Archive for December, 2011

Hollowday

December 15, 2011

The absence of songs to pick you up, the anticipation for something that never comes, the withered leaves, longest eves, and your hands searching for the rails of memory to hold and hold on to.

What kind of fan

December 14, 2011

By now you know I’m a big Beatles fan.

That’s a safe assumption given the fact that save for bombarding every dwelling place I have online with updates regarding the Fab Four—news, pictures, YouTube links, etc.—I myself am a walking advertisement that announces, hey, look at me, I’m a Beatles fan.

Yes, I have a Facebook photo album solely dedicated to me wearing Beatles shirts, and, much to your chagrin, I update it quite religiously. Also, I do sport the moptop and, if my mood (and girlfriend) permits, a long and frizzy mane same as John’s. Just recently, I juxtaposed portraits of myself and John, trying to underline this certain likeness we have, purposely ramming a bitter vanity pill down your throats, confirming that I’ve imbibed what Yoko Ono once said: that to become John Lennon one must become John Lennon. (Some might say growing hair and wearing round-rimmed glasses are a bit too superficial an attempt to exude the persona of a man who has changed the world, but that discussion is better shelved for another day.)

Of course, I have copies of their discography. Songs from Revolver, Abbey Road, Let It Be, you name it. And the books! Quite a lot of books about The Beatles littering my room at the moment: some in my cabinet, some on my bed, others on the floor.

Now since that is the foundation I have built on all the years of my life, it’s logical for people to think that I, too, besides being a fan, am an immaculate wellspring when it comes to everything Beatles. Say, for instance, if you’re dangling on the question “Who was the Indian musician George Harrison famously teamed up with for a couple of gigs?” on your way to becoming a huge victor on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, I would be the best Call-A-Friend option you’ll ever have. Well, sorry to break it to you but I know not the answer to that question.

This is the part where you raise your eyebrow. So all the while what we have here isn’t a fan but a poser? You call yourself a fan and you don’t know these bits and pieces of trivia regarding the band you put highly on a much publicized pedestal? How in the world could you claim you’re a legit follower if all you got are T-shirts, books, and whatever memento you might have? Hey. Hold up. You might want to hush down on your assumptions. I can hear you from here.

You know what, that has actually been my problem. I have all these biographies, magazines, coffee table books, and the like but till now, I can’t have a full grasp on these trivialities a Beatles fan usually pride himself upon knowing. Relaying the simple history of the group? Yeah, count me out on that: There were once four lads from Liverpool and…whatever happened next? Yes, I know. It’s downright disappointing not just for the fellow fans but for myself as well. Blame my memory, or my chronic disinterest to leaf through the pages of my readers.

But then I have recently discovered an odd sense of fulfillment from this flaw. Sure, I may not be able to give you the date when Rubber Soul was released or the story behind Dig a Pony or the exact locations of John’s gunshot wounds. I may or may not know or remember these things before or after I’ve exhausted every page of related literature I have on hand but that’s exactly it—there’s magic in not knowing these things, then after reading, knowing them, then not knowing them again; that every time I open a book about The Beatles, it’s like I’m knowing them for the very first time, my eyes wide in awe upon the triumphs and travails and of great men.

The proud Beatles fan may say, Screw you, I know this, I know that. Sure, man. Go eat your details. Munch on them bit by bit till all that’s left are crumbs for the bewildered fan to consume. My appreciation lies lastly on these hard facts and, first and foremost, on the music that have come to inspire me for years.

No, sorry, I can’t enumerate all the wives John, Paul, George, and Ringo had. Neither can I recite the chronology of their birthdays. Or give you the sizes of their feet. But what I can share with you, perhaps over coffee, even if I don’t drink coffee, is my recollection of a little boy fixated on the TV screen, his eyes mirroring vivid colors as he watched for the first time the video of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, that same boy having his small heart heavy with longing, somehow, at his tender age, relating to a song titled I Need You, then automatically bobbing up and down when She Loves You played.

Also, that boy, now a man, sometimes cry because the sky is blue.

Now let me ask you: What kind of fan are you? Could be a millionaire, actually—that is, if you did play on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and dropped me a line. It’s Ravi Shankar, people. That Indian dude George once jammed with. Pardon me for momentarily lying. Sometimes, like John, I can’t really tell what is real and what is imagined.

Look who recently splurged on Beatles hardbacks.