“Stereophonic! Wow!”

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As I go through my history of music, I will continue to educate those readers younger than I am (about 90% of you) about the various devices I used to listen to music. The big leap in college for me was the purchase of this portable STEREO record player. Until now, all music came out through one speaker. With the amazing invention of stereo, the music came out of TWO speakers. And the music was closer(supposedly) to the way it really sounded when it had been played.

There was much debate about how to position the speakers to achieve the optimal sound. My dorm room was so small, however, since it was converted from a bay window and hall between two bedrooms of normal size, that there really weren’t any options. So the best I could do was to lie on the floor with one speaker against each ear and experience STEREO!

By this time there were people who were becoming audiophiles, and were beginning to spend real money on speakers. I was not among them. I didn’t have real money and I was still impressed by the improvement in sound over my previous record player.

In the summer of 1967 my boy friend arrived in Portland on his way to San Francisco for the summer of love. He had the new Beatles release “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with him and he lay on the floor of my parents’ dining room between two speakers positioned next to his head. He couldn’t get over the amazing sound. (In retrospect, substances may have added to his delight.)

Later that same summer, I joined him in San Francisco for a few days. More about that tomorrow. For those keeping track, this was the same boy friend that my roommate married. And it all goes back to that summer of love.

“The British Invasion”

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In August of 1965, a couple of weeks before I left on the train for college in the East, the Beatles landed in Portland and played two concerts in the then new Memorial Coliseum. My mother had somehow bought tickets for all of us and we went to hear the phenomenon

At 18, with my 15, 12 and 10 year old siblings, I was mortified at the thought that they might stand up and start screaming. I knew my brother would contain himself, but my middle sister had a crush on Paul, and I didn’t trust her to contain herself. All the way there, I stressed the importance of them being collected when the Beatles appeared. I was about to be a college girl, after all, and I had a reputation to establish.

There must have been some warmup acts to get us all restless before the Fab Four came out on the stage. Finally, they emerged. I stood and screamed my head off. My siblings sat still, obeying my orders to behave themselves. I surprised myself because I really thought I had not been caught up in Beatlemania. But, it turned out, seeing John in person let loose some primal excitement that needed to be expressed.

They never let me live it down! “Remember when you screamed at the Beatles?” How could I forget?