Backstory of The Beatles and Me

My father, William E. Hersey, was a rock n’ roll drummer. He often moved around the furniture in our living room and set up his Psychedelic Red Ludwig Drums and jammed out. These drums, which I have today, would be equivalent to our family crest. These drums also, so happens, to be what I remember seeing Ringo Starr playing.

Before I even heard or recognized a Beatles song I liked the group. My father lined our entire living room with records. Literally, every closed wall had a bookshelf (record shelf?) with albums. In alphabetical order, he had every record for every band of relevance from the 60s and 70s. He had all of The Beatles albums. As soon as I discovered music, I was able to listen to all of the songs (pre-Napster and iTunes).

William (Bill) Hersey sitting, watching young Eric Hersey
That’s me, front and center. Notice the albums on the right? Those made a horseshoe around the rest of the room.

The Beatles on VHS

Not to make this entire post about my father (he was a cool guy so he probably deserves some fame) but he also was a TV repairman. He repaired VCR and often he would acquire broken ones when the owners decided to just buy a new one. This means we had a bunch of VCR’s and could copy video from other videos. This means we also had a ton of VHS tapes.

As I started paying attention to music, I came across a VHS tape in a brown box. The box was labeled The Compleat Beatles and Yellow Submarine. This documentary probably started my Beatlemania. Maybe a few years later, ABC released The Beatles Anthology Documentary series. Of course, this was recorded on VHS and played many times over the years.

Beatles Friendship

I was in 6th grade and my good friend, Matt McCabe, was also the son of a musician. We bonded over many things (pro wrestling, basketball, movies, etc…) but mostly we enjoyed The Beatles. We would watch all six videos of The Beatles Anthology over and over. He seemed to like the early British Invasion era, while I loved Sgt. Peppers on. Oddly enough, our Martins Ferry Middle School program was themed on The Beatles and my class did “Penny Lane”.

Matt McCabe, Ryan Church, and Eric Hersey 2003
Matt McCabe (left), Ryan Church (center), and Eric Hersey (right). Matt McCabe was one my earliest friends and lover of The Beatles.

It was funny how a group that was disbanded since 1970 was still relevant in the ’90s. As burning CD’s became a thing, I found myself asking my friends (who owned such CD burners) to make discs with Beatle songs. As we drove around town, my friends with cars even had Beatle songs on their ‘mixes’. You would hear some gangsta rap from Dr. Dre and then “Help!” from The Beatles.

Number One

As the years went by, The Beatles remained as a top contender. Although I had moments where I favored other artists and genres, The Beatles had a longer and more lasting impression. With releases of their greatest hits ‘1’ album and their Cirque du Soleil ‘Love’ album, they only added to their legacy. Since the moment I advanced enough to understand the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ music, The Beatles has topped the list.

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