Just Trying To Act Naturally

        I had the absolute pleasure, this weekend, to see “Eight Days A Week” in the theater. Anytime something like this comes along I’m reminded how much I love The Beatles. I discovered them when I was about 13 years old when the Anthology DVDs and CDs were being released. I feel like since then I’m always looking for that same feeling I had from the I first time really heard them. I know I’ll never get that *gasp* moment again, but I try so hard to find that feeling again when it comes to these four.
        Nothing reignited my love for this band the way this documentary did. It feels silly to say, but it’s true. I think it may be because of new footage as well as some great interviews included in the film. One thing that really touched me was hearing Whoopi Goldberg talk about being introduced to The Beatles music. Hearing her talk was like hearing my own story. Her speaking about people accusing her of wanting to be white because she loved them was like reliving my youth. I got that so much when I was younger and sometimes even today. I never paid attention to the color of a band. If I liked the rhythm and the lyrics spoke to me that was all I needed. To be accused of wanting to be something that I’m not always made me feel horrible because I never understood how someone would come to that conclusion just based on a musical preference. It was (is) tough being an artsy alternative black woman.  “The Beatles gave me this idea that everybody was welcome.” is something that Whoopi said that really hit home for me. I honestly had to hold back tears. Growing up, before I had even discovered The Beatles, I was in love with bands like U2, Aerosmith, Tears For Fears, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc, and I kept it to myself. If I overheard a kid say that they liked the music I did I’d light up and say “Me too!”, but for the most part the things that I loved I kept to myself to keep from being teased…. that is until The Beatles came along. They did make me feel welcome. At that point I gave not one damn about being teased. I didn’t care if anyone thought I was trying to be white. No one was going to keep me from falling in love with this band. No one. I attribute The Beatles with helping me find the courage to step into myself. I haven’t looked back since. They helped me become an individual. More than their music I’ll always love them for that.
        When I look at my life and all the creative steps that I have taken it’s all because of this amazing band. I have many story ideas that have come to mind after hearing a certain song, or seeing a certain interview, or watching one of their films. There’s one major story I’m trying to work on that stems from a reoccurring dream I’ve had ever since I was about 15 that places me in the era at the height of their fame and in their circle. Listening to their music takes me places I’ve never been, but that feel so familiar. Not much can spark my creative energy like The Beatles can.
       “Eight Days A Week” is a well put together doc. Ron Howard really did an amazing job. It’s nothing over the top, but he made sure to bring something new and fresh to the story. Yes, if you’re a hardcore Beatles fan a lot of this stuff you will know and have seen before, but this doc is slightly different. I’ve seen tons of Beatle docs and most tell the same story over and over, using the same footage and the same photos. I liked that Ron Howard got insight from people of different walks of life (although there aren’t many) to share their own Beatle stories. Seeing this was a great end to my birthday weekend (the birthday that I also share with John). It helped to remind me to keep being an individual no matter what.

-Asia Aneka Anderson, 2016©

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