Every fan claim that they are the biggest worshippers of their favourite artist or band. I myself claim to be a hardcore IRON MAIDEN fan. But am I a true fan ? Will I empty my bank account to buy iron maiden collectibles ? Nope. I am just a fan.
But today, I wish to share the true story of a music fan.
The year was 1970. Mtv was not born yet. Britney spears was still a plan in her father’s mind. Hip hop was not heard of. The only thing that burned the charts all over the globe were the four lads from UK. The Beatles.
The Hero of my real life drama is a hardcore Beatles fan. Unfortunately he lives in the other part of the world in a country called India. To make things worse he lived in state called Kerala, where western culture didn’t tread much into the roots.
He heard them, read about them, was amazed with their music. Back then there was not much airplay of english songs on the local radio and not everyone was rich enough to afford one either. Being a truly gifted artist (painting), he managed to save a couple of tens (back in 1970, 10 bucks was big).
He jumped in to make an ultimate investment. He decided to buy a Beatles Record. Brand New….and imported from the mecca of music itself, The United Kingdom.
An imported Beatles record back in the 1970 costs a fortune. Buying a LP record disc, that too an imported one was strictly reserved for the rich and the famous.
But it was pure passion. Nothing in the world mattered most than a Beatles record. The record was to cost 3000 Indian rupees. Back in 70’s, you can buy a plot of land for the same money. Yet he made the ultimate decision. To own it.
Opened up his savings box, worked over time and chipped in every last penny he cud find to treat himself to the ultimate gift. A Beatles Record.
DHL didn’t have a shop in town, Blue Dart, TNT and UPS were never heard of. Technology and communications were limited to the sweaty fellow walking in slippers and wearing a khaki uniform with a shoulder bag. The postman. The shipment took months to arrive, but finally came in through a friend in the public library who ordered books from England.
Finally there it is…A Beatles Record. An LP 33”
Our hero was over joyed, danced around with the Beatles record in hand. For the first time in his life he is holding a record of his favorite band. A brand new record. Now came the next challenge.
Where do he play it? He didn’t own a record player. (yeah, can you believe it?)
But he had a solution in mind before ordering the record. He took the record to his friend who lived a few miles away. His friend used to set up microphones and PA systems on stage for the great political leaders to address their crowd of followers (one thing we don’t lack in Kerala). They were able to use the ‘record player’ for a few hours as a part of “testing”.
It was a hot sweaty summer night. There he sat in an open ground, next to a temple. Workers were dismantling a stage after some dance program. His friend put the record and placed the needle on the spinning LP….the words and voice of John Lennon and Paul McCartney came through the public addressing system (kolambi).. He closed his eyes and he was at peace…..
The song should have been the hit single “Its been a hard day’s night….and I’ve been working like a dog…..” (my guess)
For me he is the ultimate music fan. No one can ever top his love for music. Or band loyalty.
The hero of this story is none other than my uncle named Shajahan. (“Shajahan Babe” as I call him). A true Beatle mania. Retired from Kerala Police fingerprint bureau. He Lives in Trivandrum, Kerala (India) with his wife and two kids.
Occasionally he listens to his favorite band and shares this story to the younger generation. You can still see the pride and happiness in his eyes (of owning a Beatle Record)
I could find no other encouraging topic to begin my music review blog with. In my charts, he is the ultimate music fan. Compared to him, I am more fortunate.
And yes, Music, its in my blood too…