Showing posts with label Beatles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beatles. Show all posts

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs

This week I purchased a book for you - though I'm going to keep it for a few years until you're old enough to read it (Yes, it's going into the "Future Kieran" box)!

The book.magazine is called "The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs," and it's produced by Rolling Stone magazine. It's chock full of photos and stories about how 100 of their songs were written and produced.

What were the top 10 "best songs"? They were:
10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
9. Come Together
8. Let It Be
7. Hay Jude
6. Something
5. In My Life
4. Yesterday
3. Strawberry Fields Forever
2. I Want to Hold Your Hand
1. A Day in the Life

How does that compare to you list of favorite Beatles songs?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Going to your first concert - 'The Beatles'!

Three years ago tonight you went to your first music concert - by a Beatles tribute band at the park in Palmdale, Calif.!

You always loved the Beatles (One of the many, many loves we share!), so going to the concert was a no-brainer.

The first half-hour was spent waiting for them to come on stage and goofing around with one another. Then they came on, and you tried to guess the song titles (You were fairly accurate, by the way!).

We left at intermission, after they'd played the Beatles hits through about 1965/66. By that time, it was getting way past your bedtime, and you were about to fall asleep in my arms!

Here are some photos from the concert!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Your trips to the state of Arizona

A few days ago I wrote about the times you'd been to Oregon. I've decided to continue writing about the states you've been to with a look today at Arizona!

You were to Arizona three or four times. When about 18 months old, in September 2008, we drove through a corner of the state on the way from Las Vegas to Santa Clarita, Calif. We repeated that about month later but in reverse.

Then in March 2011, you and I drove across the northern part of the state on I-40 a couple of times over four days. We stayed both times in Flagstaff, Ariz. Along the way, we stopped at some Indian traders, where you discovered cloth handmade Navajo dolls. We got four of them, and you pretended they were they Beatles!

The picture above shows us at a fake teepee at a roadside stand near Winslow, Ariz., in late March 2011.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy birthday to Beatles' Ringo!

Beatles tribute band at Bugstock on March 25, 2012,
at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif. 
Did you know that Sunday (July 7) was Ringo's birthday? He turned 73!

Ringo was you favorite Beatle when you were a preschooler. You always asked to hear his songs when we listened to Beatles CDs in the car or Jeep. "Boys" was one song you always had to hear!

One of the Sunday morning radio programs we used to listen to in the car when in San Diego did a special show about Ringo this weekend. It brought back lots of sweet memories of you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

'Octopus's Garden' will be a book!

Do you remember the Beatles' song "Octopus's Garden" by Ringo Starr? It is going to be turned into a children's book! The book doesn't come out until next year, though, but I will be watching for it as a gift to you! I know how much you liked Ringo's songs.

Here are the words to "Octopus's Garden":

I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade
He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus' garden in the shade

I'd ask my friends to come and see
An octopus' garden with me
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus' garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around
Because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they're happy and they're safe
(Happy and they're safe)

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden with you.

Here's a video of the song so you can hear the music and see the words as they are sung!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My email to you for April 20, 2013

Here is my email to you sent April 20, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Dear Kieran,

How are you doing today? I am doing fine, thought I miss you dearly! The good news is that we get to see one another again in just a few days – on Friday, April 26! I am looking forward to seeing you again.

How did your concert go on Sunday? I’d love to hear you sing the songs you performed that day. What were the song titles?

When we were together, you always liked to sing in the car when we were listening to Beatles CDs. Your favorite CD by far was “Please Please Me,” which was the Beatles’ first record. Among the songs on it that you’d liked were “Boys,” “Misery,” “Anna” and “A Taste of Honey.” You also liked to listen to their greatest hits from 1968-1970 and to their CD “Revolver.”

Given that you enjoyed playing the piano so much during our last visit, I shall have to see if there is a Beatles song I can teach you on the piano. They wrote many of their songs on a piano even though they later played them only with guitars and drums. Pianos and keyboards do appear in some of their songs. Their songs are quite complex, though, so maybe we should start with something simple and work our way up to them?

What kind of things are you learning about in school? You must be up to letter W, I bet! Are you still studying the oceans? We used to live very close to the Pacific Ocean and went to a lot of aquariums and beaches there. I bet you have a lot to contribute to class given all of your great experiences. Have you told your classmates about the Aquarium of the Pacific?

Speaking of ocean animals, did you know that the Minnesota Zoo has new penguin chicks? One was born on March 2 and the other on March 21. There are very furry looking! You actually can watch the penguin chicks on your computer (Just like Curious George once did!); the zoo has a webcam that shows them during the day and early evening. Just click onto the word “webcam” to see the penguin chicks! Be patient with the link, though; it takes a few seconds for the webcam to start.

I bet the penguins like our wintry weather. Having lived almost your whole life in California, I bet you’re wondering where the warm weather and sunshine is! It’s about this time of year where we used to live in the desert that the days were getting too hot to be outside; we could only go out to play in the morning and the early evening. Don’t worry, spring soon will be here!

Have you read any good books lately? I have. The book was called “My Spring Robin,” by Anne Rockwell. It tells the story of a girl who goes for a walk one day and sees a robin. She then notices other signs of spring’s arrival. What signs of spring do you think she sees? Perhaps you can find the book at the city library when your mother takes you there to check out books or for children’s activities.

That is all for now. I miss and love you very much! I will see you on Friday!



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Remember going to Bugstock?

At Bugstock, March 25, 2012
One year ago today, we drove all the way to the fairgrounds in Orange County to see Bugstock! This was an event to celebrate all things "Beatles".

There were a bunch of fun blow-up playground jumpers and slides that you played on, a VW bug car show, and of course, a Beatles tribute band performing. We listened to a few of the Beatles' early songs. As watching the performance, you asked me "Which one is which?" That got a few chuckles from some of the people surrounding us, who were a little older and probably were teenagers when the Beatles had their first hits - no doubt they heard the same question from their own parents!

After that day, we went about 10 days without seeing one another, as I flew out to Wisconsin a couple of days later to bring Jane cross country to our condo in Palmdale. Boy, were you ever excited to see me and Jane that Wednesday night when I picked you up! We were so excited to finally seeyou again, too!

Here's a whole bunch of photos from our adventure at Bugstock.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Today is George Harrison's birthday

Bugstock, March 25, 2012
Today is the birthday of George Harrison, who used to be your favorite Beatle. He would have been 70 years old!

Although Paul's songs ("Til There Was You" and "Love Me Do") first interested you in the Beatles, once we started listening to their CDs, you always wanted to hear George's songs. I'm not certian why! Not that they're bad songs at all (They're actually quite good!), but some of his tunes are a little far out compared to what Paul and John wrote.

By about hte time you turned four, though, Ringo became your favorite Beatle, and you'd always ask to hear his songs! I even made a compilation of his Beatles and solo songs that you often listened to on my computer.

Who is your favorite Beatle these days?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My sixth email sent to you!

Here is a copy of my sixth email, sent to you today (Oct. 27, 2012), just in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

Hope you are doing well. I am doing fine, though I miss you like crazy and can’t wait to see you!
Which brings me to some good news: We should get to see each other in just a couple of weeks, the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 9! We will get to spend a couple of hours together. I have a fun afternoon of games and toys and books for us. Would you like me to bring anything special for you?

I did not receive your email responding to my last email (from Saturday, Oct. 27). Perhaps your mother sent it to the wrong address when she changed the email name. Hopefully you will be able to send the email to me Sunday (Oct. 28). Also, I have yet to receive your emails to my second and third emails to you. Perhaps you could resend those, too?

Have you decided if you will be Anakin or a firefighter for Halloween? Your cousin Rebekah is going as a witch for trick or treat. Your cousin Bryan, however, is in seventh grade and too old to go trick or treating, so he doesn’t have a costume. Is your school planning a Halloween party? What are some of the costumes your friends plan to wear?

I wish I could be with you this Halloween. Last year we had lots of fun at Halloween celebrations, going to Disneyland, Legoland, Sea World and the pumpkin festival in Santa Clarita. We even got to see the Halloween fireworks at Legoland! Here are a whole bunch of pictures from our Halloween celebrations we went to last year.

This afternoon I got to hear a Beatles radio program, “The Beatles Year,” that we sometimes listened to Sunday mornings last year on our way to various places. The program told how the Beatles came up with some of songs from their CD “With the Beatles” and then played those tracks. When we first got the CD and listened to in the car, you thought it was called “Breakfast with the Beatles” – which actually was the name of a radio program we sometimes listened to – and you would get frustrated with me because you asked to listen to “Breakfast with the Beatles” but I’d tell you the radio show wasn’t on. You’d say “It’s not a radio show!” Eventually we figured out you really wanted to her the CD “Meet the Beatles”!

Have you read any good books lately? This week I read “Oh No, Not Ghosts!” by Richard Michelson. It’s about a brother and sister who after going to bed at night keep hearing strange, scary sounds – like the floorboard going creeeeeak – and see something wriggling, sniggling, and slithering in the shadows. Except they don’t want to wake up their daddy, who is sleeping in the other room, because they don’t want him to know they’re scared. Guess what was making the sounds though? It was their daddy snoring!

Well, that is all for now. Be sure to have your mother recheck the email address and resend your emails! I love you!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Remember our old acoustic guitar?

Was listeneing to an old encore edition of "American Top 40" from my teen years and heard the old hard rocking guitar-heavy song "My Sharona" by The Knack. Rather than think about those awkward, clumsy teen years, your love of my guitar came to my mind.

I unfortunately don't have that acoustic guitar anymore; a string broke on it, and when forced to move back to the Midwest to fight for custody of you, I had to leave a lot beyond. With a broken string on it, I decided a better guitar awaited me in the future (It was just a cheap Adam Levine acoustic guitar bought at Target - very pretty looking, a good guitar to learn on, but not one to play at a concert!).

You always liked to strum it and make up songs, pretending to be one of the Beatles! I bought you a play guitar that was more your size at a festival near San Diego during summer 2011, but alas, its string broke, too, as it was more of a toy than anything.

When we get together again and I settle into my place, I'll have to pick us up each an acoustic guitar to play. Though I know some very basic chords, I'm not much of a guitar player, never having made the time to learn it all too well. Maybe we'll have to figure it all out together. Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon (or even a few of them!)!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The top rated Beatles songs

Listened to my usual schedule of Sunday radio programs, and one of them played the Top 20 charting Beatles songs. I know you would have loved listening to it, too, while we played together and enjoyed breakfast. I didn't catch the first part, but here is the "countdown" of the top songs:
7. Help!
6. I Feel Fine
5. Yesterday
4. Get Back
3. Can't Buy Me Love
2. I Want to Hold Your Hand
1. Hey Jude

A good list, but I wouldn't say so those are my seven favorite Beatles songs. Of course, the countdown was of songs that made the Top 40 charts (so they had to be 45 rpm singles), and there are a lot of great Beatles tunes that only appeared on albums (or what you call now CDs). Here's my list of favorite Beatles songs:
7. Come Together
6. She Loves You
5. I Want to Hold Your Hand
4. Let It Be
3. Hey Jude
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
1. Yesterday

What are you favorite Beatles songs?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

County fair memories of dad

Yesterday your cousins Bryan and Rebekah went to the county fair; sure wish we were together so I could take you there as well. It's a small little thing, really, nothing so fancy as Disneyland, but it's still a lot of fun.
As a little kid, it's about the only place I ever went to go on carnival rides! For me, a kid living on a farm miles away from anyone else, during summer the fair also was a rare chance to see other children and possibly even friends. One day should you ever read my fiction, any scene set at a fair almost certainly is a memory of mine from the county fair.

I remember that one year I saw a booth in which they had iron-ons and could make T-shirts for you. They had this great Beatles iron-on of the "Let It Be" cover. This was in the days long before the Internet, and Menomonie (the town outside of which was my parents' farm) had few stores, none of which would carry such stuff. So I saved up money the next summer before the fair arrived in hopes that the same booth would return with the same iron-on and T-shirt. It did, and that T-shirt was my pride and joy!

Maybe next summer we'll finally be together for the fair!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Your favorite CD as a preschooler

Whenever we drove someone, we invariably listed to a Beatles CD (Unless you were napping, then I might slip in something else.). The one CD of theirs you always asked for was "Please Please Me." It was the Beatles' very first record, and the melodies are fairly uncomplicated but certainly memorable.
Oftentimes you'd sing along to the CD, and once or twice I caught you humming one of the melodies.

You actually had memorized what number was what song, so if you asked to hear a specific title, and I fiddled around trying to find it, you'd say something like "It's No. 8"!

Your favorite tracks changed through the couple of years we had the CD and were together, but through it all you preferred No. 5 the most - "Boys" sung by Ringo. Here are the lyrics:

I been told when a boy kiss a girl
Take a trip around the world
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey, (Bop shuop) yeah, she say ya do (Bop shuop)

My girl says when I kiss her lips
Gets a thrill through her fingertips
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey, (Bop shuop) yeah, she say ya do (Bop shuop)

Well, I talk about boys
Don't ya know I mean boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
Aaahhh, boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
What a bundle of joy!
[Alright, George!]

My girl says when I kiss her lips
Gets a thrill through her fingertips
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey (Bop shuop, m'bop bop shuop)
Hey, hey, (Bop shuop) yeah, she say ya do (Bop shuop)

Well, I talk about boys
Don't ya know I mean boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
Aaahhh, boys
Well, I talk about boys, now
What a bundle of joy!

Oh, oh, ah yeah boys
Don't ya know I mean boys?
Ooh, boys
Ah ha
Well I talk about boys now

Can't wait until we're together again to listen to the CD again!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Musical instruments you had as a toddler

Do you remember all of the neat musical isntruments you had as toys? The drum was your favorite. You also had a flute (actually it was a recorder) that you liked to play as well. Sometimes you'd take them in the car (the recorder in particular) and play them to the Beatles DVD we listed to. There also was a harmonica and a whistle, if I recall correctly.

My guitar was your favorite, though. You always were fascinated by the different strumming sounds it made and would hold that big acoustic instrument in your lap and create your own songs off the top of your head. Sometimes you'd line up the stuffies and give them instruments to play and pretend you were a rock band. You'd even have me sit and listen to some of your numbers! Sometimes I'd "join you on stage" for a song or two.

You also had a play guitar I bought at a festival near San Diego, but it was cheaper than it looked, and the strings all broke. When playing it, you'd make up Beatles songs and have me guess who was singing them - John, Paul, George or Ringo - and then play a whole album full of songs for me. Some of the songs were quite clever in their wording. I should have written down some of the words.

I wouldn't be surprised if one day you take up a musical instrument of your own. I suspect you'd be quite good at playing it, too! You'll be one heck of a songwriter, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remember the songs we used to sing at bedtime?

Listened to the Beatles' CD "Rubber Soul" and thought about some of the songs I used to sing you at bedtime to put you asleep, as some of those tunes are on that album.
The songs I sang changed through the years, with a lot more childrens' songs, such "I've Been Working ont he Railroad," "The Muffin Man" and "Row Row Row Your Boat" early on. But I always had Beatles songs on the playlist, especially "Ticket to Ride," Drive My Car" and "Nowhere Man."

I'd also try to sing you some of my other favorites, like "California Girls" and "California Dreamin'." I remember once when we were at California Adventure, "California Dreamin'" was playing over the loudspeakers and you asked me, "What is this song? Where have I heard it before?" Guess my singing wasn't quite like the Mamas and Papas, but you didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes you would get really upset with me, though if I didn't sing the songs in the same order that I'd done the previous few nights! I guess three and four year olds appreciate consistency. Eventually it got so that I knew when I'd reach a certian song (usually after "Yesterday"), you would be asleep!

As you grew older, you always wanted me to exclusively sing you Beatles songs. I had to go memorize some of their song lyrics just so I could sing enough of them to you.

That you wanted me to sing you asleep meant a lot to me. It meant so much that you loved the same songs as I did. It also meant a lot that you even wanted to hear me sing. I never considered my singing voice very good, but you and Jane always said you loved to hear it. Thanks for those sweet memories, Kieran.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Radio shows highlighted your favorite Beatle - Ringo!

I'm very sad that we didn't get to spend time together this past weekend so that we could listen to the various Beatles radio programs together. Sunday marked Ringo’s 72nd birthday, so all of the programs played Ringo songs galore, and of course, Ringo was your favorite Beatles the past couple of years!

“The Beatles Years” was particularly good as it told stories about how he and his father were separated (like us) when he was a little boy, how he became a Beatle, how some of his most famous Beatle songs (like “Yellow Submarine”) came to be, and his acting career.

After that, "Breakfast with the Beatles" played lots of rare Ringo songs.

Unfortunatlely, none of them played "Boys," your favorite Beatles song when you were a preschooler!

Especially when I lived and worked in San Diego, we use to listen to the Beatles radio programs whileon our way to and from museums, zoos, parks, and more. Hopefully now that you know your way around the computer, you can find some of those programs online (try TuneIn) - and know that I'll be listening to some of those same Beatles programs, too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

'Life is what happens to you/While you're busy making other plans'

Let me share with you the lyrics to a song written many years ago by ex-Beatle John Lennon for his son, Sean, who was almost five years old at the time. It's called "Beautiful Boy", and whenever I hear it, I always think of you. I wish I could sing it to you before you go to sleep tonight. For me, the most beautiful line of the song comes near the end in the advice John gives his son; I've found it particularly true in my own life and hope you also take it to heart: "Life is what happens to you/While you're busy making other plans." Here's the words to the song:

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better


Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes it's a long way to go
But in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans


Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day 2012, RIP

Unfortunatley, we weren't allowed to spend Father's Day with one another today. This is the second of five Father's Days in your life in which we were denied that; the other time was in June 2008 when your mother took you away the first time from me and the two of you lived with Grandma and Grandpa Bignell (my parents). At least you got to see your real grandfather that day.

We spent Father's Day 2011 at Disneyland. You participated in the Jedi Academy, we rode some of the rides in Fantasyland, went into Tarzan's Treehouse, and skipped on over to California Adventure top watch the Green Army Men band. We also got to watch a Beatles tribute band, Paperback Writer, perform at Downtown Disney. It truly was a great day; the only thing sad about it was that I had to bring you back to your mother's that evening, and for me the drive back to San Diego was unbearably long and lonely, as they always were.

I have since learned that Paperback Writer played at Downtown Disney on Father's Day 2012. Oh how I wish I could have taken you and Jane there so we could have watched it together as a family!

Rest assurred, Kieran, I am working night and day to be able to see you  again soon. Hopefully, we will get to spend Father's Day 2013 with one another. We'll be a long way from Disneyland, but I will find something fun for us, guaranteed!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Are the Beatles still your favorite band?

Sunday, June 19, 2011: Kieran dances to the Beatles tribute band's final number, "Twist and Shout" at Downtown Disney. He thought they were the real Beatles!
Listened to "Breakfast with the Beatles" radio shows this morning, Kieran. Remember how we always used to catch them on Sunday mornings when you were with me in San Diego? The Beatles always were your favorites, and whenever tribute bands appeared in the area, I'd take you to their concerts. Your favorite Beatles album always was "Please Please Me" - you'd always ask me to play the CD when we were driving somewhere, with "Boys" your favorite Beatles song ... well, your favorite one most of the time, for if you heard a Beatles song for the first time, you'd ask for me to play that one over and over! This morning's breakfast shows were about the making of the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and the movie "A Hard Day's Night". Wish you were here to listen to them with me...