Bea­tles fan’s col­lec­tion has been grow­ing for 50 years

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Kim Dun­lap Pharos-Tri­bune

WAL­TON — “Ladies and gen­tle­men, The Bea­tles.”

With those five words from leg­endary talk show host Ed Sul­li­van, Amer­ica was in­tro­duced to four young men from Liver­pool, Eng­land, and pop cul­ture hasn’t been the same since.

Wal­ton res­i­dent Steve Ho­heimer was just a 12-year-old liv­ing in Fair­mount at the time, but he said he knew there was just some­thing spe­cial about John, Paul, Ge­orge and Ringo.

“I have two older sis­ters that grew up watch­ing Amer­i­can Band­stand, so from an early age, I was into mu­sic,” he said. “When we saw them (The Bea­tles) on Ed Sul­li­van, it was re­ally crazy be­cause ev­ery­body was scream­ing on TV.”

Shortly af­ter the per­for­mance, Ho­heimer went out and bought his first piece of Bea­tles mem­o­ra­bilia, a 45 rpm sin­gle of “Love Me Do.” His mother even bought him a Bea­tles record player to go along with it.

And it’s been Beatle­ma­nia ever since, Ho­heimer said laugh­ing.

The al­bum and record player are now part of an even big­ger col­lec­tion of Bea­tles mem­o­ra­bilia that Ho­heimer has on dis­play in­side a bed­room of his house. With ev­ery­thing from dolls and fig­urines to piggy banks and LEGO yel­low sub­marines, Ho­heimer said the 50-plus year col­lec­tion brings a smile to his face and a lot of happy mem­o­ries.

“When I was grow­ing up, we didn’t have a lot of money or any­thing,” Ho­heimer said, “so it was nice to sit and just lis­ten to mu­sic. That’s how I’d spend a lot of my time. And through moves and col­lege and ev­ery­thing, none of this ever got thrown away.”

And al­though Ho­heimer never got to see The Bea­tles in per­son — his mother thought he was too young when the group per­formed at the State Coli­seum in In­di­anapo­lis in 1964 — he did have a chance to see Ringo Starr in con­cert in 1992 and Paul Mc­Cart­ney when he came through the area a cou­ple years ago.

But John Len­non, that was Ho­heimer’s fa­vorite.

“He was so sar­cas­tic and had such a dry sense of hu­mor about him,” Ho­heimer said. “You could just re­late to him, and you went through all the dif­fer­ent stages with him, from the good old 1964 where he was re­ally clean cut to the drugs and war and Yoko Ono’s in­flu­ence.”

And that sense of con­nec­tion is what made Dec. 8, 1980, so tragic, Ho­heimer said.

“I was crushed that day,” he said, re­fer­ring to the day Len­non was shot and killed out­side his res­i­dence in New York City. “I had a lot of peo­ple call­ing and ask­ing how I was that day, and it was re­ally de­press­ing. And it’s strange be­cause I had no per­sonal con­nec­tion to him what­so­ever, but it still felt like a big loss.”

And in the age of boy bands and one hit won­ders who seem to come and go, The Bea­tles have stood the test of time, Ho­heimer said.

“The Bea­tles were re­ally cov­ered a lot, but I think in some way, they built their fan base and al­ways kept chang­ing,” he said. “Each al­bum was dif­fer­ent, and it was such a short time from just 1964-1970. But they were able to stay ahead of the curve. These days, a lot of bands are mostly just fol­low­ers.”

Ho­heimer con­tin­ued, ref­er­enc­ing the cul­ture of the era that The Bea­tles came into.

“Think about (Pres­i­dent) Kennedy and his death, and Amer­ica was pretty de­pressed,” he said. “So The Bea­tles hit the TV at the right time. They were fun and re­bel­lious but not in a neg­a­tive way. Even with the long hair, they were just still pretty squeaky clean.”

AP/FILE

This file photo shows The Bea­tles, from left, Paul Mc­Cart­ney, John Len­non, Ringo Starr and Ge­orge Har­ri­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.