Beatles' popularity won't last, critic predicted

November 20, 1995|By DAN RODRICKS

Beatlemania's days are numbered? I don't like the predictions business. The outcomes of trials and elections, celebrity deaths -- the savvy prognosticator avoids those areas. Cultural forecasts are generally dangerous, too.

For instance, 30 years ago in the late News American, a music critic knocked out these words: "The Beatlemania phenomenon that began last year is slowly coming to a halt. Despite their many current discs, the Beatles will, we believe, soon lose their popularity for millions of fans around the world. The fans are dying off, and groups like the Dave Clark Five are taking over." The guy who wrote that sells real estate now.


It just struck us funny: On a list of "things to do" from the Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau was an all-you-can-eat breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Who would want to stuff themselves a few hours before the biggest stuff-thyself meal of the year?

"Oh, plenty of people," says Andrew Ackerman, proprietor of Buddy's Crabs & Ribs on Main Street, Annapolis. "People who are traveling, people who aren't going to eat their Thanksgiving dinner till late in the day, like 4, 5 o'clock " Plus, says Ackerman, it's a good deal -- $4 per person, and children under 5 eat for free. Buddy's is also offering a big buffet Thanksgiving night. "Last year the place was packed," Ackerman says. "We serve a turkey, ham and all the trimmings."

He's even serving sauerkraut, a Thanksgiving tradition unique to the Greater Patapsco Drainage Basin. Ackerman thinks, as I do, that sauerkraut with turkey is a bit strange. "Must be an Irish thing," he says.

Phone fantasies

She's 30 years old, calls herself Carmen and has a job she wouldn't tell her mother about. She spends a lot of time on the telephone. Talking. Into the night and the wee hours. From her East Baltimore rowhouse, she creates fantasies for men who charge their thrills to a credit card. Carmen makes $7 an hour. "I get a $2 bonus if the customer requests me by name," she says.

I ask Carmen to settle a curiosity: Who calls?

"Mostly professionals," Carmen says. "A lot of CPAs [certified public accountants]. Several lawyers. Several guys in banking. Then, I get the usual -- servicemen and construction workers. I had an American instructor of English call all the way from Japan. I had a couple, a man and woman, call from Jamaica while they were on vacation. The average age is about 33, and most of the men say they're married. I have one man, 65 years old, calling from New York City all the time, mostly to complain about his son, who never calls him."

Adopting the deli

I don't know if it makes any sense businesswise, but the city would be served well if the guys at Henry & Jeff's took over the Homewood Deli. Such a deal was supposedly in the works two years ago. Too bad it didn't happen.

Today's specials

Send some laurels to Donna's Coffee Bar at Madison and Charles; the staff (Bill Duffy, Tony Loeffler, Ian Campbell, Glenda Walker) provides surplus food -- salads, sandwiches, even scones -- to Health Care For The Homeless. "It permits us to feed a small number of people who miss meals while awaiting health care services in our downtown clinic," says Jeff Singer, social worker with HCH.

Doctors at war

Fascinating stories in this month's Maryland Medical Journal.The entire issue is devoted to Maryland physicians during World War II, providing not just wartime medical history but personal recollections and correspondence. Overall, a superb document. Especially poignant is the article by Dr. Hiroshi Nakazawa, past president of the Baltimore City Medical Society, whose wartime memories are of Japan and a father called to serve the emperor as a soldier. Recommended reading.

Thanksgiving eve events

Squinty-eyed waterfront artist Charlie Newton is putting the finishing touches on another batch of paintings. His 34th show opens Wednesday night at the Waterfront Hotel, Fells Point, a great scene on Thanksgiving eve. Same night in Annapolis, check out WRNR-FM's Home Grown Blues Night at Buddy's Late Night on Hudson Street. Damian is the host, of course.

Bikes for Christmas

Bryan Chaney is doing that mitzvah thing again. Each holiday season since 1992, Chaney, who operates the BikeMobile Warehouse Store on Belmont Avenue in Woodlawn, has collected and fixed up to 600 used bikes for kids who would otherwise go without. He distributes them during the holiday season through the Salvation Army. Chaney will take "gently used kids' bikes" through Dec. 16. If you want to contribute, call Bikes For Kids at 298-3521.

That's what I said.

Laurie Kantziper says her 5-year-old son, Greg, was excited by the sight of an Italian ice-cleaning machine at a Bandits game in the Arena. "Look, ma. It's a Glen Burnie!" (That's Zamboni, kid.)

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