Friday, February 15, 2008

hard day's night

with this dvr thing on the tv, I watch all kinds of stuff that I probably would not have the opportunity to, cause of time or conflicts or whatever...
last night I started watching A Hard Day's Night, and if I need to tell you that it starred the Beatles, stop reading right now, cause none of this will have any meaning or relevance...
I remember when that movie came out, the day going to see it and the entire experience. I was 13 (yup, 1964, good time). And not a hot, cool 13, more a kinda awkward, nose too big, slightly overweight girl with hair that I couldn't control and occasional pimples.
I went to the movie with my two cousins, Sue and Karen. They were a year and a half older than me, and I thought pretty cool, so it was great that we had this experience together. Now, here it is 40 plus years later, and all I can really recall from that day is standing, yeah, standing in the theater and screaming every time they spoke, sang or just looked so damn cute we knew they would want to run away with us, if they only knew us...
Now, this was our local theater that we went to for any and every movie. And, given the time, it was the standard place, a couple of older ushers with their probing flashlights and the infamous balcony, where all the "tough" kids went or the kids who wanted to "make out". I don't recall the exact age, but there was an age restriction to get up there, and I never had the courage, but I do remember my brothers sneaking up and coming back with all the sordid details (true or not) of the activities in that other world. The reason I'm telling you this, is because the ushers had no idea or inkling of what kind of power this movie had to move us into a frenetic state of passion...something we couldn't quite put a label on, but knew it was something surging within us and just had to come out.
So, the main annoying usher, Bill, who was probably in his 40's, but seemed alot older, had more than his regular duties to tend to on that day. He would usually walk around, checking and flashing his light on the perpetrators of illegal movie viewing, like feet on seat backs, or even worse, couples making out. I have wondered what that little light did for his ego, such power over us with that beam. We were the obedient kids from that time, that would immediately respond to the light with what we knew it was commanding.
But this day was different. We stood up in our seats and screamed! Screamed loud and unabated, some with tears, some just screaming. It was wonderful. I do remember that Karen and I were telling Sue to stop screaming, cause for some reason, she really couldn't scream. The sound came out all distorted and unpleasant to the her vocal chords couldn't hit that range.
And then there was Bill, dashing everywhere, pulling reinforcements from the ticket takers on down, anyone with a flashlight was put into service trying to quell the riot. They were not successful. That day is just one of those days that I will always remember so fondly. Such a time in our lives and to experience what we did and with the magic of The Beatles directing just warms me, and makes me sad in some way too.