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View Full Version : It Was Fifty Years Ago Today


The Poet
02-09-2014, 11:09 AM
You almost certainly know that tonight marks the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, marking the beginning of what was dubbed The British Invasion, and the start of Beatlemania here in the States. Though you younger guys also certainly know their music, and may even consider yourself a fan of it, you likely cannot fully understand what Beatlemania actually was, and what a huge and lasting impact it made here. We had seen fans put the fanatic into devotion of their idols before, starting at least as early as the visit of Charles Dickens here (first in 1842 then again in 1867-68), and, in more recent memory, with Frank Sinatra a century later in 1942 with his Paramount Theater appearance then again in 1956 when Elvis stunned America from that same stage from which The Beatles would launch their conquest 7 1/2 years later. We have seen it since those days too, from Michael Jackson to Justin Bieber. But we have never, NEVER, NEVER!, seen the likes of Beatlemania, and may never ever see the same again.

This may be hard for you to believe, or even grasp the possibility, but as one who lived through that time I can assure you this is correct. For years after that night you could scarcely go anywhere without hearing their music, without seeing their images, without encountering their fans or their imitators . . . or, to be fair, their detractors. Still, rabid fan, casual one, indifferent spectator, or equally rabid hater, everybody knew those boys from Liverpool, and everyone was talking about them.

And why do I say all this? Well, in case you are sitting there wondering what all the hoopla's all about tonight with this highly-touted anniversary, thinking to yourself "OK, so what? What's the big deal?", I simply wish to tell you that we who DO get it understand why you DON'T get it. You could not possibly get it, since you did not witness it. Still, take it from one who did see it . . . it was a big deal, was a bigger deal than you can comprehend, and it continues to be a big deal.

Remo
02-09-2014, 11:21 AM
Was a music group correct? Seems like alot of hoopla to put into a music group (or any celebrity type) for that matter, not like they won a war or anything... Sorry just my .02

The Poet
02-09-2014, 11:27 AM
Was a music group correct? Seems like alot of hoopla to put into a music group (or any celebrity type) for that matter, not like they won a war or anything... Sorry just my .02

You can argue against the "morality" or "rightness" of the phenomenon if you want, but you cannot dispute the historical fact that it happened.

Remo
02-09-2014, 11:32 AM
I understand that it happened, just seems like a lot of nothing, again just my opinion.

The Poet
02-09-2014, 11:51 AM
I understand that it happened, just seems like a lot of nothing, again just my opinion.

And as I plainly stated in my original post, I understand why you don't get it.

But consider for a moment the historical context. For instance, America was still in a state of shock and grief from the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas just a few months earlier, and needed badly to find something to alleviate that pain and confusion. The Beatles helped in that regard tremendously. You can liken it to the restart of baseball after 9/11 when, for a brief time, everybody became Yankee fans. On Sept. 18th in Comiskey Park, White Sox fans greeted the visiting Yankees with cheers and signs reading "Chicago Loves New York" and "We Are All Yankees". Critics lamented the fact that baseball resumed only 6 days after the terror attacks, and even the players themselves questioned the wisdom of restarting the season so soon. But they soon realized how much the nation needed the game, to aid in the healing process.

You DID live through this, and know what I mean.

ripper
02-09-2014, 11:55 AM
What's the big deal?", I simply wish to tell you that we who DO get it understand why you DON'T get it. You could not possibly get it, since you did not witness it. Still, take it from one who did see it . . . it was a big deal, was a bigger deal than you can comprehend, and it continues to be a big deal.

Well-said, Thomas.
The most amazing thing was the days after that 1st appearance on Ed Sullivan. I was in 8th grade in Chicago. Nothing got done in classes. We were agog, foaming like a nest of mad robins. The looks on our teachers, aghast that us little darlings had lost our minds over The Beatles.
I had the great good fortune to see The Beatles at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox, on Aug 20, 1965. Hardly heard the music -- was all screaming. My ears still ringing.

Remo
02-09-2014, 12:00 PM
I am trying to picture you two in Bobby socks and Poodle skirts :lr

hotreds
02-09-2014, 12:31 PM
This happened during one of the only times I lived in the USA as a child. I remember seeing them on Ed Sullivan, and putting underpants on my head(mop-top) and dancing around to the laughter of my mother. I remember being jealous of the neighborhood kid who had a record player in his room and a Beatles album.

I remember playing the Hard Day's Night LP until it was worn out. I remember getting some of the 45RPMs as well, including a couple with the songs in German! A more innocent time.....

The Poet
02-09-2014, 12:33 PM
Was a music group correct? Seems like alot of hoopla to put into a music group (or any celebrity type) for that matter, not like they won a war or anything... Sorry just my .02

In 1598 Sir George Clifford led an attack on Puerto Rico and burned San Juan to the ground. He won a war. That next year The Globe Theater opened, featuring the contemporary works of William Shakespeare. He was merely a writer.

Yes, winning wars is what one should be remember for, not simple cultural trifles. Everybody remembers Sir Clifford, with good reason. Who ever heard of this Shakespeare guy . . . and who cares?

:D

AdamJoshua
02-09-2014, 12:56 PM
I really thought you would go with, "It was 50 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play."






Mike is just upset we aren't celebrating some Beyonce milestone, he'll get over it. :D

8zeros
02-09-2014, 01:13 PM
I loved the Beatles when I was a kid and I still have many of the lyrics burned into my memory. They even had a Saturday morning cartoon.
Somehow I lost interest and now I don't much like their music any more.

The Poet
02-09-2014, 01:13 PM
I really thought you would go with, "It was 50 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play."

Though it was a definite reference, that album was released June 1, 1967. Twenty years before would be, of course, 1947, so today's today (not yesterday) would be closing in on 67 years ago, or three more than when it's 64.

Don't know if that's fixing a hole in the logic, as it's looking through a glass onion.

(Oh, and Beyonce's a walrus.)

tsolomon
02-09-2014, 03:40 PM
Watched them on Ed Sullivan and really didn't get it at the time. It was Top 40 and Motown on the AM radio for me. It took awhile for me get into the Beatles and start buying their albums. Probably bought a couple of 45s first.

RevSmoke
02-09-2014, 04:24 PM
I really thought you would go with, "It was 50 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play."



Mike is just upset we aren't celebrating some Beyonce milestone, he'll get over it. :D

Though it was a definite reference, that album was released June 1, 1967. Twenty years before would be, of course, 1947, so today's today (not yesterday) would be closing in on 67 years ago, or three more than when it's 64.

Don't know if that's fixing a hole in the logic, as it's looking through a glass onion.

(Oh, and Beyonce's a walrus.)

As you said some would not get it...


....if the shoe fits.

You missed the whole point of his post.

Lived through it. Still listen to the albums - eve on 33 rpm sometimes, for nostalgics sake.

icehog3
02-09-2014, 04:25 PM
I really thought you would go with, "It was 50 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play."




This is what I was going to post when I started reading the thread, and then there it was. You scare me, Adam. :r

I wasn't old enough to get the Sullivan show...but I lived in Detroit as a kid and was a huge Motown fan....yet the first song I remember in my life was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand".

14holestogie
02-09-2014, 04:51 PM
I am old enough and remember it all. :)

Starting buying records after seeing them at age 10 to listen and learn.
My oldest brother started a band shortly after. I'd beat on the drummer's drums until my brother would come home and beat on me.
Dreamed up ways to purchase my own drum set at age 13. Been playing for the 46 years since that.
Started me on cd's when they finally came out in the late 80's.
Have you heard McCartney's latest? He's still got it.

Yup, they had no effect on me. ;)

RevSmoke
02-09-2014, 05:00 PM
As you said some would not get it...


....if the shoe fits.

You missed the whole point of his post.

Lived through it. Still listen to the albums - eve on 33 rpm sometimes, for nostalgics sake.

Hate auto correct on IPad.

AdamJoshua
02-09-2014, 05:07 PM
This is what I was going to post when I started reading the thread, and then there it was. You scare me, Adam. :r


Well then either they don't get us, or we don't get "the point of this post". :r

Though I wasn't around then I love reading about them and watching the old documentaries on them, the one produced by Ed Sullivan's company is one of my favorites, showing the helicopter ride to Flushing Meadows and the ride in the armored van to Shea Stadium is unreal.

The old photos of the streets packed with people, hundreds of signs, the hotel they stayed at literally got mail sacks full of fan mail for weeks after they had left. Just mind blowing the reaction they caused every where they went.

The Poet
02-09-2014, 05:19 PM
Watched them on Ed Sullivan and really didn't get it at the time.

I must confess I didn't either, but that does not mean I did not witness the phenomenon known as Beatlemania. And THAT was my whole point. You may not have noticed, but I neither praised nor condemned The Beatles and/or their music. All I did was note an historical occurrence, one I felt that those who were not there do not appreciate.

Seems I was right. :r

hotreds
02-09-2014, 05:32 PM
My sister still has EVERY Beatles LP! Too bad that doesn't include the rare original cover of Yesterday and Today!

Gabe215
02-09-2014, 06:17 PM
I'm only 27, and grew up in a Rolling Stones (the bad boys my parents always said) household. Love classic rock and to this day Rubber Soul is still what I believe to be the best album of all time with Aqualung right behind it! Saw Sir Paul two years ago and he put on one hell of a show between his stories, tributes to George and John, and best of all the fact he played everything from his solo stuff to opening with Baby you can drive my car, hands down best concert I've ever been to.

The Poet
02-09-2014, 09:08 PM
Get back, Jo-jo!

tsolomon
02-10-2014, 09:02 AM
I must confess I didn't either, but that does not mean I did not witness the phenomenon known as Beatlemania. And THAT was my whole point. You may not have noticed, but I neither praised nor condemned The Beatles and/or their music. All I did was note an historical occurrence, one I felt that those who were not there do not appreciate.

Seems I was right. :rMy wife and I talked about this last night and what we remember the most was the screaming fans which were mainly women, both of us were 10 years old at the time. We did watch the special last night and it was very enjoyable and well done. :2

AdamJoshua
02-10-2014, 12:12 PM
My wife and I talked about this last night and what we remember the most was the screaming fans which were mainly women, both of us were 10 years old at the time. We did watch the special last night and it was very enjoyable and well done. :2

I was quite surprised at what great job CBS did, there was a lot of room to really screw this up and they nailed it, a couple minor things but that was just related to certain artists and their renditions, nothing to do with the telecast. Wish Julian Lennon had been there to do a song, that would have been cool, guess the building wasn't big enough for him and Yoko, but at least they let her sit in the same row as Paul. :r

The Poet
02-10-2014, 12:24 PM
My wife and I talked about this last night and what we remember the most was the screaming fans which were mainly women, both of us were 10 years old at the time. We did watch the special last night and it was very enjoyable and well done. :2

Yes, all those screaming teenage girls was likely the main reason I didn't get it at the time. I was slightly older than you then, and wondered what all the hysteria was for.

I had no definite plans to watch the show last night, but did tune in for the opening . . . and got hooked, watching the entire 2 1/2 hours. It was one of the most enjoyable sessions of "extended" TV viewing I've had in a while, and I too thought it was very well executed. But it seems others do not hold the same opinion. Today the story is all these so-called Beatles fans being outraged at Katy Perry for modifying the lyrics to Yesterday to accurately reflect her gender, changing "I'm not half the MAN" to "half the GIRL" and "Why SHE had to go" to "Why HE". How totally ridiculous. This is a song, not some sacred text, and considering how many thousands of times this standard has been covered officially (not counting the untold millions of times it's been sung "off the books") it is inconceivable she's the first to do so. I found her performance to be one of the most moving last night, and am not ashamed to admit it brought this jaded old man to the brink of tears.

(And no, I do not consider myself a Katy Perry fan, though I hold no disdain for her either, and am not defending her out of some sense of loyalty.)

Odd as it sounds, the actual "original" lyrics to this song were "Scrambled eggs/Oh, my baby how I love your legs". Do you really think this "heresy" bothered Sir Paul one tiny bit? Sheesh. So get over your damn selves, Twitter trolls. :r