I can’t remember much of it, but the second song I wrote, was called “The Dreaming In My Eyes”. I wrote it for a girl who I was enamored with but who wouldn’t give me the time of day – lots of guys know that feeling!

The Dreaming in My Eyes

I used to watch you walk with him
In morning’s light and evening’s dim.
And you would turn your back on me,
Pretending that you didn’t see…
For you, I had no meaning,
And you couldn’t see the dreaming in my eyes.

I remember how I scratched your name
On the frost upon my window pane.
And every time I’d see it there,
I’d realize you didn’t care.
For you, I had no meaning,
And you couldn’t see the dreaming in my eyes.

It’s cold outside my little world ‘cos
Your heart’s cold as the frost.

But I can always dream away…
Even though I’ve lost…

And today I wake up once again
With things the same as they were then.
And I am still the same old fool,
Loving you while you treat me cruel…
For you, I have no meaning,
And you still can’t see the dreaming in my eyes.

That song was never recorded or published, but I still play it from time to time, my family likes it, and it brings back a wonderful time in my life. I wish I could sing it for you!

Our band ended up making several records and traveling around the state for almost five years before life happened to us while we were busy making other plans. Two guys quit the band and took off for California to work in the movie business – they never did.

And so with the band broken up, we never recorded the album were supposed to record. We replaced the two who left and went on playing for a little while longer, but things were never the same.  Despite the tough ending, I am grateful to The Beatles for inspiring me to aspire to great things.

I owe a lot to The Beatles, they’ve been part of my life for six decades. I’m glad that Paul McCartney is still a big Beatle fan and that he and Ringo took the time to remind the world that no matter what, there will never be anything like The Beatles ever again.

My life and countless other lives were changed or at least touched by The Beatles – maybe yours was too

And today, November 2, 2023, The Beatles’ final song “Now and Then”  will be heard around the world.  Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, John Lennon’s voice was extracted from an old cassette tape and separated from the piano he was playing and the result is John’s unique voice, hauntingly clear as if he were still with us. Technology made the last Beatles song possible.

Today the world will remember The Beatles. Those of us who were around when Beatlemania swept the globe can reminisce and those who were not will get to know a little more about John, Paul, George, and Ringo. And maybe get just a little taste of how it was back in the 1960s when a new Beatles record or album came out.

I am so thankful for The Beatles. They changed my life… now and then.

To learn more about “Now and Then” watch this 12-minute video.

6 thoughts on “The Beatles: Now and Then

  1. Jerry Vernold

    Wow! Did that ever bring back memories. I was 14 when Beatlemania swept the country.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  2. Dave Wilson

    I am now 81 years old, I am in the UK and remember queuing for hours to see the Beatles, never heard them but did get to see them live. I still have all their original vinyl LP’s

  3. Maxine Hunt

    The 12 minute video left me profoundly saddened. The Beatles were so much a part of my life as I developed into an adult, as I know others have recalled. Seeing video of John Lennon, with whom I was infatuated with at age 13, is stunning.
    My son likes their music, but he does not LOVE the Beatles or their music the way I do. When I play their albums I am transported to ‘Then’, and I cannot relay the emotion to people of this generation…only the sound on the vinyl.
    As of now I haven’t heard the finished recording of ‘Now and Then’, but I will. I hope someone will do a documentary or write a book about the way the Beatles, and other British groups that came after them captured the attention of and hypnotized the minds of the youth of the 60’s.
    I am saddened because ‘Beatlemania’ was a magical time like none other with its initial innocent beginnings.

  4. Vicki Haines

    Thank you TC for bringing back so many memoires of that wonderful music they played!. Yep, I’m a child of the 60’s and think you and I must have graduated about the same time from high school. Now we are both in the golden years of our lives and delighted that the Beatles are once again being heard. Sad that all are no longer with us but with the technology now are we able to hear their voices once again. God bless Paul and Ringo for doing this for the world and for all who grew up with their music! God bless you TC for getting the word out about the new song!, our newspaper did an extensive article about this and now wish I had saved it, at least I read it!

  5. Norris Kenwright

    Luckily I saw the Beatles play when I was at Liverpool University in the 1960’s. The 1950’s,1960’s and 70’were a blossoming of music with so many new artists and groups. In NZ we have a radio Station (Magic Radio) dedicated to songs of that era. In Hawkes Bay it is 92.7FM. It is always on my car’s radio.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *