This was one of my first images of these four, clean cut, matching suits, the “boys next door” type that your parents always wanted you to be with, this was my first idea and image that I ever had of The Beatles. I was five years old when my mother first showed me A Hard Day’s Night. I remember watching the opening scenes with her and she told me all their names and had me guess who was who. I remember I kept calling John, Ringo because I hadn’t a clue at the time how to tell them apart. I sure didn’t know it then, but they would become my life. They are like one of my vital limbs or organs, I couldn’t live without them in my life, it would be physically impossible. As I kept watching the movie, I remember giving them all nicknames based on their appearance, and not the nicest ones looking back on it. John was “the cocky looking one”, Ringo was “large, adorable nose”, George was “bad/big teeth”, and Paul was “small features/small nose and mouth. The year later, I was given a copy of Help! to enjoy, which I did, revy chum so. At that age, Paul was my favorite. I’m pretty sure I chose to love the second youngest since he was also my mom’s favorite when she was my age. The same with Micky Dolenz, but that’s a whole different story. I recieved a copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on cd when I was seven or eight and I remember listening to the album over and over. I think what solidified my relationship with them and my never ending love was the biography, John Lennon All I Want Is The Truth by Elizabeth Partridge. I saw a copy of it at my elementary school book fair when I was nine and I didn’t have any money to buy it, but the people working the fair handed out everyone a “Wish List” so you could write down what you wanted so your parents could buy it. I wrote that, and the book, Who Were The Beatles?, on the sheet and gave it to my mom. I had completely forgotten about both books for the next few months only to be surprised with them for Christmas. I read that biography for days. Actually, I probably looked at the pictures a lot more, but it is my favorite piece of literature about them/John. I remember I first saw the word fucking in that book. It was the quote, “We are all in little boxes, and somebody has to go in and rip your fuckin’ heads open for you to allow something else in.” I actually took the time last summer to sit down for an hour or to and actually read the thing, cover to cover. I didn’t learn that much more information then I had when I read when I was younger, I guess I just understood it a more detailed way, compared to when I had read it at nine. I still have the book, it’s hidden away in the bookshelf I never really use, but it’s in the very first spot. I can still recall its smell too. All the best books have smells. And through all the books, albums, movies, and some pretty random merchandise along the way, I fell in love with those four boys from Liverpool, and I’m forever grateful I did. I’ve loved other bands over time, but they’re the only one that I can always come back to, no matter what, and know I’m home. Their music, their wisdom, their humor, and their love is always there whenever I need them. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.