Birmingham disc jockeys Tommy Charles, left, and Doug Layton of Radio Station WAQY, rip and break materials representing the British pop group The Beatles, in Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 8, 1966. The broadcasters started a “Ban The Beatles” campaign. AP
Ever seen this one? It’s beginning were from March, 1966?
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock n roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his Disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
John Lennon said the above.
You remember him? He’s one of the four Beatles. And if you weren’t around, the Southern Baptists went full blown upset about John saying that the Beatles are more famous than Jesus. And came the stuff that you only can appreciate if you are there, in person. Well, unfortunately, I was and in no uncertain terms, my own Father came storming into our tiny bedroom after he had yanked the Door open
Y’all got any Beatle Records?
And my two brothers and I shook our heads NO and we didn’t. Our parents had the only vinyl record player and we almost had to beg to use it and we only had the Old Cowboy Albums and you would consider them Antiques today. But what came next was purely madness with no forethought.
It was mad, such madness. And after Church that eventful night, all the Church went to a field next to the main building. And then, around a pile of this black stuff, I 1st saw Lighter Fluid doused on that difficult to see black pile of something. And no, we had no idea at what was about to see happen next.
And then the Pastor led all of us in a Prayer and honestly, I couldn’t tell you what he said. But I heard Beat…this And Beat…that. And then an Amen! And then a match was tossed on the Black Pile and there, right in front of all of us was the Devil Being Driven Away for our Sinful Ways. Yes, may be 3 or 4 hundred Beatle Records were now quickly roaring to a stinking smelling, black smoke rolling pile of gooey burning goo. It was black burning vinyl record goo.
And as I watched, I won’t ever FORGET the almost feverish eerie images on many of the Elders Faces like they had just Burned a Witch. And they obviously were trying, or daring any of us youngsters to make eye contact with them. But hell to the NO on that one. It was so very odd to see how quickly all of the ones I had always known for treating me with their Religious Kindness and now,
They were like Soldiers smiling as if they had just caught and were Burning Satan Himself. They were engulfed with fiery emotions and they weren’t holding nothing back now. They were jovial even. But, they were letting it all hang out now acting like Children of the Corn. They had tossed all of their Religious Images I had of them and they were On Fire with Renewed Vigor and as their Red Faces appeared to glow from the roaring fire, I just stood and watched and took it all in. Dang. Such a total emotionally change in them. And some old folks, both men and women, had almost chilling faces on them and there were young girls crying. I mean more than just a cry, really quite a lot of crying, almost a wailing coming from them only adding to the entire Spooky Event. Just a loud Bang and PEOPLE would have gone crazy with screams. And as their crying grew. So did those spooky looking reddish faces on some I thought incapable of such looks. They were the Pillars of the Church and then, they went full blown Old Fire and Brimestone Elders over one statement made by a member of the Beatles and his words set America’s Churches on Fire and the Records turned to Vinyl Goo.
None were acting the same. It was The Purging of the Beatles! Or so they thought.
Did the Purging last? No. You know the rest of that story, but dang, it was something a kid will never forget. And like many things back then, it became another Subject forbidden to be discussed at any further time. Ever! And did it drive me away from Rock n Roll? No. If anything, it helped drive me to it and maybe it did for lots of other kids. But my Overseas Deployment definitely pushed me to a full enjoyment of it. And I can only shake my head when I think about how quickly people I thought I knew completely changed, completely turned at the Drop of a Hat. They did.
And that was THAT. Lol