As a preteen, I took a crosstown bus to weekly drama classes at a university (shades of the movie "Billy Elliot," where a boy sneaks away to ballet class). I carefully managed not to mention this activity to my neighborhood buddies.
In 1963, the handful of boys in the class had to endure endless chatter by the girls on a single subject: the Beatles. Paul, they decided, was the Cutest: John, the Deepest; George, the Most Mysterious; Ringo, I guess, the Silliest.
Nearly four decades later - and 30 years after they had the good sense to break up at the height of their fame - the world's most famous rock band refuses to stay quietly in the history books. Instead, the lads have a new top-selling CD and book, and our curiosity about each of them seems unabated (see story).
In 1959, teenagers Paul, John, and George, as the Quarry Men, were playing "skittle" music and knocking off Buddy Holly tunes. In rapid succession they became Johnny and the Moondogs, the Silver Beats, and then the Silver Beetles. Finally in August 1960 (and still without Ringo, who joined in 1962) they took the name that would shape pop music for a generation - the Beatles.
TO OUR READERS
Loyal crossword-puzzle fans, please note! Your puzzle will be missing next Friday, Dec. 22 (though you can still solve it online at csmonitor. com). In fact, the whole Arts & Leisure section will vanish for one week in order to bring you our Sixth Annual Mega Movie Guide. It will include capsule movie reviews, the results of our Reader Poll, and critic David Sterritt's Top 10 picks of the year. It's a pullout reference movie mavens won't want to miss.
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