Champions Tour stars offer memories of The Beatles

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July 04, 2012
Mark Williams, Champions Tour staff

The Beatles were formed in Liverpool, England, in 1960 and are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over one billion units. They first appeared on TV in America on Nov. 18, 1963, and first came to America on Feb 7, 1964. As of 2012, they hold the record for most No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They were collectively included in Time Magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.

On Friday evening during the week of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, a Champions Dinner will take place at the nearby Spanish Bay Resort. Champions Tour professionals and amateurs participating in the tournament will attend the dinner and be treated to music from a Beatles tribute band. We asked several Champions Tour professionals for some of their favorite memories about The Beatles and how the band may have influenced their lives.

PETER JACOBSEN

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My first recollection of the Beatles was in the early 60's when their first album Meet the Beatles was released and I was really taken with their unique and different sound. My favorite Beatle song is "Strawberry Fields," probably because it has such a different sound and cadence. It's a great use of different types of instruments and vocals. My favorite Beatle was John Lennon. John was a brilliant songwriter and a very expressive performer. He was always close to the edge but never over it. As good as their music is, I probably hear a Beatles song every week, if not every day. I just heard their song "Yellow Submarine" on the radio!

RUSS COCHRAN

I can't remember when The Beatles first came to America, but what resonates with me is every time one of their songs come on the radio it takes me right back in time and represents all the fun I had as a kid. It's not so much then, but every time I hear them now it takes me right back to a pleasant place. I hear them all the time on the radio. I think the last Beatles song I heard was "Let It Be." I like Paul McCartney best. He's still going strong and I've been a fan throughout. My wife Jackie and I were dating when they were big on the scene so we have great memories of The Beatles. We were young and I was in shape back then!

MARK CALCAVECCHIA

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My first recollection of the Beatles I think was back when I was a little kid in Nebraska. I remember them on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was more of a Monkees fan at that time. It was around the same time. I remember it in black and white and thinking that "this is pretty good stuff." I got interested in their music probably when I was 6 or 7. "Hey Jude" was probably my favorite song or "Penny Lane." I think those were the two they played most on the radio. They have so many good songs. I'm not a huge Beatles fan, I'm more of a Paul McCartney fan, but I think those songs in my little town of Nebraska were played the most. Now, I usually listen to something a little more drastic than them. Lithium and Boneyard are two.

I still hear The Beatles quite a bit. They're timeless. They're 40-50 years old and they're still great songs. That's the great thing about music. Sometimes when I need a pick-me-up I put some of that old-school stuff on. Matter of fact it was just a few days ago that I heard one of their songs on my bus. I almost went to see Paul McCartney a few years ago when I was in Phoenix. I didn't make it out but I heard it was a great show. I was a huge Paul McCartney and Wings fan actually. I listened to that record and wore it out.

JIM RUTLEDGE

Ringo is my favorite Beatle. I love the way he used all that energy to play those drums. I was 5 years old when I first saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was something different. All their songs stand out. I don't have one favorite in particular. Everyone sings along with their songs I think. Everybody knows the words to them all when they hear them on the radio. I can't remember the first Beatles song I ever heard. My wife (and caddie) Jill says her favorite is "I Want To Hold Your Hand." In fact, that's what she wants to do now. I've got to go!

MICHAEL ALLEN

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What's my first recollection of The Beatles? What I remember was "Yellow Submarine." That movie was phenomenal. When I was a kid the guys had their long hair and were dancing around. My parents didn't want me to listen to them! I don't recall when I first saw them but I remember listening to their music. I liked their music back then. It was really the first kind of rock 'n roll that I had heard. I remember my parents didn't want me to watch them. I'll always remember when "Yellow Submarine" came along. I don't have a favorite Beatles song. I've never been a great big Beatles fan, I was more of a Grateful Dead fan. I remember when I was young I loved Ringo Starr. Ringo was the best. The drummer, you know, he was beating on that thing and seemed like a cool guy. Now later in life, I love Paul McCartney. I love a lot of his music. I don't really know many of their songs although I definitely recognize a Beatles song if I hear it on the radio.

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