Monday, September 12, 2011

When We Was Fab

Okay, I totally stole the title of this blog post from a song written by George Harrison and Jeff Lynne. However, you can't copyright a song title, so I can use it without fear of reprisal. But why would I? I'm glad you asked.

First of all, George was arguably my favorite Beatle. I say arguably because Ringo was my first fave, but as I learned more about the group, I switched to John, and eventually I settled on George. Paul wasn't in the running because he was "the cute Beatle" and all the girls liked him, so I figured I wouldn't bother.

Second, the phrase "When We Was Fab" could just as easily refer to my friends, my brother, and me back in the day -- let's say 1965-1969.  We was so fab, we appeared in a collection of roughly 20 excruciatingly long stories that also featured ... wait for it ... John, George, Paul, and Ringo!

Egads. Who would come up with such an idiotic idea as writing a bunch of stories starring The Beatles, my friends, my brother, and me? As John Lennon would say, "You Might Well Arsk." (Naturally, I have a copy of "You Might Well Arsk." Here are a couple of my favorite lines: "Why did Harrassed MacMillion go golphing mit Bob Hobe? You might well arsk. Why did Priceless Margarine unt Bony armstrove give Jamaika away?")

Way back in those oh-so-fab days, I was a writing machine. I wrote poetry, stories, novels, songs. . . and "The Scotti Stories." I don't know what possessed me to start writing them, but I remember reading the first paragraph of the first one to my brother, and I remember him laughing. Apparently that was all the encouragement I needed. I sat at my parents' Underwood typewriter day after day and tap-tap-tapped my way into the hearts and minds of . . . um. . . my best friends and maybe my brother.

So, without further ado, here is the now-famous (or not) opening paragraph for the work of art titled "Springfield Marks the Spot" (I was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, in case you're wondering).

by Scotti
circa 1965
"Paul McCartney started to lay out another hand of solitaire that quiet Sunday afternoon and then stopped short. Gathering up the cards, he lay them neatly on the hotel desk. After all, he reasoned, there must be something better to do. He glanced out the window and at once retracted the thought, for before him, the streets of Springfield, Illinois, appeared to have passed away long ago. Sure, there were cars and pedestrians merging about, but otherwise. . . Paul wrinkled his nose in disgust. What a place!"
During the course of the story, Paul and the other Beatles encounter my character (Scotti), my brother's character (Robert), and characters representing several of my closest friends (Carole Lynne, Patience -- you know who you are). Mishaps and mayhem are the order of the day, especially when Scotti's Uncle Gerald (not his real name... Come to think of it, he was totally fictional. . . I think) cranks up a remarkable invention called the Speedier Than Alka-Seltzer Machine (STAM). Finally everyone arrives at the last paragraph, much the worse for wear:
"Paul McCartney shuffled the deck of cards that still lay on the desk and dealt out a hand of solitaire. Perhaps, he thought, he could make believe it all hadn't happened..."
The best thing about "The Scotti Stories" is that I didn't have to explain or defend them or convince an editor to publish them. It was the Sixties. WE WAS FAB. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (Oh, be quiet, John Keats, your stuff is in the public domain.)

If I ever become famous, these stories may very well sell on eBay for a small fortune. I could give you a really good deal on them now, before that happens. Just let me know if you're interested.

Oh, and by the way, I was so fab in 1968 that I went to England with my family, where I literally ran into Paul McCartney. Click HERE to see the proof.


  1. I laughed when I read this, how we all adored the Beatles and worshiped them in our own way. My way was to cover my bedroom walls in pictures of them. My favourites were John and yes you guessed it Paul.

  2. Oh Helen, you should have seen my bedroom walls back then. I not only had many pictures of The Beatles but also posters of the Taj Mahal, Marlon Brando on a motorcycle, Peter Fonda on a motorcycle, and various psychedelic designs that caught my fancy. Those were the days, eh?

    Thanks for commenting!


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