Annie and I had a special Daddy/Daughter date on Saturday night — I took her to see Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band in concert!
As you probably know, I’m a huge Beatles fan, so I’ve been looking forward to introducing my kids to The Beatles ever since I became a dad. The thing is, introducing your kids to something you care about is a little stressful. There’s the worry that they might not like it, or that you might turn them off it by coming on too strong. And then there’s the issue of timing. Introduce something too soon, for example, and they might not fully appreciate it. Heather and I are both huge Back to the Future fans, and we spend far too much time discussing the perfect time to introduce Annie to Marty and Doc.
So, with all of that said, I’ve tried my best not to push The Beatles on Annie. I’ve enjoyed watching her fall in love with music, first with Yo Gabba Gabba and later with Taylor Swift, but I haven’t forced her to study The Beatles or droned on about how important they are. She’s long known daddy loves The Beatles, though, and about a year ago she started asking questions like, “Are they grandpas now?” “Who sings this song?” Her ears also perked up when I played certain songs — especially “Yellow Submarine” — and she asked me to play them over and over. This I did gladly.
Annie’s transition into a little Beatles’ fan was also helped along by our bedtime routine. Ever since she was a baby I’ve sung her to sleep with the John Lennon penned lullaby “Good Night” that closes the White Album. Annie loves the song and has even started singing along with me each night. When she asked where the song was from, and I told her it was a Beatles’ song sung by Ringo, she was impressed and asked to hear more Beatles songs — especially ones by Ringo.
Six months ago tickets went on sale to see Ringo, and I bought a couple in hopes of taking Annie even though I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to make it through the concert or be overwhelmed. Because I wasn’t sure if she’d be up for going, I kept the concert a secret from Annie until the day before. I sprung the news on her right before I left for work, and her reaction was everything I hoped for — her mouth fell agape and she screamed, jumping up and down. An hour or so later Heather texted me to say that Annie was STILL talking nonstop about going to see Ringo with her dad.
On the big night Annie picked out her best rock concert outfit — her “cool” overalls and her favorite hat — and we took a photo together before we hit the road:
Since the concert was at The Greek near Los Feliz, I took her to a restaurant Uncle Kyle recommended called Home. She was very excited and didn’t stop talking the whole time we were there — especially since I’d pointed out the building in Los Feliz that was Walt Disney’s original studio on the way in. Annie was a hit at the restaurant — the waitress told me that I had the cutest date of anyone there, and I definitely agreed.
When we got to The Greek and I handed our tickets to the usher I was presently surprised to discover our tickets were down front! I’d bought the tickets so long ago I’d forgotten I’d nabbed great seats instead of just so-so ones.
We settled into our seats — about five minutes from show time — when Annabel announced she was starving (you know, despite having just polished off a full meal and dessert). I hustled her over to the concession, worrying the whole time we would miss the start of the concert, but thankfully we got back before the concert started.
Once Ringo came out Annie screamed and cheered louder than anyone. She was very excited and danced to every song (Heather later told me Annie had said she wanted to “do a lot of dancing”).
The night couldn’t have gone better — Annie’s energy never flagged, and she never asked when it would-be over or said she wanted to go (as I worried she might). She got to hear her favorite song, “Yellow Submarine,” and at the end of the concert she even gave me a big hug and thanked me for taking her.
It was a special experience for me to be able to share this with Annie, and I hope it was for her too. Ringo and Paul are getting up there in age, and won’t be performing too much longer. I hope one day she looks back and thinks it’s pretty cool that she got to see a Beatle live and in person — and with her old man by her side, no less.