November 28, 2021:


Baffled, all of us, by the sung gibberish on the outtro.

"It's Indian," some said, lacking insight into the patchwork multiplicity of languages spoken in that nation. In truth it's backward, a technological nod to and invocation of psychedelic experience. We were eight years old then and that nuance was beyond us.

To that degree they were leaving us behind. I first heard "Strawberry Fields" on a juke box in a diner at the Clairemont Square shopping center in San Diego, over fries and a chocolate shake. It baffled and disturbed me, as had "Tomorrow Never Knows" a few months earlier. It was easy to admire the melodies, but the lyrics did not and could not speak to the pre-teens who'd until then been an essential part of their audience.

Which is what created the space for Herman's Hermits and The Monkeys, whose records I loved at the time, and in fact, apart from The Monkeys, still do.

Later — the early 1970s — I did understand. Where my growth at that moment was fueled by a fervent combination of drugs, sex, reading, and rebellion, although the rebellion still took the form more of evasion than confrontation.