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Beatles love conquers 3 generations and counting

Olivia Fallier and her mother, Rose Fallier, are fans of the Beatles and Paul McCartney.
Olivia Fallier and her mother, Rose Fallier, are fans of the Beatles and Paul McCartney. The Wichita Eagle

I fell in love with the Beatles before I was 9 – more than half a century ago.

Their songs still put me into a kind of primal trance.

I’ll finally see Paul McCartney play Beatles songs at Intrust Bank Arena on Wednesday.

Paul just turned 75. I’m 62. But this is no old person’s concert done only for old people.

My daughter and my granddaughter fell in love with the Beatles as little kids. They feel the same trance. Olivia is only 12.

They will go with me.

Why do we all love the Beatles? I asked my girls to help me explain.

Rose Fallier, 33

The Beatles and my life have always gone hand in hand. A song would come on the radio, and my dad would quiz me: “John or Paul?” I learned quickly to distinguish between raw, jaded John (Lennon) and sweet, liquid Paul.

I thought everyone must know them, and who sang lead on what song.

With my parents, as a child, I watched every Beatles movie: “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Help” and the video Beatles Anthology.

I had posters of Beatles on my walls, next to the teen bop picture of Leonardo DiCaprio.

My first Beatles album: “Sgt. Pepper,” on cassette. I would haul it to my best friend’s house north of Miami, and I’d make her listen. “They are old! Why do you like this?” But she bought me Magical Mystery Tour for my ninth birthday. We had lip-sync dance parties with the Beatles and top 40 artists like Ace of Base.

As I grew, the music changed without changing at all. The sappy songs of childhood were still favorites, but I could feel the pull from songs that hadn’t made sense before from “Rubber Soul,” “Abbey Road” – and my favorite, “The White Album.”

I grew up, gave birth to three beautiful girls. Even now, listening to songs sung decades ago gives me chills. Even now, I find new meaning.

My oldest daughter is 12. We watched “A Hard Day’s Night.” We will watch “Yellow Submarine,” “Help” and the whole Beatles anthology. And on July 19, we will go with my father and see a singer sing with a sweet, liquid voice. We will see Paul McCartney together.

Olivia Fallier, 12

I fell in love with the Beatles when my mom showed me “The White Album” a few months ago. I was curious why she loved them so much. She turned on “The White Album,” and the first few songs she showed me were “Rocky Raccoon” and “Blackbird.” “Rocky Raccoon” stood out because it has sort of a western tune, and Paul tried to sing it in a western accent. Another song that stood out: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” George Harrison wrote and sang it, but in the recording, he sounds like John Lennon.

I like Beatles music because it’s different from the “emo” music I usually listen to: (Panic! At The Disco, Green Day, Twenty One Pilots, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy). The Beatles aren’t as dark and/or depressing as the emo bands. More light-hearted.

The most light-hearted? “Blackbird.” It reminds me to not worry so much about bad things. “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” means take the negatives and make them positives. When you’re going through something difficult in life, just know you’re not alone.

I get the amazing chance to see Paul McCartney at Intrust. I’m going with my mom and grandfather, and I’m taking my best friend. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

I feel privileged.

Roy Wenzl, 62

By 1964, we were using electrified fencing to pen cattle on our farm. If I accidentally brushed the wire with a hip, the shock hit like a blow from a baseball bat.

That’s what “All My Loving” felt like when the Beatles opened their first set on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964.

I felt shock, confusion – and a sudden, fierce, primal joy. I was 8 years old and had no idea what had hit me. My dad swore at the television, but I ran off to the bathroom after “She Loves You” and played air guitar with the door shut.

I had hated music before this – all that Lawrence Welk tinkle-tinkle-tinkle my dad made us watch. And now “She Loves You” and the hysterical-girl screaming that went with it was all I could think about. I felt possessed.

We had no record player in 1964, and Dad didn’t allow rock ‘n’ roll on a radio. So I’d climb aboard the school bus every weekday and sit near the radio speaker in the back, where I could hear “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

I thought I was done with the Beatles by age 15, when the Lennon-McCartney egos broke up the band in 1970. But in my freshman year of college in 1974, I had a friend in the dorms who had the “Let It Be” album. I’d lie on her bean-bag half a day at a time, playing “The Two of Us” and “Get Back.”

(Those are both Paul songs, Rose).

After Rose was born in 1984, I’d put on “Let It Be” and dance around our home, holding baby girl in the crook of one arm.

Roy Wenzl: 316-268-6219, @roywenzl

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