My first musical purchase ever was...
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (8 track)
The Beatles 67-70 (vinyl)
John Lennon's Shaved Fish (vinyl)
Soon I went back to the store (back when there were used record shops) and picked up every Beatles album they had.*
I remember a few weeks later, as I was loving this stuff and couldn't get enough, watching the 'we interrupt this program to bring you news of...' of John Lennon's assassination. I remember leaving my room to tell my Mom and Dad only to find my Mom already sobbing on the living room couch.
They defined a generation and defined all music to follow.
I lived in the UK for 10 years, and though not searching anything out in specifics, I wrote my name on the Abbey Roads Studios sign, walked the crosswalk, and had a few pints in the Cavern Club (under its modern incarnation).
To this day, though not a Beatles fanatic, I don't believe a group of 4 people has ever come together to create such an overall powerful impact in all levels of society. I love Punk music, I love classical, I love Blues. In the Beatles I hear the classical and the blues combined to a sound that punk adapts. Seriously, who the F else could ever have accomplished that. 4 guys, right place, right circumstances, right time, bingo, uber-cash, uber-chicks, rock and roll lifestyle born.
Especially for me, I loved that he picked up a Uke for 'Something'. I have a Uke. I get ragged on for owning a Uke, I bought it a few years ago to play for my young son. It's fun, and it can get complex. With all due respect, I think Sir Paul can potentially take a few Uke lessons, in regard to Beatles songs, from Jake Shimabukuro (not a Beatle). And if you think Uke sounds horrible and is a simple instrument, jump to 2:30 and let it run for 30 seconds...
I saw Sir Paul on the SNL special a few weeks back. Though legend, his voice is suffering a bit. Might be time for him to start thinking about laying low and enjoying that 10000000billion dollars. I'm sure he sounded fantastic live. Glad you enjoyed the show and jealous.
* Also still a huge Bowie fan, and given 1 desert island album, R&FoZS would be my top pick (but, saying that, Eno's Desert Island Selection...)
"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" George Bush, Jan. 11, 2000