History is a playground-abused soccer ball, touched by 88,000 grubby fingertips.
Multi-dimensional, vastly panoramic, and full of lies and optical illusions, history can never be tacked flat to the wall: I suppose this is why you rarely see ninth graders with posters over their frilly pink beds of the evacuation of Dunkirk or the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. However, myth, and the pop that comes before complicated desire, can be leveled, smoothed, and suitable for framing. But try framing a soccer ball!
This particular sphere is larger than Everest (yet simultaneously as tiny as a perfect sugar grain, because it is familiar and sweet on each and every one of our lips). The titanic, light-speed-spinning orb we call the Beatles. Look below it, and you’ll see it balances on the out-stretched index finger of a short Welshman named Allan Williams.
Of all the many fingers of fate, fickle and ridiculous, proud and pitiful, that the Beatles caldera-sized soccer ball balances on, Williams is one of the most important. Allan Williams died this past Friday, December 30, at age 86.
The Beatles’ unprecedented, seismic success and their filigreed, finessed swatches of pioneering rock and pop had an infinite amount of mothers and fathers. Like every life, like every work of art or music, like every scrape, scream and sigh of history, the Beatles are the product of thousands upon thousands of accidents, disappointments, coincidences, traffic lights not made, busses missed, pauses when history was changed because one person was searching for sugar for their tea.
By: Tim Sommer