I've always been a huge Beatles fan.
I'm old enough that I remember when the Beatles first came to America; I remember hearing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" on the radio when those songs first came out. My friends and I pretended we were the Beatles (I was George), and I remember seeing them on The Ed Sullivan Show.
That was before I knew I had music in me, but their music influenced me greatly; in some significant way I absorbed the Beatles' musical sensibilities. I was musically infused with what makes the Beatles' music so powerful: strong but simple melodies, powerful and universal themes, a respect for music lineage, all with a strong rebellious undercurrent.
The night John Lennon was killed my life changed. As a tribute to his life and legacy, a local radio station starting playing all the Beatles songs in order from A to Z; I was transfixed, my ear glued to the radio for hours and days. At that moment, a love for Beatles music became an obsession. I bought every album; I started collecting alternate studio takes and bootlegs; I bought dozens of books about their lives and careers; I generally immersed myself in all things Beatles.
Since that time, I've gone through many waves of Beatles obsession. I've listened to every album many, many times; I've read about the songs and how they came to be; I've read about the recording sessions, what equipment was used and how innovative they were in the studio; I've read about the lives they led, the people they knew and hung out with, and the music and culture that influenced them; I've read about their loves and losses, their triumphs and tragedies, their quirks and oddities, and their passions and pitfalls.
The Beatles' music has been, in many ways, the foundation of my personal music, both stylistically and philosophically. Yes, I'm a jazz saxophonist, but I'm also a pop enthusiast and a great believer in the power of focused emotion through relatively simple melodies and chords.
And I believe in the power of love to transform lives and societies, just like the Beatles did. The Beatles changed the world with their music, and I am part of what changed. I, too, learned that in the end, love IS all you need.
So, here's my humble edition to the ever-growing collection of Beatles tributes. I hope you enjoy this music, and find something in it that will help you feel the love.