I'm thinking about giving up the Beatles for Lent. They were my first taste of cultural butter, and the purposes it serves. My life had been one recording of the Life Action Singers after another. Occasionally, Doug Oldham or someone like him would take some risks, but not very often. My sister, with her musical ear collected an impressive knowledge of popular music from elevators and grocery stores. I was more inclined to return home to the safety of the Gaithers.
Susan came over and for the first time in my life I was left unsupervised in my own home. Susan's sanctity was never questioned, so I was surprised when she recommended we ransack the record collection for contraband. We found The Letterman and were quite pleased with them. They were nice, but musically little different from Life Action or the other groups. From then on, any chance to ransack the records was a naughty little pleasure. That probably would have been the end of things if we hadn't moved to a suburb of DC.
The kids in my new world not only listened to current rock and roll, they had sex and experimented with drugs. I was so lost. I had my first diagnosis of depression, and Dad pulled out all the stops--he rented Help! Mother would have nothing to do with it. Her disapproval filled the house making it all the more exciting as Dad plugged it in. It was hilarious, and the music was so fresh to us. After that, whenever it was all too much we'd get Help!
I still love Help! I love the Beatles catalog. Giving them up for Lent might not seem like big deal to some, but maybe there's a circle coming my life. While I'm not interested in a return to Life Action, maybe it's time for dry toast because I can, because of Lent.