How the Beatles Influenced Me as a Photographer & Businesswoman

With all the hype happening this week around the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles coming to America, I couldn’t help but reflect how much this band influenced my own career as a photographer and filmmaker.

  1. I was inspired me to “capture” history (and use my camera as a means to that end). Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show - February 9, 1964To start with, the first pictures that I remember taking as a child were photos I snapped of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  I vividly remember as I anxiously awaited the show to begin, that I needed to document it somehow.  It was just too important not too.  In fact it was so important that I have kept that snapshot in a small box of memorabilia for 50 years! I’ve spent a career documenting some of the most incredible places, people and events of my time.
  2. They inspired me to be a storyteller.  I used to orally tell stories to just about anyone who would listen to me when I was a very young child.  But when the Beatles hit the scene, about the same time I started noticing the opposite sex, I turned my fantasies into my own written stories.  I’m still writing stories and now translating them into ePubs, books and movies.
  3. They expanded my universe.  I began to “see” things differently because of the Beatles.  I became aware of different cultures, countries, music and wit. It was like an awakening for me and I knew then that I wanted to explore as many cultures and experiences as I could. I’ve spent a lifetime exploring the unknown.
  4. They taught me to always learn, grow and challenge myself. I grew up as a child and later a teenager, during one of the most pivotal and changing decades in America. As the Beatles moved beyond the “feel good” and innocent lyrics of songs like “She loves you…..yeah, yeah, yeah”, to the lyrical depths found on the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, I too was changing.  It was like we were growing together. I remind myself daily to always be learning, exploring, growing and challenging myself and that has helped me stay fresh in my career.
  5. I learned that “The Beatles” were more than the sum of 4 individuals. John, Paul, George and Ringo all brought their own unique talents and personalities to make up the most phenomenal band of all time.  But they were also savvy enough to know they needed expert guidance and collaborated with great people like Brian Epstein and George Martin.  It taught me the importance of collaboration and to surround myself with people who have talents that I don’t possess.
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Your Inspirational Heroes Are Just Like You

Today, October 9th is the birthday of two people who have been very inspirational to me over the years – Jackson Browne and John Lennon. Lennon would have turned 73 years old today if he had not been gunned down in NYC when he was only 40 years old.  I admire both of these men, not only for their incredible skills in writing but also for their activism and courage to stand behind their beliefs.

I had the honor of meeting Jackson after one of his concerts last October.  It was a memorable moment. Jackson had allowed me to use his song, “Alive in the World” in my film, Opening Our Eyes and it had been arranged for me to personally thank him after the show. He was warm and generous with his time and we talked a bit about the blues – a topic that continues to surface in my life.

The blues (music) seems to be the foundation of many of the musicians that inspire me. The blues is authentic and that authenticity comes through in the lyrics of both Jackson and John.  Throughout their songs, we get a very clear idea of how they feel and think. They share their frailties and inner thoughts as we see them as real people just like us.

I suppose a lot of us think it’s too risky to be so open with our thoughts and our hearts and choose instead to bury our  dreams, desires and fears inside the deepest recesses of our minds. A lot of angst can come sometimes from remembering things that have happened in our past – things we did or wished we had done – things we said and wished we hadn’t said – you know all those fleeting thoughts that seem to haunt us at times.  None of us can change the past – it has already happened. But we all can choose how we let our past affect our present and our future.

Some of us try to “block out” the painful things that have happened in our lives. I have found that I can’t really succeed in doing that because there will always be something that will trigger a memory. In fact when I try to “close myself” off like that, it actually just continues the pain, because I’m expending negative energy, trying to “block” it out . Instead, I try to channel those thoughts when they come, into more positive energy by reminding myself who I am, not how someone or something made me feel.

Everyone has ups and downs in their lives – it comes with being human.  That’s why the music and lyrics of Lennon and Browne resonate with their fans – they can relate- as humans. I think as creative people we can learn from these two musicians – how to take chances and how to be true to ourselves and follow our own path – regardless of how unconventional it may seem to others .  When we are true to ourselves, we will find that our future direction will unfold as it should – we just need to get out of our own way.

“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!” John Lennon

30 Years Ago Today – John Lennon Murdered

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since John Lennon was shot and killed outside outside The Dakota, his apartment building in New York City.

From the first time I saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show as a young girl in February, 1964, I decided that John was “my favorite Beatle”. There was something about him that appealed to me. Sure Paul was the cute one – but John was the …. well he just sort of struck me as more rebellious which was very exciting, even back then.

John followed his own path and used his voice to speak for Peace. After the Beatles broke up, he went on to have a great solo career and then when his son Sean was born, he pretty much left the limelight. He had recently resurfaced and had recorded a new album – and then he was killed.

I’ll always remember that night. I was watching the local NYC 11 o’clock news that had been delayed because a football game had gone into overtime. Half way through the anchor’s report came a breaking news bulletin saying that an unnamed man had been shot outside the Dakota, on West 72nd St. I instantly got a jolt and somehow knew that it was John Lennon and within a half hour it was confirmed that Lennon was dead.

The following week was a sad one in NYC. People gathered in Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park that John and Yoko used to frequent. Night after night there were candlelight vigils and people took comfort in the collective.

The entire world mourned the loss of John and along with that went any and all hopes that the Beatles would get together again.

Rest in peace John. You made a difference in many people’s lives.

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29 Years Ago Today – John Lennon Murdered

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since John Lennon was shot and killed outside outside The Dakota, his apartment building in New York City.

From the first time I saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show as a young girl in February, 1964, I decided that John was “my favorite Beatle”. There was something about him that appealed to me. Sure Paul was the cute one – but John was the …. well he just sort of struck me as more rebellious which was very exciting, even back then.

John followed his own path and used his voice to speak for Peace. After the Beatles broke up, he went on to have a great solo career and then when his son Sean was born, he pretty much left the limelight. He had recently resurfaced and had recorded a new album – and then he was killed.

I’ll always remember that night. I was watching the local NYC 11 o’clock news that had been delayed because a football game had gone into overtime. Half way through the anchor’s report came a breaking news bulletin saying that an unnamed man had been shot outside the Dakota, on West 72nd St. I instantly got a jolt and somehow knew that it was John Lennon and within a half hour it was confirmed that Lennon was dead.

The following week was a sad one in NYC. People gathered in Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park that John and Yoko used to frequent. Night after night there were candlelight vigils and people took solace in each other’s company.

The entire world mourned the loss of John and along with that went any and all hopes that the Beatles would get together again.

Rest in peace John. You made a difference in many people’s lives.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

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