Thursday, May 7, 2020

Calif. - The Beatles


Calif. – 50 Years Ago
On my IHeart Radio show, on FB and here on AM, my focus is often the rock music of 50 years ago. My new novel, Calif., reflects that as well and when you are reading it, many of the happenings are indeed 50 years ago to the day. Here’s an excerpt from the novel. Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Let It Be, which the cover states is a "New Phase" Beatles record, as if the band hadn't really split (they hadn't, really, at least contractually). Click here for your copy of Calif.
It’s funny, I don’t remember birthdays and one Christmas blends into the next, but I do indeed remember April 10th.

I made it a habit of getting up early, despite getting home so late. It seemed as if the more famous the act, the earlier we got to go home. It was the up and coming artists (and those who’d never make it) that stuck around afterward and sat on the couch in the back or at the bar, and we’d sweep up around them.

At times, Mr. Chadwick brought me home. I’d acquiesce on foggy nights, there were a lot of those, but when it was clear and the moon was out, when you could see the stars reflecting off the sea, I’d walk slowly back home along the highway.

I’d get up, do my chores and walk into town or down to the Little Sur Diner. I’d have my breakfast and schmooze, then meander back home. I’d watch the new people come and the old people go. It was nice to be a part of a community, transient as it was.

It was on the morning of April 10th, and I honestly wouldn’t have known or cared what date it was, when I walked down the highway to the Little Sur. I got the paper and stuck it under my arm. The Little was a tan masonry building from the 50s with a big flourish of a marquee. There was a counter in back and booths along the window. They made a stellar breakfast and a good cup of coffee.

I ordered a Belgian waffle, coffee, and OJ, then I looked at the paper. Under the fold was the real news: Paul McCartney had called it quits; the Beatles had split. It wouldn’t have been worse news if Paul were really dead, though no one in the diner seemed concerned. The waitress, whose name was Dot, came to the table. “You see this?” I asked.

“No,” she said, “I missed that. More coffee, sweetheart?” I put a hand over my cup.
That night at the Cat, a folky girl sang “For No One.” She sang it slow and sad like she wanted to cry. When she finished she said, “Stupid Paul” and sang a song of heartbreak.

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