Wednesday, July 23, 2014

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

This has already been a noteworthy year for Beatles fans.

February marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in America and their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Earlier this month was the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the Beatles' first movie, "A Hard Day's Night," and the LP that contained the songs from the movie.

At the end of the year will come the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' fourth album, "Beatles For Sale," which was sandwiched between the albums that were tied to the Beatles' first two movies — and, as a consequence, is often overlooked, even though it had a lot of significance in the evolution of the Beatles as a band.

But I'll talk about that in a few months.

Today's Beatles news comes to us from the American West Coast, from Los Angeles' Griffith Park — frequently called Los Angeles' Central Park, although Griffith Park actually is bigger and rougher — where a pine tree was planted in memory of Beatle George Harrison in 2004. Harrison died in 2001.

Well, it turns out that a new tree will have to be planted in its place. Why? Because the old one has been killed ... by beetles!

I'm sorry about the tree, but I can't tell you how appropriate it is for this to be a news story at this time. I and my colleagues at the community college where I am an adjunct journalism professor have been conducting a workshop this week for area high school students who are interested in journalism. It's been a crash course in all the basics of news coverage, including the things that make a story newsworthy — and a reminder of the things that drew me to this business in the first place.

This is one of those stories that proves that truth really is stranger than fiction.