Father’s Dream Fades as Vegas Beatles Show Closes and Truth Revealed to His Daughter


There was a time, when our daughter was merely a toddler of three, I gifted her something ethereal and extraordinary. It was a childhood wish of mine, an elusive dream I longed to fulfill at her tender age but knew it belonged to the realm of impossibility. It was the indelible memory of witnessing the performance of the most celebrated band in history, live.

The memory harks back to a vivid image of the author cradling his young daughter, her tiny hand raised in salute against the backdrop of the illustrious “The Beatles Hotel” during one of her early exposure to this temple of music.

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Today, on July 7, the announced closure of “The Beatles LOVE” brought back the essence of a whimsical illusion I had once weaved for her. An illusion where The Beatles were still vibrant, young, and together, each one brimming with life. A blatant lie, one might say, effortlessly spun in a home at Las Vegas, where the striking facade of The Mirage proudly displays the twenty-something faces of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, dwarfing even the name of the opulent resort.

Let’s rewind to the time the DVD featuring all The Beatles’ videos was freshly released. On a lazy afternoon while enjoying the videos with her, a playful thought nudged my mind. Why not stretch the realm of reality, if only a touch?

I realized that in a blink, my influence over her would wane, giving way to her peers, their affinity for yet another flash-in-the-pan pop sensation who’d make Justin Bieber seem like a virtuoso. Wouldn’t it be simply wonderful to vicariously experience, through her untainted lens, the intoxicating love for the greatest music ever composed? All of this, free from the shadow of acrimony, mortality, and the inevitable ageing that accompanies the followers of the original group who waved their final goodbye in 1969?

Although far too young to savour the Cirque show, my daughter paraded in front of the iconic Beatles sculpture located near the theater entrance, posed for photos that would one day decorate memory lanes and gawked at the souvenirs showcased in the neighboring Beatles store. The moment I chanced upon a tribute show called; “B: A Tribute to the Beatles” available on Groupon, I knew instinctively the path I had to tread.

Rest assured, I am under no illusion of the impending doom that awaits me, the probable years of therapy she might require, or the lifelong mistrust she might harbour towards another man’s word.

But hold your horses! Is this act of mine not executed in a different guise by nearly every American parent? The lie about Santa Claus, weaved and spun year after year for children to witness the sparkle in their eyes, the magic. Am I wrong to switch this ephemeral joy with the timeless joy of The Beatles still performing? If it’s about keeping the childlike trust in her alive, then damn straight, I want no other man to be the torchbearer of that trust!

It unfolded like a fairytale. Her eyes glistened, twinkling with delight as she swayed to the melodies of her favourite tunes: “Twist and Shout,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Eight Days a Week.” Even through countless repeats of Beatles’ live show at Shea Stadium where the exultant cheers of 55000 fans almost overshadowed the music, she never questioned why the go-to concert venue was on a weekday afternoon in a rather modest theater at Planet Hollywood, or why it was far from a sold-out show.

Finally, as I envisaged, she was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she wasn’t prepared for, an audience with The Beatles, right there in the lobby, waving her towards them. It was a moment to freeze in time, etch into memory.

Just like all illusions, my fantasy met its fate on one of our auspicious visits to “The Beatles Hotel.” My burgeoning reader of a daughter spotted the bass guitar on display, signed by Paul McCartney himself. As her eyes widened and her voice trembled with excitement, she pointed to the 2015 image of the now ageing Paul McCartney, the round of questioning commenced “Why is he so old?” “Why is Paul McCartney so old?” A question that hinted at understanding the passage of time than a query, it left me stuttering for a response.

Watching her gradually face the realities of the world, the one where The Beatles no longer exists, where John and George were dead, where Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were growing old, and magic was no longer real, I realized my job as a guardian of illusions had come to an end.