I was just about ten years old when the Beatles came to the United States. The first I remember hearing them mentioned was at church on the Sunday of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. The priest referred to them in his sermon although I don’t remember the context. I think he was trying to be hip in front of the school kids.
Up to that time I had listened to mainly 50’s rock and roll and do-wop music. I loved the Everly Brothers, Rick Nelson, Neil Sedaka and Dion and the Belmonts. But all my friends were talking about the Beatles so I figured I better watch them and see what all the fuss is about. I had wanted to learn to play the guitar, and after seeing the Beatles I was obsessed by it.
We gathered in front of the old black and white tv that night and watched intently as the Beatles took over the world. Or at least the world as I knew it.
Being the studious type, up to that point I had spent a lot of time watching tv and seeing the concern on my parents faces as seemingly every night there was more bad news. The Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and the Kennedy assassination.
We were craving some good news, anything to take our minds off the dangerous times we were living in.
Then along came the Beatles.
Not only did they come along at the right time for America, but damn they had talent to boot.
We hung on every note, every word. The harmonies were reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, and Paul has referred to the Everly’s influence on the Beatles on more than one occasion. They were all excellent musicians. And the fact that they actually wrote their own songs was a bit unusual in those days. And what songs they were. Each album became more complex, more interesting.
They branched out into almost every style of music, and did each one exceptionally well.
What is so amazing is that here we are, 50 years later, and we are still listening to their music, and talking about them. And each new generation is attracted to their music. Look at the audience at a Paul or Ringo concert and you’ll see fans of all ages.
I don’t think we will ever see that phenomenon again. I think the 60’s was the right time, and the Beatles were the right band. They captured our interest for a lifetime. My father bought me and my brother $18.00 guitars and we learned to play, because of the Beatles.
Touring Liverpool is on my bucket list, and something I hope to do in the near future. of course, you will see a full review when I do. 🙂