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News from 2016-2017

Posted: April 4, 2017

AHA Students Talk to Beatles Historian

Students in Music as Literature class got to chat with the only American journalist on tour with the legendary band when they first came to America in 1964.

Like most of her classmates at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, junior Giselle Vasquez had never heard of the Beatles. Sophomore Jacob Chapman had, but only because his grandmother had some of their records and thought they were “handsome.”

The students learned about the legendary band in their Music as Literature class, and this week, they got to talk with the only American journalist on tour with them when they first came to America in 1964.

Jacob was the first student to ask a question of Larry Kane, Beatles historian and author of the book, “Ticket to Ride." The kid from New Mexico asked the journalist from Pennsylvania via video chat what John, Paul, George and Ringo were like.

Kane, who was just a few years older than the students he talked to Tuesday when he covered the tour, admitted that John Lennon didn’t like him at first.

“He looked at me when he first met me. He looked at my shoes. He looked up to my head. He looked at my suit that I was wearing and he said, ‘Who are you? You look like a nerd from the 1950s. Look up the word nerd. You’ll find out what it means,’” Kane told the students.

The conversation with Kane was arranged by Atrisco teacher Sal Treppidi, who saw it as a great opportunity for his students to get a first-hand glimpse into the band that changed music.

Students in his class agreed. “They were amazing. No wonder they were so big,” said Giselle, who admitted to now having Beatles songs on her playlist. “I like how they showed their personalities through their music. They didn’t just sing for money. They had passion and stories to tell.”

The students said they enjoy learning about music because it plays such an important role in history.

They also were appreciative of the opportunity to talk to Kane. “It was exciting to ask him questions. I wanted to hear about his experiences,” Jacob said.