Beatles are NOT Bugs

I attended a banquet last evening where the featured musicians played songs from the 60s and 70s…the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, and so forth.  Listening to the same Beatles songs that were first heard on the Ed Sullivan Show years ago, I became nostalgic for my childhood.  I led an unusual childhood with parents who were the opposite of materialistic…they rarely spent money on “things”.  Being a teenager those days was much easier than being a teenager in “modern” times.  Teenagers now have so many choices of types of jeans, sneakers, perfume and so forth.  We did not have as many choices when I was younger, and, if we did, my parents would have still bought the no name brand sneakers and jeans at K-Mart.  And who needed to smell good anyway?

For Christmas that year my dad gave me his old record player and a record to play on it.  The record was of the fake famous band the Bugs…dressed and hairstyled after the Beatles.  They played the same songs as the Beatles, albeit a little off key. To my parents, it was the same.  To me it was not.  Having been raised not to care about “things”, it surprised me how let down I felt when I received this record.  I know it was selfish of me when we had so many other things to spend money on, but I was disappointed by the fact that I did not get a  real Beatles record.

Although I have lived my life also not dependent on “things”, I still remember with more than a little resentment that day 40 years go.  Sneakers were just sneakers.  Jeans were just jeans.  But the Bugs were NOT the Beatles!


To read more about my unusual childhood, please check out my book The Apple Tree:  Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane,   which was reviewed by Readers Digest at


Comments on: "Beatles are NOT Bugs" (29)

  1. It`s so true….some things can be skimped on and at other times we need the real deal….i feel this way about chocolate….I will take one Laura Secord frosted mint chocolate over a bucket of any given chocolate bar.

    • LOL true enough but to me, chocolate is chocolate…I’ll worry about calories and taste into account later…right now I crave CHOCOLATE ( I always do these days lol)

  2. Ah, nostalgia. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Boy, I can SOOOO relate. I wore the ugliest dress to prom because it was in the closet because my sister had worn it five years before! Ugh! 😦 Being frugal is one thing; being a bottom-feeder embeds a message that you aren’t as worthy of the life others get to enjoy. Yeah, years of recovery it’s taken for me with that.

    • That’s very true…my sister made me wear this horrible frilly green “thing” to her wedding as her maid of honor when I was about 16, I guess…OMG it was HORRIBLE- almost anything that affects (girls in particular but some things with guys as well) us in our formative years can affect us for life if we let it (and it’s hard not to let it!)

  4. You are right. Some things in life can accept no imitations!
    My parents never bought me a record we listened to the radio, I got my sisters handme down record player with a nickel taped on the needle and I saved up my $ to buy 45s(couldnt afford the whole album). I dont really mind buying things if we can afford it (I just have 1 kid) what bothers me is the waste and how things are quickly replaced by the next newest and shiniest thing while the old one is still good. Or how expensive really cheap crap is! The only sneakers we had as kids were Keds and you wore them until there were holes in them, which always took too long in my opinion.

  5. Sweet piece of writing – good story telling.

  6. I don’t remember ever hearing about the Bugs! Wow. I can completely relate. I had a Miss Suzette instead of a Barbie because she was probably just a little bit cheaper. A Huffy instead of a Schwin because it was cheaper. A used off-brand sewing machine instead of a new Singer. They thought I wouldn’t know the difference, but I did. Now I think I learned more from it.

    • Yes! I had the cheap imitation Barbies because my mom didn’t think there was a difference. I was so embarrassed when I went to play with girl friends.They would lend me their Midge (Barbie’s “best friend”) to play with, but it was never the same…

  7. I was so embarrassed that I didn’t have a Barbie, but the funny thing is that my doll had a prettier face and my grandmother made her the most beautiful clothes I’ve ever seen for a doll (or a human). But when you’re a kid, it’s mortifying to be the odd one out.

  8. Funny. I bet a “Buggs” album would be something of a collector’s piece today. I actually found a Widipedia article on them. And if you live in Atlanta, there’s a new Buggs tribute band ( But there was nothing like playing my aunt’s Beatles records while she was at school (I was born in ’60). Thanks for the memories. 🙂 Great post.
    Warmth and Peace

    • Who knew that a band I was embarrassed to own has become a collector’s item. I’m afraid I probably snuck it in the trash slightly after that Christmas…

    • LOL You’ll sound wise. I couldn’t keep anything nice…tomboy to the core so giving me a doll turned into a science experiment that always went wrong…;-)

      • LOL I don’t have any more old toys either. We use to blow them up on 4th of July. Now, tell us about those “experiments”… 🙂
        Warmth and Peace

      • I wish my parents had allowed that…oh no, no way! lol

      • Okay. 😦
        Although I’m picturing a half Barbie, half Creature from the Black Lagoon sort of thing. 😉

      • LOL I never had Barbies- always hated them, actually- them and Cabbage Patch Kids (shudder- looking like abuse victims!). And Barbie was too skinny. Nope- my worst story is my doll Jill that my parents got me for Christmas- I decided to wash her hair and boy, was that mistake! Apparently they don’t have real hair- who knew?! 😉

  9. Cute! 🙂 Funny the odd memories that can be triggered.

  10. I had a similar upbringing and completely get this lost. Thank you for sharing it!

  11. HA! K-Mart was a huge part of my childhood, growing up with four siblings. But a Kathy Doll was not a Barbie Doll!

    • Yes…good ole’ K-Mart. Thinking back even further, I think Kresge was the original store.

      But yes, there ARE no imitation Barbie dolls because nothing can imitate the real thing to little girls like we were!

  12. I’ve only ever bought on record and that was a Beatles record. It was Hey Jude, with Revolution on the B side. I wonder what happened to it? It was faulty, I never bought another one!

    I have problems with CD’s now. I’m better off with MP3’s anyway.

  13. that made me laugh. i can relate to the disappointment you must have felt though. my parents got me to write a letter to father christmas saying what presents i would like. i wrote i wanted a doll’s pram. they got me a doll’s pushchair. i could have cried. i really. really wanted a pram.

  14. Sounds like that might have been your awareness of differences blossoming. You have a great way of speaking, I hope you know- funny, I’m guessing, sometimes without meaning to be. I can’t wait to read more of your stuff!

  15. I am not at all materialistic either but I felt that same way when I got the imitation Barbie. Love your take on life and will look for your book… God Bless you and your very special family.

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