So I'm sitting in my living room late this morning, trying to pull myself out of the Rick Sanchez Zone and go do some Real Work, when a crawler pops up (are they still called crawlers now that CNN has changed their style and puts up tabs?) and it says, "Vatican Pays Homage to the Beatles."
I think, what if I'd had a time machine back in 1966? Then I could've zoomed forward 44 years, leaving behind all the adults who were screaming about how horribly blasphemous John Lennon was for saying the Beatles were bigger than Jesus (and they were, at least in my very Catholic elementary school) and from my time machine I would've seen that crawler and come back to give all those self-righteous adults a big Nyah-nyah-nyah!
But I really didn't know what the crawler referred to till later. Turns out--yup, the 'bigger than God' comment is part of it. The Osservatore Romano newspaper carried articles saying that since the Beatles' music has stood the test of time, all those old comments and the drug use, etc., are sorta forgiven (I don't think that's official forgiveness--not like the sacramental stuff you get in confession.) Ahhh, gee.
Here's the AP story. SO noice of them to take a break from investigating...well, defending themselves against charges of abetting molesters to clear up this little misunderstanding.
So the tie-in to LA History. In August 1966, Los Angeles Times columnist Jack Smith announced a contest for teenagers, the Beatles' core fans. (He hyphenated the word: teen-agers) Smith wanted to know, in 300 words or less, what the teens thought that John Lennon meant by his "more popular than Jesus" remark. First prize was a life-sized model or mannekin of actress Claudia Cardinale, which seems to have been a running joke. Optional prize was tickets to the Beatles concert at Dodger Stadium, later that month.
Smith and the Times got twelve hundred letters, and printed exerpts in the letters-to-the-edtor column. The winner was Judy Bender of Long Beach, whose letter was way too erudite to convince me she was really a teen-ager.
Judy announced that she would neither "defend Christianity from this supposedly terrible onslaught" nor would she defend Lennon's "right to rebel for the sake of rebelling."
"I merely object to the people who are letting themselves be totally and emotionally carried off balance by a single, frank remark which does not represent the entire younger generation, or reflect a blasphemous atheist tryint to overthrow religion."
Oh, Judy, where are you? I'd love to know your feelings on the tea party movement!
Anyway, here is a You Tube video of the concert that Judy saw. ANd while there are probably many descriptions of the event out there, here's a link to Walter O'Malley's blurb--also the sourc of the ticket picture.