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The Beatles: The Story Of A Crazy New Year’s That Changed Their Lives

Picture of the Beatles band members to illustrate this story.Reader Kate P. requested a story about the Beatles and I think I have just the right one for this time of year :).

Here’s a story about a New Year’s Day that changed their lives, but not quite in the way that you’d expect…


On New Year’s Eve in 1961 the Beatles were huddled together in a van on the road to London and feeling quite miserable.

They had hoped to start the New Year off with a bang but things weren’t looking good for them.

After becoming so popular in their hometown that people went nuts whenever they played, they’d landed an audition at a major record label. This, they felt, was their ticket to living out their dreams.

The problem was the record label was 200 miles away from their home town, so they had to cram themselves and all their equipment into a van and travel the 200 miles packed in like sardines.

To make things worse, a blizzard had descended on the area and they soon had to deal with snow blowing every which way around them and roads coated in ice.

The driver could barely see through all the snow and after a while kept on getting more and more lost. Yeah, the last day of 1961 wasn’t going at all how they planned.

The Beatles auditioning at Decca Records in London.Miraculously they finally did arrive in London …10 hours later.


Even though the Beatles were 10 hours behind schedule they still arrived in time for their audition, which was set for the morning of New Year’s Day. The person from the record label who they had the appointment with, however, was late.

And when he finally did show up it was easy to see why: he had a major hangover.

To add insult to injury he took one look at some of the equipment they’d hauled all the way there and said it wasn’t good enough, so he insisted they use what was already in the building.

When the Beatles got into the recording studio they saw that it wasn’t going to be anything like the bars and clubs they were used to performing in back home. The studio was in a room that above was partially surrounded by glass, and on the other side of the glass were people from the record label looking down on them.

It was pretty awkward setup and it was hard to avoid the feeling that they were in some sort of weird fishbowl.

They were nervous but tried to focus on the music, this was their big opportunity after all. The record label Picture of Beatles guitars and amp like they used in the 60's.people watched through the glass and recorded the performance while the Beatles did 15 songs in the course of an hour, doing their best to show what they were capable of.


After the hour was up the man from the record label rushed the Beatles out of the studio because another band was coming in, telling them someone would call them later with news about how their audition went.

So they had no other choice but to drive all the way back home through the snowstorm and wait for news.

In the following weeks the recording of the Beatles’ performance was passed around the record label for review …but the reaction was not exactly positive.

A man from the record label called them and broke the news: No way, they weren’t getting a record deal. And not only that but the man said something even more shocking:

Groups with guitars are on their way out …the Beatles have no future in showbusiness.

The Beatles were crushed. All that work for nothing, and what if that guy was right, what if they didn’t have a future as a band?

But luckily they didn’t give up. They could see with their own eyes that people loved their music and went absolutely wild when they played in local clubs.

Plus, they now had something very important in their hands: the recording they made on New Year’s.

They played the New Year’s recording for people from other record labels and meanwhile kept performing for their local fans. A couple months later their persistence paid off and they finally landed a record deal. It had taken longer than expected, but they were back on track to living their dreams.

Picture of the Beatles getting off a plane after arriving in the US.

Oh yeah and there’s the *cough* little thing about how they went on to become the most famous and influential band of all time, guitars and all.

If they thought the fans in their home town went nuts for their music it was nothing compared to the screaming audiences they’d encounter after becoming world famous.

And the guy who said “the Beatles have no future”? Well he became world famous too …as the guy who rejected the Beatles :D.

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Not Afraid To Be Real: The Story Of Jenni Rivera

Picture of Jenni Rivera wearing a purple dress, a pearl necklace, and smiling for the camera.I got an email from a blog reader named Alondra a while back and she requested that I do the story behind the singer Jenni Rivera.

I got busy and had to put writing the story aside for a bit. I didn’t want to rush writing it because, though Jenni Rivera would have been the first to admit that she wasn’t perfect, she overcame a lot in her rise to stardom and went on to help millions of people. She lead an amazing life.

Her story is an important one because she made a point of standing up for what she believed in and worked to help others, even if it made things harder for herself (and it often did).

I have the time to tell her story now, and I think a good place to start is at the first major decision she had to make…


When Jenni Rivera was 15 years old she faced a problem: she was pregnant.

This was her sophmore year of high school and up till then she had worked hard to get straight A’s in her classes. Ever since she was a little girl she had loved school and she dreamed of going to college and becoming a business woman, but now things seemed to all be changing.

She had an important decision to make about her pregnancy. Her own mother had taken home remedies while pregnant with her to try and stop the pregnancy. Back Picture of Jenni Rivera when she was young still a teenager and holding her new baby daughter Janney 'Chiquis' Marín Rivera.then the family was going through hard times and having another child was seen as too much of a risk to take while the family was trying to survive.

But the home remedies didn’t work and Jenni was born anyway. The situation around her birth became a story that she would tell to show that she was a fighter even from the very beginning. She felt that this ‘never give up’ attitude was a very important part of who she was as a person, that no matter what obstacles life threw at her she would keep going.

So at 15 years old Jenni chose to keep her child… even though her parents had kicked her out, even though it would make staying in school very difficult or even impossible. The baby turned out to be a beautiful girl, Janney ‘Chiquis’ Marín Rivera.


Picture of the abusive ex husband of Jenni Rivera who is named José Trinidad Marín.Being a mother at that age wasn’t easy, especially since she kept on working at her goal of getting into college.

Money was tight and she not only had to juggle being a mother and going to school, but she also had to make money to support the family. She sold CD’s at flea markets to help make ends meet and through her dedication to studying she even graduated at the top of the class in her new high school.

Things were looking okay and she started college to work on getting a degree in business administration. But there was a dark cloud that hung over her life. José Trinidad Marín was the father of her baby and now her husband, he was also a violent person that abused her both physically and mentally.

He didn’t like the idea of her going for her dreams and getting more of an education. He thought that she should only be at home cooking and cleaning, and he did everything he could to try and keep her there.

Silhouette picture of a woman looking downward.Despite this she kept going to college (often having to study in secret) but the abuse was terrible and Jenni sank into a deep depression, even to the point of attempting suicide. It wasn’t in her character to give up but the abuse by José was one of the few things in her life that pushed her to the breaking point.

She had to force herself to rediscover the ‘never give up’ attitude that she was so proud of, she was a mother and her now 3 children needed her. It wasn’t easy but bit by bit she was able to build up the courage to leave him, she filed for divorce and started over as a single mother.

Believe it or not it was out of this dark time in her life that came the thing that sparked her music career.


To try and lift her spirits some of her friends decided to take her for a girl’s night out. Here’s the story of what happened as she told Billboard magazine:

Picture of Jenni Rivera singing into a microphone.That’s the night I discovered tequila. A single mother that had never gone out before, in a nightclub with tequila, wasn’t a good mix.

My friends dared me to go onstage and sing. I was a little tipsy and sang “Las Nieves de Enero” by Chalino Sanchez, who had passed away close to a year before.

After I was done, all the other drunken people applauded me. I liked it. Since my dad wanted me to be an artist, I figured he already had a record label; maybe I could have access to the musicians and the studio. That’s when I started recording.

This was the turning point for Jenni. She had gotten a college degree in business administration and used those skills to work in real estate for a while, but this experience at the girl’s night out ignited her passion to be a singer.

She set out to build a singing career using her musical talent and business skills. It turned out to be a long road. She faced a lot of prejudice because many of the people who were powerful in the styles of music that she sang believed that women were inferior and shouldn’t sing those types of music.

Picture of Jenni Rivera wearing earrings and looking into the camera smiling.As you can imagine, this was a horribly frustrating experience for her, her philosophy of never giving up was being put to the test big time.

Day after day, year after year she had to fight many battles with prejudiced people. And when she encountered really bad discrimination she tried to turn things around in her mind and use it to fuel her determination to succeed, it didn’t always work but it was enough to keep her going.

The public, however, loved her. The songs she sang told stories that really spoke to what was happening in their own lives, and the emotions in her songs expressed their own feelings in a way that other singers couldn’t. Her fans were very dedicated and her popularity skyrocketed.


Picture of Jenni Rivera as a singer and businesswoman.Jenni Rivera found the success she was looking for and then went beyond that.

Yes she became a famous singer but she also put that business degree to good use and started many successful companies: Divina Cosmetics, Jenni Rivera Fragrance, Jenni Jeans, Divine Music, and even a real estate company called Divina Realty.

She built a business empire and moved into doing TV shows and movies…all on top of doing her music. But when you look at all her career one thing shines through all the rest: she cared about people and always worked to help them.

Jenni’s songs dealt with social issues affecting the lives of her fans and she didn’t shy away from singing about topics that other musicians were afraid to mention. Some of these things she had been through herself and other things were experiences that she heard about while talking to her fans. Either way she wanted her music to help heal people of their pain and give them courage to make a better life for themselves.

Picture of Jenni Rivera talking about the sexual abuse of her sister and daughter by her ex husband.This philosophy extended beyond her music, as the world seen when she found out that her daughter and sister had been sexually molested by her ex-husband José back when he lived with the family. Many famous people sweep this kind of thing under the rug because they’re afraid it will give them bad publicity, but she didn’t do that.

Well first off she went after José with everything she had, he was a fugitive for many years but was finally arrested and sentenced to 30 years in jail for child molestation. But she also spoke openly about what had happened, even though she felt shame and guilt for being the one to bring him into the family. She wanted to show people that this kind of thing is okay to talk about and that it should be talked about, because otherwise the silence will help protect the abuser and does even more harm to the victims.

She was open and honest about many aspects of her life whether they were good or bad, she wasn’t afraid to be real with people and courageously lead the way on social issues through her example.

The last picture taken of Jenni Rivera shows her on a private jet plane looking back and smiling.THE PLANE CRASH

The last known picture of Jenni Rivera was taken on December 9, 2012. The picture shows her sitting on a plane and looking back at the camera, looking tired but still smiling to her fans.

That day she boarded a plane for the last time. She was flying to a city in Mexico for a TV appearance but never made it there, her plane malfunctioned and crashed not long after it took off.

The Jenni Rivera we know is frozen in time. 43 years old, mother of 5, and loved by millions around the world. We can only guess at how much more good she could have done in person if given more time, but what we do know is all the good she did while alive. This lives on through her music and the charities she founded, and this also lives on through the love of her fans who appreciate not only her music but her dedication to helping others.

She was not afraid to be real. And it’s through this fearless honesty that she is still able to help others through their troubles.
Picture of Jenni Rivera smiling and talking into a microphone while saying goodbye.
In return, her fans love her for who she was…including all the good and even the bad. She knew this and took it to heart, during her very last concert she said:

Thank you to my public. To all of you who are with me, who love me just like I am.