Beatles button

I grew up in the 80’s, but I’m a child of the 70’s. The 70’s were my Primary School years. Being a father’s child still I followed his cue and mainly listened to The Beatles. Then came Punk and everything changed, even in our small town. All of a sudden my friends started deserting me, or maybe I just thought they were my friends. They were all into Punk now and I wasn’t. Not because I didn’t want to, but because my most important role models, my father and the head master of my school, both loved The Beatles. I wasn’t ready to kill my idols, not at the age of 10. Still, it isolated me from my class mates. I tried to compensate by (re-)drawing the wizards from the Magical Mystery Tour, which my head master gratefully accepted and put on display.

MMM wizards

It didn’t change my position. They were all into Punk and dressed accordingly, wearing Palestinian scarfs and carrot pants. One of them even wore a leather jacket, and in retrospect looked very much like Joey Ramone or Iggy Pop. I was wearing wide jeans and still had hippie hair. Their buttons were big, flashy and homemade. They practically screamed ‘No Future’, ‘Anarchy in the UK’, and ‘No Fun’. I only had a tiny white Beatles button. I watched my class mates in envy but didn’t know what to do. As a 10-year-old boy you simply miss the skills to admit defeat and work yourself into the group again. Not for the last time I was an outsider.

In class (yes, that was possible in the 70’s) we listened to The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Blondie and Plastic Bertrand. I took it in, but all of the excitement didn’t hit me. I even tried to convince everyone that The Beatles invented Punk with ‘Helter Skelter’ (1968). A fair point, but only a small victory in a war I was bound to lose.

Warren Buffett, the investment banker, once said that one should view financial decision-making as having a punch card with only twenty punches. I think the same is true for life. Every decision, even the most basic ones, closes a possible future, and after a good 20 ‘turning points’ we all end up at a branch of life. One of my earliest decisions was to stay with The Beatles, my first musical love, even though there were more exciting things happening around me. It took me another school, High School, to madly fall in love with Punk.