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Got To Admit It’s Getting Better

[photogallerylink id=92120 align=left]It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this state of Beatlemania. For me it’s been a life long condition, and there is no cure. Good thing. It’s given me joy, conected me with great friends, and gave me the idea for an unlikely career. When a 15 year old girl in a small town in Ohio decides she wants to be a DJ so she could meet the Beatles…that doesn’t seem like it would be a probable goal. But if you believe in music, you believe in magic.

Seeing [lastfm]Paul McCartney[/lastfm] Sunday and Monday nights at Wrigley Field was amazing. Sunday night I went with my dear friend Alderman Tom Tunney. We were backstage with Representative Mike Quigley, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn. Paul came around for a photo op. As soon as I get a copy of that picture, you’ll see it. Paul was greeting us one at a time. He told the Mayor that Chicago looked great, and asked if he was working for the people. He got an affirmative answer. He met Tom and a couple of others, then I extended my hand to introduce myself and he pulled back, looked at me, said something to the effect of “I know you” (I was in a state of teenage girl shock so don’t have a direct quote) and proceeded to give me a sweet hug. That never gets old.

Before Paul arrived I was asked if this was still a thrill for me. I replyed that my blood pressure was up. If I ever get so jaded that I’m not excited to meet Paul McCartney, I don’t care how many times it happens, then I should just pack it in. I love the fact that it’s still a thrill. There’s no acting on my part. It’s nice to have a passion and a dream and spend a life time on a journey to follow it through. It’s a long way from daydreaming in study hall. The Mayor picked up on the conversation and said he totally understood. When he was working for the Obama administration in Washington DC, he told people that if they didn’t get a thrill walking into the White House, they should get out. There’s a lot to be said for that adrenalin rush. When I saw Paul last year at the White House it was a double whammy…a Beatle in the home of the President of the United State Of America. Wow. My love of this country and my passion for music was a rush of emotion.

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Seeing Paul on stage in great form, and seeing him obviously enjoy following his dream, speaks to us all. The first generation fans, and the kids who love Paul and The Beatles. Monday night I took a special friend who is 12 years old. I had a hard time deciding who to take, so came up with a dozen names of kids I love ages 10 to 13, and pulled Ceci’s name out of a hat. Turned out to be a good call. She was thrilled. Lots of taking photos and texting her friends. Her music teacher will be jealous, I was informed. I told her that many years ago when I would give her a bath and get her to sing Yellow Submarine with me that we never thought we’d end up seeing Paul McCartney together. This music makes so many wonderful connections in our lives. I looked around Wrigley Field those nights and wondered about those thousands of happy people and wished I could hear their stories about why they were there and how they were feeling. How this all has changed our lives. Feel free to share. That’s what the comments section is for.

And I’ve hardly recuperated from those shows and trying to get a second wind to host three days of Beatleness at The Fest For Beatles Fans this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Somehow I’ll get that adrenalin pumping to get me through those twelve hour plus days. And I’ll sleep Monday. If you care to join us, visit or show up at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. A splendid time is guaranteed for all. And don’ forget Breakfast With The Beatles here at XRT, Sundays from 8 till 10 AM. That, like the rest of our programming, is available on line. And that, like the rest of my job, is a labor of love. Now I’d better take a nap.

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One Comment

  1. Jack Whitney says:

    Even Paul knows you’re the best Beatlemaniac a Beatle could ever hug… We all love the Beatles and their music with you Terri !!!

  2. Terri, with you all the way…we feel your thrill!!! YAY!!! Oooooo…that sense of feeling 15 again and delirious with joy…priceless!! Sooooo happy for you!! Getting better, indeed!!! You celebrate the exhilarating music of your soul with nearly every breath and heartbeat…rapture beyond words! I’m sure that you will wear your much-deserved hug well indeed, and pass that joy on. Your surprise and excitement upon Paul’s recognition says so much about who you are (and are not), and why you are so loved out here. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!! (Remember when Macca at Wrigley was still just a wish??? Hmmmm…”Mother Mary Comes To Me”… musta been all those novenas from awhile back!)
    — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

  3. Katie A. Jones says:

    Ah hem…apologies if this is a rerun comment…computer is acting funky this morning, don’t know if the first post went. Oh well…worth saying again, and more… 🙂
    Terri….with you all the way here…feel your thrill!!! YAY!! Feelin’ like 15 again and delirious with joy…priceless!! Soooooo happy for you! Getting better, indeed!! Fab time out for you & Tom…the rest of us were hiding in your pockets!!! I’m sure that you will wear your hug well, and continue to spread the joy. You celebrate the music of your soul with nearly every breath and heartbeat, an evergreen and exhilarating passion that is contagious. Many of us are smitten, too…and I’m also glad there’s no cure!! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!
    Your reaction of surprise and delight to Paul’s recognition says so much of who you are (and are not), and why you are so loved out here. Same for Paul…music is his very pulse. He’s never stopped believing in the magic, never stopped appreciating the life we share, embracing the love that we share. Can’t get much better than that!
    Mmmmmm…remember when Macca at Wrigley was just a wish??? …”Mother Mary Comes To Me”….musta been all the novenas from awhile back uttered while dreaming… Oh Terri, may you forever dream and believe…
    — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

    1. Sorry folks, repeated comment (sorta), didn’t mean to take a big bite out of Terri’s blog. Posting was delayed. Don’t mind sounding like an idiot, but bristle at seeming a redundant idiot!!! Oh well… The blogosphere is a wild’n’wooly frontier. Anyway, I’m REALLY happy to see more great Beatles stories here from different perspectives…each one of them is a very precious piece of the Beatles saga. Thank you!!
      — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

  4. Lynn says:

    My first record was a Beatles record my mom bought me when I was 5. That was even before Ed Sullivan. I’ve been a lifelong fan and a big fan of yours too! Been listening to XRT since it began and absolutely WILL NOT listen to anything else. I don’t even have an I-Pod.

    Was at the Monday concert and was thrilled to see people of all ages singing along to all the songs. Will NEVER forget it. I’m STILL high!

  5. janine renault says:

    terry i have seen paul every single time he has been in chicago whether it be Beatles or Wings he was always my favorite I sat with my girlfriend in the lst row of field seats and it was my birthday aug 1and my girlfriend Im still a fan own every betle record ever recorded and still Paul can come and knock on my door even in my dreams!!!! What a birthday for me please play my favorite IF I FELL thanks love listening to you !!!!!Janine

  6. (Don’t know if my previous Comment here will make it to posting yet, as it’s in blog limbo, awaiting moderation This is an addendum.)

    In response to your call for Comments about sharing Beatles/Paul experiences…where have all the voices gone??? (Gone to silence, every one…) I’ve heard so many wonderful stories out there, but few comments on the blogs. Wondering why. C’mon people…shout it out…yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

    Besides the Paul-hugs-Terri thing :-), I was touched by your story of taking Ceci to see Paul on Monday. What a magnificent tale this little girl will tell for the rest of her life through your gift – that’s how the joy keeps going. Aunt Terri, you are a rare gem!

    Now…onto The Beatles & Paul. Volumes have been written about why we love them, and folks like you have spent a lifetime trying to explain the phenomenon. Sociological and musical musings aside, for there is much territory to cover there, I’ve tried to explain it thus: For one brief shining moment in contemporary history, the whole world came together and heard a single glorious note, resulting in a universal harmony that continues to reverberate. The Beatles happened to sound that glorious note; the harmonics were triggered in the people and kept going. We go to see Paul because it’s FUN, but for those of us who were teens during the Beatles Years, it’s much more, like coming home after a long and challenging journey to strange lands. We of course love all of the music, but particularly when Paul does “Hey Jude” in concert today, it is an incredibly powerful tribal experience that flows like a great river through the audience, bringing all ages and backgrounds together with near religious intensity. Indeed, that we are able today to sing the song back to its creator is a secular miracle. As you say, Terri, the music CONNECTS us….to Paul, The Beatles and most exhilaratingly, to each other. Our differences disappear, and we are once again held aloft within the soft cocoon of that single glorious note and the harmony it created and creates still. When Paul sings “The love you take is equal to the love you make” we believe it with every fiber of our beings, not only through the lens of the teens we once were, but focused through adult perceptions that The Beatles helped create in many of us. They spoke to us of love within us and without us, that love is all we need, and we believed, and believe still. That’s why Paul McCartney is still relevant and will always be, even when he’s just singing “Silly Love Songs. “ Love isn’t silly at all.

    If I may, I’d like to offer just this one fan’s perspective of why Paul and The Beatles deeply still matter to me (and would love to hear from more of you out there!). Maybe it will strike a common chord.

    When The Beatles blasted into my life, I was forever changed. As an “only” child who spent early years in Catholic school and whose father was slowly dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), I was fairly insulated from the world, feeling separate somehow. I was a serious, studious type who was curious about everything. While other kids would play at the beach content to toss sand at one another, I’d be gathering shells and pebbles, carefully arranging them to ponder how the solar system worked. In retrospect that wasn’t really wasn’t too odd considering that my dad worked on the early space program, but the essential part of the story is that I felt different from the other kids and was bullied by kids who didn’t understand my family situation or serious nature. It was easier (and safer, to my kid mind) to stay in my room endlessly spinning records and playing DJ.
    The Beatles came roaring out on Ed Sullivan on February 9, 1964 and changed everything. It actually leveled the playing field in that we young teens suddenly had something authentically new, stimulating and relevant to share, to communicate about…and most importantly, to dream about. Even us shy types shared their incredibly joyful music with one another, and they were funny, with just a touch of irreverence that gently ruffled the parents. Each new record was something genuinely fresh and exciting. The music sustains me still, but probably what I treasure most about my early Beatles experience was how incredible innocent it all was – something that could not be repeated today. Sure, I had pin-ups all over my walls, but it wasn’t really romantic attraction. They were perceived as nice, safe boys with whom we just wanted to hold hands, unlike some of the real boys we were beginning to encounter, resulting in confusion and uncertainty. My dreams were not to marry a Beatle. If anything I wanted to be one, or at least write about and photograph them – which later resulted in my being a news editor and photographer. (And yes, Terri, I had also hoped one day to interview a Beatle, but life just didn’t go that way…DRATS!! It was a genuine thrill to have Barrow, Freeman and Voormann sign my LP covers, though—they also were mentors.) The Beatles and the artistry that surrounded them opened up new pathways for many of us, including a lifelong passion for the transformative power of music and other art. We grew up with The Beatles, their music being a soundtrack for all the joys and challenges of coming into our own, boosting our exhilaration in new discoveries and comforting us when being a teenager seemed overwhelming and even scary. Our endless study of those boys and their music taught us about life, laughter, love and the pursuit of happiness in turbulent and uncertain times. We will love them forever for that, and celebrate their relevance for new generations of fans. We understand.

    Well, Terri, I can’t claim a hug from Paul, but I am not jealous – really. You have worked hard to get to that position. If I had the chance, like you I would thank Paul for all he and his mates have given me over most of my life. I actually got a chance to say “thank you” to John Lennon years ago, and thought I’d wrap this with two “close encounters” stories.

    In 1966, I wandered backstage shortly before The Beatles went onstage for the August 12 afternoon concert at the International Amphitheater. Mal Evans was right behind the stage working on Ringo’s drum equipment. I must have missed the police sweep, because no one shooed me away. I wasn’t a screamer and didn’t go into hysterics, so Mal didn’t do anything but wink at me. For most of the concert, I stood watching The Beatles from about eight feet behind and to the right of Ringo’s stand. John seemed rather flustered – not the usual confidence we’d see in him – and The Beatles flubbed the start of “Nowhere Man.” I didn’t know it then, but John had just recently come from the press conference at this inaugural US tour stop where he’d had to explain his infamous Datebook “Beatles bigger than Jesus” comments, controversy that had devastating effects on him. John, like the rest of us, was human and vulnerable, and my Beatles perceptions shifted that day. My Chicago backstage “Beatles-eye” view was downright scary in the realization – and reality – that many of those screaming fans were in a state beyond reason, and if they decided to rush the stage, no number of police could have stopped them. (Then there was all that shaking in the seats…) The Beatles were in actual danger of being loved to death. Although it was an incredible loss for us, I fully understand why The Beatles stopped touring. It was a madness that took every bit of strength and energy they had, and still the world wanted more. In retrospect, I cannot begin to imagine what they experienced…before age 30!!!! I am deeply thankful for them for giving us all that they did then, and remain grateful to this day. So thanks, boys…you sure passed the audition!

    Fast forward a few years… I was walking alone in Chicago’s Old Town near Piper’s Alley when I passed this guy with long hair, beard and glasses, dressed all in white walking alone in the opposite direction, thoughtful, hands in pockets. In the next few paces I realized he looked an awful lot like John Lennon, but…huh?!? We hadn’t yet seen photos of John in his “white period,” and I figured I had to be mistaken. Both he and I turned around and looked at each other. I stumbled out “John?!?” and he motioned me over, admitting his ID and that he was just out for a walk. I was so stunned that all I could say was “Thank you for everything. Have a great visit!” I have no proof of that encounter, but don’t need validation. It happened. I ran into a guy in the street. Perhaps that commonality is The Beatles’ most enduring legacy. Perhaps all we really need to say is “Thank You.” Perhaps in singing “Hey Jude” back to Paul in concerts across the globe, we are doing just that. We are a mirror to him as he is to us, and has long been. He gets it. It really can’t get any better than that!

    As for you, Terri, may you have many pleasant dreams in your hopefully long snooze on Monday following this long string of long days and hard day’s nights. Thank you for giving us your all, and reminding us of the power of dreams.

    — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

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