I had a Beatles fest last weekend, inspired by John, from the YoYo Young Onset Dementia Group in North London last Friday. John brought his guitar to the meeting and delighted us all with several songs, including some Beatles numbers. Everyone sang along. As always, John’s playing was enjoyable and uplifting.

One of the songs John played was ‘I’m Looking Through You’ (Rubber Soul, 1965) which I hadn’t heard for a very long time. The YoYo experience prompted me to explore some lesser known Beatles songs and to listen to my familiar favourites too.

I have vivid memories of listening to Beatles music when I was a small child. My Mum was a big fan and her love of the Beatles even extended to us having posters on our Living Room walls! One day, when I have time, I’ll look out all the vinyl records that my parents still have, scores of 45rpm singles and LPs.

I also remember going to the cinema to see the Beatles films when they were released: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ in 1964 and ‘Help!’ in 1965. I was a young child, too young to watch these films really (it was my Mum’s idea); I recall being frightened when all four Beatles, travelling in a tank, appeared to get blown up in a stack of hay. To me this was real, until it became clear a few minutes later that they had somehow escaped from the tank before it caught fire and were safe and well! (I think I need to watch these films again).

As I was meandering my way through YouTube at the weekend, I discovered a lovely interview with the McCartney family, recalling memories of Linda McCartney’s life and her photography. Filmed in 2011 to mark the launch of the book ‘Linda McCartney: My Life in Photographs’, Paul and daughters, Mary and Stella, speak about Linda with feeling, remembering how she naturally wove her photography into everyday life, capturing spontaneous expressions and impromptu scenes.

This is a lovely piece. What I particularly liked was the suggestion that Paul McCartney makes about family photographs: he says that, in our lives, we take hundreds of pictures, and then hardly ever look at them. The McCartney family created a tradition of identifying one day each year when they would sit together and look at all the family photographs. I think this is a perfect idea. We shouldn’t wait for a sad occasion to reflect on, and reminiscence, about the past. This is something that can be enjoyed at any time in life, a celebration of family history. We should all make this a habit.

As I was feeling a little unwell last weekend, re-visiting and listening to Beatles music was a relaxing way to aid my recovery. I also saw a tweet noting that, on 26th August 2018, it was 50 years since the release of ‘Hey Jude’. Another reason, I thought, to make the Beatles the subject of my blog this week. So, thank you, John, for inspiring me. John lives with dementia and I know that music plays a very important part in his life. I think that’s true for most people, with or without a diagnosis of dementia. Let’s keep listening, playing, singing … embracing the power of music in every way we can.

Here are a few of my favourite Beatles tracks:

And here the favourites of a few of the Unforgettable team:

Steve – Too many! Blackbird, For No One, Don’t Let Me Down, A Day In The Life
Claudia – Girl
Dave – Here Comes The Sun
Kate – Here, There and Everywhere

What are you favourite Beatles tracks, and why? Drop me a email to let me know.

For more information about the YoYo North London Young Onset Dementia Support Group, please contact Rose de Paeztron 

We sell on our website some fantastic Beatles memorabilia packs for £5.95, One of our new products is this fantastic hardback book on the history of music in the 1960s, which can be personalised on the cover with the recipient’s name. 

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