Tue 6 Sep 2011
Growing up in the late pocket of Baby Boomerdom, The Beatles were at the height of their popularity. The most common question of the day was, “Who’s your favorite Beatle?”
If your answer was John, you were an artsy rebel.
Paul, a cutesy pleaser.
If you chose George, you were the quiet loner.
And Ringo was, well, the goofy outsider.
When I was about 10, my best friend Joe would invite me and a couple other pals to his garage. He’d swipe a pack of his old man’s Raleigh cigarettes, which came with coupons for being a loyal smoker. Collect enough coupons, you could maybe get a new set of lungs.
We’d light up in his garage, wield badminton rackets as guitars and pretend that we were the Beatles, smoking ciggies and singing like in the movie A Hard Day’s Night. Now Joe, being our cordial host and supplier of smokes and the only one of us who could actually sing, Joe always picked John or Paul since those two did most of the singing. I would try to get whichever one he didn’t pick. BUT, if Ernie was there, well, Ernie would take second dibs on the basis of the fact he was much bigger than me and a bully– so as the old saying goes, “Might makes Lennon or McCartney.”
Which left being George or Ringo. My first choice of those was to be George. I was pretty awesome on lead badminton racquet, and I could muck my way through harmonies. Last choice was Ringo. Pretending to play drums with tree sticks was not so glamorous.
We’d smoke, we’d play, we’d sing. Back then, it seemed the pecking order of people I knew for favorite Beatle was #1- John, #2- Paul, #3- George and #4- Ringo. John and Paul were probably 80-90% of the picks.
George never really got his due. He was not the popular Beatle, but he did write some of the band’s greatest songs. Now Martin Scorsese will give George his due, and I for one am looking forward to it. I won’t be smoking or playing badminton racquet, but I will be missing Joe, who left the stage far too early, my youth and the innocence of days when “Who’s your favorite Beatle?” could bond you to damn near anyone.
So, do tell– who’s your favorite Beatle?