15 Aug 2015
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Add to Technorati Favorites

Listen to or download MP3 version of this blogitem

A Missing Memorabile

The title sounds wrong, doesn't it?  Prefixed by the indefinite article as it is, one would expect "memorabilium" and one would almost have gotten just that if I hadn't looked it up first.  "memorabilium," it seems, is not a word.  Memorabilia is a word, and I suppose you could argue that the phrase "missing memorabilia" is the same as "a missing memorabile," since they are equivalent in the sense that, either way, there aren't any.  Nonetheless,

Q:  Stop!  You haven't committed a single blog in over a year, and you're starting this one with your stupid and pedantic word babble.
A:  Your point being?
Q:  After all this time, have you nothing substantive to contribute?
A:  Of course I do!  I have lots of photos and reviews of Linzer torte cookies from around the nation!
Q:  Never mind the Linzer tortes.  What about the memorabile, or whatever it is (or isn't).
A:  Oh, all right.  I'll save the torte reporte update for later.

Just a Scrap of Paper

I was reminded by an article in today's Wall Street Journal that today, 15 August 2015, is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in New York City.  Fifty years!  Roughly 2/3 of my life ('til nowdon't rush me) ago.  Not to be morbid, but of the people who were there, 50% of the performers are now life free, as is Sid Bernstein, the concert promoter, no doubt a goodly number of the then-teen-age attendees, and, especially sadly for me, Rick Sklar, who was responsible for my attending that concert.

Rick Sklar was the program director of WABC during much of its run as the most popular radio station on earth.  WABC, which styled itself "W-A-Beatle-C" during the British invasion, was really, really into the Beatles.  I can't help wondering to what extent New York radio stations were responsible for the Beatles phenomenon.  And Rick was a ringleader!

Which is all background for a very short story:  One night while I was working at the station, Rick selected me to go with him to the Shea Stadium concert for the purpose of making an on-field recording of the Beatles performance and the audience reaction.  We hopped into the station station wagon* and drove off to Shea.  The evening is a blur; I just remember shoving the WABC-labeled microphone in the face of people who were being dragged off the field by the cops.  I don't believe I recorded anything coherent.  The (mostly) girls were screaming, and the Beatles were almost inaudible despite my perch on the field much closer to the stage than to the stands.  The concert was a short one, the audience dispersed, the Beatles escaped. and Rick and I repaired to the station, ears ringing.

What about the memorabile?  Well, for a few brief hours, between the time Rick handed it to me, and the time I unthinkingly discarded it with other bits of pocket residue, I owned and held an all-access stage pass to the Beatles Concert at Shea Stadium, signed personally by Sid Bernstein.  I probably had it in my pocket precisely fifty years ago, and probably lost or discarded it sometime tomorrow, again with a half-century intervening. 

I spent a half hour today searching the internet for a photo showing my younger self with tape recorder and microphone on the Shea Stadium field.  Nothing.

*Surprisingly, Microsoft spell check let me get away with "station station" above.  I was teasing it.

"Bungalow Bill"
The Beatles




If I remember correctly, I attended this folk festival with my friend Heather Wood of the English folk group The Young Tradition. 

But it does say 1986, and I'm not sure if I remember correctly.  I may not have been there, and it may not have been a folk festival at all.  But if I was and if it was, I was definitely there with Heather.

1986 Great Hudson River Revival T-Shirt
Richard Factor

Yesterday  |  Tomorrow