In the rough draft I actually did have the boys mentioned in the same breath as astronauts, but took it out in the re-write, not realizing anyone else had that particular world-view.
To prove the level of my Beatle addiction, here's two photos (back and front) of an autographed postcard, one of the first batch printed up from the band's Cavern Days.
When I finally got a real job (the kind that allows you to have an American Express card), they called to tell me I got the job, and set up my flights for the 2 week training session. They explained they would pick up the round-trip flight, plus all hotel and expenses for two weeks. PLUS they would fly me home for the weekend.
This was not good enough for me. I asked them to fly me to Chicago for the weekend, instead of home. Of course I had to explain that I already had tickets for the BeatleFest Convention that weekend.
Then there was a long pause, while my new boss re-checked my application with my birthdate, just to make sure he was hiring an adult.
While he was silent, I mentioned that flying me back to Chicago would actually be a couple hundred dollars cheaper than flying me all the way back home. At this point, it became no problem, no matter what reason I gave.
This is how I ended up at the 1982 Chicago BeatleFest, making my first *really expensive* purchase on my first credit card.
This particular postcard was signed by all four boys: Ringo in blue fountain pen, across the front,and the other four on the back side. They were all still enamoured of being well-known locals and being asked for their autographs, and the signatures are clear and sharp. These were the early days in 1962 when Brian Epstein had boxes of these postcards printed up for the boys to sign, then gave the cards to family and friends to help publicise the band when it played the Cavern.
Twenty years later, Ringo's step-dad found a small batch of these in the attic, and gave them to a friend who was running a Beatles store in Liverpool who brought them to the States, to sell at the Beatles conventions, to fans like me.
Not only did I acquire an authentic autographed postcard (and the authenticity papers), but I got to buy it from someone who had been on the inside so to speak.
So, yeah. Definitely heroes. No argument from me.
And while we're at it:
March 26 in Beatle history:
1964 - Pete Best (Beatles) appeared live on the TV show "I've Got a Secret."
1966 - The Beatles posed for the cover of "Yesterday...and Today."
1966 - The Beatles single "Nowhere Man" hit #3 in the U.S.
1966 - Peter & Gordon's single "Woman" hit #22 in the U.K. The song was written by Paul McCartney under the pseudonym Bernard Webb.
But I'm still not drinking Tang.