It wasn’t until the Seventies that it I became fully aware of how different most of the British Beatles albums were from most of the American Beatles albums. They had different tracks and were longer, and the pressings tended to be better — and they were the albums the Beatles created, rather than the cut down and rearranged albums Capitol created.

In the Seventies — in New York City at least, where I was living — you started to see the imported British albums for sale in record stores. They cost a lot more than the American albums but seemed well worth the extra cash. I started collecting them album by album. I was living hand-to-mouth in those days, so I’d have to save up for months sometimes to get a new one.

I remember sitting in my badly heated loft one day, looking out my large front window down at 21st Street, spinning a new copy of the British edition of Beatles For Sale. I suddenly thought, “You know, the Beatles just never let you down.”

Those British Beatles albums always cheered me up, got me through some hard and uncertain times — five or six long years of hard and uncertain times.  They persuaded me that things would get better sooner or later . . . as they did.

I lived at the time I’m speaking of on the third floor of the gray building above, the one squeezed in between the two larger buildings.  Back then it was a run-down place faced with cheap-looking unornamented red brick, covering up whatever facade it originally had.  I lived there illegally, because the loft wasn’t zoned for residential use.

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