thank you for being a friend


“What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That beatles goodshe was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?” – first lines from Oliver in ‘Love Story’




This week America celebrates the 50th anniversary of when the Beatles first visited <February 9th is the date I believe>.


It still amazes me how timeless most of their music remains, how relevant their music and stories are today and how we seem to never tire of talking about the Beatles.


I will admit that their music has been a good friend of mine over the years. I never tire of sitting one of their songs by my side and having a nice chat.


That said <thank you for being a friend>.


It leads me to a different way of celebrating the Beatles.


I am going to do so by highlighting Andrew Gold.


Andrew Gold, who passed away in 2011, was best known for his 1977 hit ‘Lonely Boy’ and 1978’s ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’ <which has a beautifully written/crafted slow bridge leading into the final chorus>:


Andrew Gold+darkmoodThank You For Being a Friend:

<I admit … when I hear the ‘walking with a cane’ … and ‘even though its hard to hear’ part I envision leaning over to a crabby John Lennon and saying ‘thank you for being a friend’>.



He was also a huge Beatles fan.

And it is his story which concludes a fabulous Beatles documentary called Beatles Stories.


In addition to Andrew Gold … Graham Nash. Art Garfunkel. Smokey Robinson. Sir George Martin and a number of other people share kind of behind the scenes ‘glancing off the Beatles’ memories.


It is a lovely, sometimes touching, sometimes funny but always delightful documentary.


Beatles Stories – a fab four fan’s ultimate road trip:



Back to Andrew Gold <and the tenuous link to thanking Beatles music for being a friend>.


Andrew Gold passed away in 2011 at the age of 59 from a heart attack.

I admit.

I always liked his music. I always thought he had a kind of refined harmonic melodic style. Maybe his music had a slightly more refined pop sound because he was the son of a great composer and a great singer <his mother was a Hollywood ghost singer … singing for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Natalie Wood in West Side Story>.


A good friend and ex-band member <when they were in a band with Linda Ronstadt> said this about him:


Andrew was one of the most gifted musicians of our times-he was, andrew gold guitarwithout a doubt, a genius. He had a photographic ‘ear’, if I can say that. He would hear something, down to the subtlest inversion or nuance–and capture it perfectly. As a kid he was a tremendous Beatles fan, and he studied, and absorbed, perfectly, their entire catalog. He was the only person I ever knew who could truly and perfectly reproduce the exact voicings, licks, settings, precise instrument used, everything–in a Beatles tune, a Byrds tune, in a Beach Boys tune, a Led Zeppelin tune or anything else that really rocked his world–long before the internet, cds, or any way to take pop music apart except by ear. He listened to everything under the sun, and absorbed with a terrifying accuracy–it was something I always admired and found fascinating about him. – wendy waldman



But in that lovely documentary where people affected by the Beatles or shared a special memory is where we get a glimpse of how much Andrew Gold loved the Beatles and we remember that even extremely talented people can be awed by other extremely talented people.


In other words … they are people too.


–          Andrew Meets the Beatles <in his words>


The Beatles story. 1964. My Dad is a Film Composer and My Mother is a singer for the movies. So, my Dad knows I’m a Beatle fan, to say the least, and hears thru the showbiz grapevine that The Beatles will appear at the head of Capitol Records house one Sunday to shake hands and greet people, at $75 a pop for charity. I immediately tell him and my Mom it’s curtains for them if we don’t get to go! (Me and my sister, Martha…Melani was only 2) So… It’s a house in Bel Air….we go there and park and walk in the ivy gates of a huge house….security is UNBELIEVABLE..hundreds of screaming fans all around the house….Anyway, lots of Celeb Kids and reporters and whatnot..Dave Hull from KRLA….(The Ol’ Hullabalooer, remember all you El Aliens?)….and everyone figures they’re coming in the front entrance in about 10 minutes…I am hangin back..I overhear 2 police talking: “Everything ready at the back gate?”…”Yeah”…


Ok I’m no dummy. I go and sit right near the relatively person-less back gate. SUDDENLY the gate explodes open and in striding so cool…The %#!* Beatles! I’m like going….Oh..hi…John..Hi..Paul…They’re kind of thumbs up, nodding walking to their posts on 4 stools for and hour and a half of people walkin past them, each getting a photo (bless the cameraman!) and shaking their hands…and/or..just plain shaking. The Beatles are acting particularly Beatle-like today…with Paul jumping up suddenly and starting to shake the others hands…that sort of thing…very funny…Brian Epstein, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinal…they’re all there..with the same sunglasses…The Beatles look so very cool. I remember noticing how dark Pauls hair was, especially on his face, well shaven, of course..but the 5 0′clock shadow is there..but God he is so cute even I, a red blooded hetero male want to faint…And the other thing I remember was how RED Johns hair was in real life. VERY Auburn. Very few photos capture this, but I’ve seen a few. He had sunglasses.

andrew with paul 

Anyway, it’s my turn and I’m like jelly. Paul’s first. I walk up to him..and shake his hand and mutter (because of nervousness, I mutter too low for the human ear): “Hi, I’m Andy Gold.”..Paul goes “Huh?” I try again “Hi, I’m Andy Gold.”..He still can’t hear and leans way in (John is now kinda cracking up at this)..I “Sorry, What?” I muster all my courage. “I’m ANDY GOLD.” Paul kind of looks like…BFD! and goes “Hm! really” (I’m guessing he still didn’t hear me)…smiles and I move on..feeling like a total idiot.. But it was a wonderful day. The picture is during mid-McCartney moment…you can see me totally petrified..slack jawed….what a day.


Here is the clip of Andrew Gold & Beatles Stories:



In the end … I imagine I would like to think of the Beatles as people too.

Friends in fact.


That said … happy 50th anniversary, and thank you for being a friend, to the Beatles.andrew never let her slip away



As a bonus.


The one song from Andrew Gold which I believe is always overlooked … its beauty is in its simplicity.


“Never Let Her Slip Away”:

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Written by Bruce