Rain Clouds and Waterfalls, is a coming-of-age novel told in linked short stories, with each story/chapter named for a Beatles song, that sets the theme of the chapter. NOW AVAILABLE as an audio book as well. You can get Rain Clouds and Waterfalls at Amazon and Audible.
The Beatles – Timeless Icons Who Influence Pop Culture Across Multiple Generations
The Beatles continue to influence pop culture as their music inspires and delights multiple generations. I’ve been a witness to this phenomenon as I’ve seen three generations of families soaking up the unadulterated joy experienced at Paul McCartney concerts. Their songs are part of our broad pop culture, and they also serve a more intimate purpose to many individuals: The songs deliver comfort, wisdom, poignancy, and lots of smiles at the memories they invoke.
Their songs are embedded in our collective conscious and plant themselves into ordinary, everyday facets of our lives. I pass a street sign every evening on my commute home from work named Blue Jay Way. I often see salads on menus named Strawberry Fields. I have a container of popcorn sitting on my desk right now that I ordered from a Youth Group fundraiser. The name of the popcorn? Sergeant Salt & Pepper.
The Beatles have been a recurring presence in movies, whether through dialog, one of their songs playing, or actual footage. As a very recent example, in Twin Peaks: The Return that recently aired, one character starts telling his work buddy about a dream. After he recaps his dream, he starts telling the other that he woke up, and then he recites the middle part of “A Day in The Life” “Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, found my way downstairs…” The characters give each other a knowing grin. In Boyhood, there’s a great scene where the dad makes his son a composite of Beatle solo songs that he calls “The Black Album” and walks his son through the rhyme and reason of it all.
Beatles songs play in the background of many films. One of my favorite examples is the unforgettable parade scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Who can forget Ferris dancing away on a float to “Twist and Shout”? In a somber example, the use of John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the end of The Killing Fields seared our memories and hit the perfect emotional note.
How could Forrest Gump guide us through the 1960s and 1970s without bumping into a Beatle? I love the scene of the old Dick Cavett footage in which Forrest is superimposed over Yoko One, and he finds himself seated next to none other than John Lennon. Through Q&A with the host, he then inadvertently inspires the lyrics to “Imagine.” It’s priceless!
You can check out a detailed, lengthy montage of Beatles references in film from the SgtPepperChannel on You Tube.
On a more personal, intimate level, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’ve found that many of their songs function as a Greek chorus to my life. “Take a sad song and make it better” from “Hey Judge” automatically plays in my head when I’m going through a difficult time. One day I was driving to work after experiencing a crushing loss. Weeks had passed since the ordeal, but when alone, I could not get past the crying part of the grief. I would think about the loss, and the tears would surface. One morning as the tears started filling my eyes, “All Things Must Pass” came on the radio, as if in direct response to my personal grief. It helped put matters in perspective and offered me a handle on my grief.
When I think I’ve got my day and week all planned out, and chaos instead ensues, I hear John Lennon’s lyric from “Beautiful Boy” floating through my head: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” When life deals blows that seem to come crushing down on me, I hear my Greek chorus again: “Bang, bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer came down upon her head.”
The Beatles’ music has always been playing along either in the foreground or deep in the background as I journeyed through life.
BIO: Piper Templeton lives and works in the New Orleans area. A Liberal Arts graduate from the University of New Orleans, she loves writing fiction that mines beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary people’s lives. She combines her love of children and books by tutoring second graders in reading.
Other passions include animals, music, nature, long walks, and good laughs.
She developed a love for writing fiction in childhood and forayed into self-publishing in 2014 with her Beatles-inspired novel, Rain Clouds and Waterfalls. If you’d like to know more about Piper you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter