Although he doesn’t remember it, he lives through others’ stories of their appearance and grew up listening to their tunes.
Now a local musician in The Findells, Cline, clad in a flannel shirt with a Beatles T-shirt peeking through, sits in his music room off the kitchen in his Waynesboro home.
The room can only have one description — calming.
It’s where he’s surrounded by all his musician friends, in the form of vinyl, cassettes, CDs, eight tracks and artwork of what has inspired him.
“I’ve always liked the Beatles, their different styles, their early ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ stuff,” Cline said. “Then they freaked out for a little bit and got into the sitar. Their whole career was a short time really. It’s really the music that they covered in that short period. the Beatles were just complete entertainment.”
In an effort to share that love of the lads from Liverpool, Cline has approached the Augusta County Library in the past couple of years, boasting of his collection. This year, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in the U.S., a portion of Cline’s prized collection is on loan to the library until the end of the month.
The display is filled top to bottom with Beatles memorabilia, from a wig of their famous hair style to dolls and 45s.
The Beatles hit home for most baby boomers growing up, transforming music, said library spokeswoman Rebecca Lamb. The display represents an interesting culture phenomenon, she added.
“This exhibit brings out a sense of nostalgia for baby boomers,” said Megan Reid, the library’s exhibit coordinator.
And visitors love the display.
“People look at the exhibit and they walk away with a big smile,” Lamb said. “It just really connects to the kid in us in a lot of ways.”
Growing up, his brothers and aunt loved the Beatles and passed that sentiment along to Cline. He’s got crates filled with records and he knows exactly where everything is.
At the top of the stack is his beloved Bob Dylan collection. Dylan influenced Cline and he even met him — one of the biggest highlights of his life.
Then as the stacks go down, the next level is the older Beatles records to the more experimental ones then onto each solo career. The bottom level is his Rolling Stones collection.
They are are his pride and joy.
“I always grew up listening to this stuff, willingly or not, because it was always around,” he said.
“I’ve always had music going in my mind,” Cline added. “I wake up hearing music. I go to sleep hearing music. It’s like I’ve got five turntables playing at the same time. It’s constant with music in my mind.”
Discovering them in 1975 when he was 12, his brother made him earlier mixed tapes of the Beatles. After that, he bought eight tracks of “Revolver,” “Rubber Soul” and the more edgier and experimental stuff.
“I thought, ‘Is this the Beatles?’ ” he asked.
Ever since, he’s been collecting anything and everything Beatles.
“Collecting is like hoarding a little bit,” Cline said. “There’s no reason why someone should have 12 copies of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ on vinyl. But I can’t pass it up.”
But he grabs it, no matter what. The more copies he has of a certain album, the more of a chance he’s got to turn someone else on to the love that he has for the Beatles and many other artists.
“You have something and there’s some Beatles people you know, you can share it with them. They don’t have something and you have doubles of something, you can share it with them,” he said.
His favorite Beatle is John Lennon. When he went on his honeymoon with his wife, they went to Amsterdam and saw where Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed in the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for their famous Bed-In in 1969.