Saving the World One Teen at a Time - Column on Parenting Tweens and Teens

Beatlemania is Back.

by Abby Margolis Newman


Forty-five years later, it's Beatlemania all over again. In 1964, four "mop-topped" young musicians from Liverpool stepped off a plane at JFK airport in New York City, and the world of music was forever changed. Now, the release of the Beatles Remastered collection has swept the nation, and suddenly Beatles music and CD's are everywhere you go. In Starbucks. At the customer service desk at Nordstrom. At Whole Foods, for god's sake. Whole Foods?! You can't shop anywhere these days without being aware that the Beatles are BACK, baby.


And for proof of the transcendent staying power of the Fab Four, one need look no further than my house, where my three boys -- each in his own way -- have revealed themselves as true Beatles fans. I was driving my youngest, Henry (age 10) around with a couple of his friends and they were discussing music. "Henry, what's your favorite band?" asked his friend Tommy. "I don't know," said Henry. "The Beatles are pretty sick."


Sick is good, as one learns when one has a 10-year-old.


One of the many vendors jumping onto the Beatles bandwagon is Restoration Hardware (full disclosure: my husband works at the company). Just in time for the holidays (!), Restoration Hardware's web site is offering a boxed set entitled "All Together Now: The Ultimate Beatles Collection." Ours arrived a couple of weeks ago. No more than five minutes after the plastic wrapping had been removed from the set, I wandered into the room of my 14-year-old, Aaron, and found several of the new Beatles CD's piled on his desk. "What are you doing?" I asked. He replied, "Blogging about it!" (leaving out the "Duh!" to protect my feelings).


Aaron had already created a link to the photo of the Beatles Remastered CD collection pictured on Restoration Hardware's web site. He posted it on his Facebook page along with this gloating text: "I have the Beatles Remastered CD's! OMG! OMGGGG!"


And my oldest, Jonah (16), immediately downloaded the entire collection (including original album artwork) onto his iTunes. The other day, when "Blackbird" came on the radio in the car, he said, "Mom, do you realize that the Beatles are the only band where almost everyone around the world, of all ages, know their songs and can sing along with most of them?" What an observation, I thought, and how true: the Beatles have a singular place in the history of music; is there a person out there who could not sing along with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" or belt out the (endless) "na na na na" refrain from "Hey Jude"? Probably not too many.


Don't forget about Beatles Rock Band. We rented it recently and our four kids (7 years and younger) all loved it. They have been singing Yellow Submarine, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and others for weeks. Fun times!


It is an amazing phenomenon. I brought the first album home as soon as it was released and played it for my then, 9 year old, 4 year old, three year old and one year old children. We all danced around our living room.
That was the start of my brainwashing my kids!
In our house my kids had to tolerate a mother who constantly danced. I could never sit still with music playing. Our son had his drum set in the living room for years and I danced, and I danced when he played. I was a huge embarrassment for my poor kids.
45 years later it is clear that this music, and much of the music of the 60's and 70's, still has magical power. It is almost like great art that one never gets tired of looking at.
So,Abby, do you and the kids dance?