I was in my car with a friend last Friday listening to NPR. There was a segment about George Harrison, his involvement and influence on the Beatles, and how this band affected the world of music and pop culture around the globe. Some of the songs took us both for a ride, to our childhood.
I remembered the “band” I had when I was an eight-year-old second grader at Farkhonde elementary school on Kooche Kazemi in Tehran, off of Pahlavi Ave., near Sar e Pol e Tajrish. At the time, my sister Shahla was a student in England. She used to visit every summer and bring back albums by bands that were popular in Europe. She and my older brother Majid would play some of these songs and practice the latest dance moves.
We used an interesting gorilla marketing technique in promoting our band. Back in those days, as some of you may remember, a popular method of advertising was to employ small airplanes that would simply circle the sky and dump flyers. I remember we used to get really excited by the sight of these planes and would follow them hoping to catch whatever they were throwing out.
It was such a pleasure watching these colorful leaflets as they sensually danced their way down to our anticipating hands. The trick was to catch as many as possible before they hit the ground. Later we would count and see how many flyers each of us collected.
Then, during zang e tafreeh (break time) , Bahman and I would ake a bunch of these papers in each fist, open our arms like wings of an airplane, and run through the school yard. At some point, just like the real planes, we would open our fists and let go of our flyers.
Our concert hall was the classroom. Between the time they rang the school bell, and the time the teacher showed up, Bahman and I would stand in front of the class, and play air guitars with our hands, and sing: “She loves you, yeah yeah yeah, She loves you yeah yeah yeah…!” No, no. No real guitars. No tickets, no royalties. Just the pleasure of standing in front of an audience, and singing beautiful songs.
God bless you George for bringing some joy to this world.