Inside the Mind of a 15-Year-Old Beatlemaniac

REID ages 14 to 17 1963 to 1967

Reid Dickie

That would be me (1964 school picture above).

To establish my credibility as a Beatlemaniac I offer as evidence this envelop from 1965.

Ringo Dickie0001

In the summer of 1964, to appeal to the newly-defined generation who were becoming eager, horny teenagers, CBC-TV ran a summer music series called Let’s Go. Produced in Vancouver, the show featured a variety of good local musicians. In the fall it was added to the CBC CHADschedule as a daily after-school show called Music Hop. The novelty was the half-hour show came from a different city every day: Monday from Vancouver, Tuesday Winnipeg, Wednesday Toronto, Thursday Montreal and Friday Halifax. A house band and other local musicians performed hits of the day along with some original material. The Guess Who were the Winnipeg house band here, the host was Chad Allen (above).

In the fall of 1964 Let’s Go from Vancouver (the west coast show kept the original series name) ran a Flip Your Wig contest. Beatlemania was still growing daily so the audience was asked to draw a Beatles wig on a famous person, add a caption and send it in. Being a little overachiever, I thought why stop at just one picture, why not make a book!  Thus was born, perhaps rendered would be better, My Sick Beatle Book. In this case, please use the Mad Magazine definition of sick.

I clipped 20 pictures from the newspaper, added crude Beatles wigs with a thick black felt marker, pasted them in a twenty page booklet I made, thought up witty (for a 15-year-old) captions for each picture and submitted it.

I bound the book with a glue that still holds it firmly together 50 years later easily surviving the scanning process. I jotted the captions in pen dispatching with Elvis immediately and giving the centre spread to the Dave Clark Five since they were The Beatles main “rivals” at the time. The rest are assorted politicians, sports figures and so on. This is from the time when the politically-correct nanny state was newly under construction. My captions and picture choice reflect the era.

Since The Beatles and their fans were the brunt of continuous jokes from adults, my book had a bit of a revenge aspect. Beatlizing these old people was very satisfying for me, doubly CBC REDso when, despite the crudeness of the book, the judges saw my intent and were amused.

Imagine my delight when Red Robinson (right) announced I’d won the contest and would receive a complete Beatles library. Happy prairie boy! A few days later I received the package via Air Mail. There were, in fact, five albums, not four as the transfer slip says: Beatlemania: With the Beatles, Twist & Shout, Long Tall Sally, Hard Day’s Night and Something New along with ten Beatles 45s.

In 1964 Capitol Records played catch-up with the British releases which began in early 1963. The North American permutations of Beatles albums haphazardly chopped up the track lists, added a B-side or two resulting in “new” Beatles product. Six albums, including The Beatles Story, were released here in 1964.

With slight embarrassment for my 15-year-old self, I offer, in its entirety, My Sick Beatle Book followed by the letter and the transfer slip from CBC. Some pictures are at odd angles. I’m still not much of a book designer.

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Thank you and good night.

4 Comments

Filed under 1960s, Humour, Music

4 responses to “Inside the Mind of a 15-Year-Old Beatlemaniac

  1. Steve

    It’s art Reid. And if there’s one thing I know it’s art.

  2. Karen Hanuschuk

    That’s awesome!

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