Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Macca in Vancouver

It has been an overwhelming day - my son's success and happiness, George Martin's death, sunshine. Two students sent me moving, evocative pieces about depression which drew me vividly into an experience I can empathize with but cannot understand. I spent time looking through photo albums for pix of a little Sam in Barbados, thus reliving two decades of family life, which is joy and pain in equal measure.

And I'm now sitting here after supper, sobbing out loud, sodden, eyes flooded, listening to the red album, Beatles #1, the early compilation that would not exist without George Martin. This music haunts me, feeds me, devastates me. It's not chords and singers, it's my very soul I'm listening to.

When I got home from the Y at 1.30, I found an email from Chris in Vancouver marked Urgent. Oh God, I thought, what has happened to him? But he wanted to tell me that Macca has announced two concerts in Vancouver April 19 and 20. OHMYGOD. I am in Vancouver the 19th but supposed to fly out that day. That can change. OHMYGOD, another Macca concert! He will soon be 74. How many more?

Much arranging. It turns out that the advance tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. tomorrow when I am supposed to be at the Aquarium with Anna and the boys, a long-ago special date set for 10 a.m. But ... I need to get my ticket. So we spent some time rearranging, and it will work out; I will meet them, give them the tickets, go to an internet place on King St. and wait to buy my ticket at 11, then meet them at the Aquarium only an hour and a bit late.

So tonight, thinking of George Martin, I put on the red album. Why do I erupt into sobs? What is it about this music? Am I thinking of my young self? Right now, Eight Days a Week is on, and I am dissolved. That's just the way it is. This universal music and the stellar musicians who made it mean more to me than I can say, cut so deep, as deep as I go. Nothing I can do about it.

Here's "Yesterday," with the string quartet suggested by Martin the perfect background for this limpid, lucent song. Thank you, George, for all you gave. You were lucky, no question. And so were we.

I weep because John is dead and George is dead and George Martin is dead and they were geniuses. And I am somehow, inexplicably, sixty-five years old with grey hair and wrinkles, and all you need, all you need, is love. Hello goodbye.

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