Here’s My Story on Discovering the Beatles – Ken Wiles of Silver Laughter

The Avengers

The Avengers – Ken’s first band

(Note: Ken contacted me today to ask if he could post a story about himself and tell you how he became interested in music. So here is his memory of the first Beatles sighting. We hope there will be more to come from Ken! The Avengers are from left to right: Ken Wiles, Tim Barton, Craig Waldron, Larry Smith (who eventually goes to The Contents Are:) and Jeff Marland in front. Jeff and Ken are the guys who sold us the horns for Jon and my Assassination of Sound sound system! – Mick Orton)

I always wondered what was wrong with me (as many people have through out my life) when I just didn’t like any of the songs the radio was playing. I had seen news footage of The Beatles coming off the plane in New York arriving for the Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9th. Before then I remember seeing a clip of them on The Jack Paar Show  doing a song on stage in England before they even came over. Needless to say, I was curious as to what they were about even before seeing them play.

Ken's dad, Gage

Ken’s dad, Gage

When the Beatles came on Ed Sullivan I was sitting on the floor in front of the TV with my dad behind me in his chair making a little bit of fun of them saying he couldn’t understand a word they were singing (and the long hair, of course), but I seemed to understand all the words and even when they spoke I instantly understood them.

Anyway, a little later on it was a Friday night and I was at home sick. My dad’s friend had been painting the walls during the day and the whole house smelled of paint, which didn’t help my sickness. My sister came home with a “Meet the Beatles” album and said if I’d pay half she’d let me listen to it. Well, I played it over and over again all weekend. (She never got the album back, by the way). I finally figured out why I didn’t like music on the radio. Apparently, I had been waiting for The Beatles to arrive, but didn’t know it. Every night I’d listen to a radio station in Boston that would play both sides of a brand new Beatle single every half hour, so I’d be up all night waiting to hear them.

Shortly after, I thought I’d buy one magazine with The Beatles in it, as I had never any need to buy any magazines in my life other than superhero comic books. But, I found once I had purchased one I had to buy another then another. I ended up with stacks of Beatle magazines. Everything was The Beatles for me.

Of course, after that I had to be a musician. At first, I wanted to be a drummer, but my then best friend ‘s parents bought him a drum set , so I switched to guitar, as I had to be a Beatle. It was by far the best thing I ever did.

So, that’s how I became a musician. Thanks to the Beatles for coming along in my life at just the right time. I was 14, by the way.

Ken Wiles

Categories: History

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