Friday, February 21, 2014

Exclamation point

February 22, 1964

It has been a lot of fun for me to write this blog over the last three years and get a sense of all the events and people who came together to make the Beatles possible.  It's impossible to overestimate the impact they have had on popular culture and so I'd like to finish by publicly thanking John, Paul George and Ringo for bringing so much joy and meaning into so many lives.

I know I promised to end this blog when the Beatles appear on the Sullivan show, but here's one more post on the day they return to jolly old England and their first days of undying worldwide fame.  And so they played a few gigs in the USA, including Carnegie Hall (practice, practice, practice!) on February 12th, and a return engagement with Ed Sullivan on the 14th.  Then, a few glorious days of rest in the Florida sun.  I wonder if they, in a quiet moment, reflect on what a long and winding road it had been.  From basement clubs and little pubs, to Liverpool dance halls and Hamburg, Germany and British package tours. And now this!

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

No More Talk, Just Listen

Sunday - February 9, 1964

It's been a long journey but, the big day has finally arrived. Sunday night. Clustered around the eerie glow from the big, bulky, black and white TV. If you were there, relive it. If not, imagine you were.

Follow this link.

Signing off now.  Happy listening to you all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bringing Coals to Newcastle

February 7, 1964

They are here (in the US!)  Their Pan Am flight from London Heathrow touches down at NYC's recently renamed JFK airport at 1:30 pm.  The Beatles stage a short chaotic press conference.  "Can you sing something?"  John: "We need money first!"  "Are you going to get a haircut while you are here?"  George: "I had one yesterday."

They move on, in four Cadillac limousines, to the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Thus starts a whirlwind of shows, press conferences, interviews, and phone calls back home.  It's all very well documented in the Maysles Brothers documentary "The Beatles, the First US Visit".  Here is some footage that was shot exactly 50 years ago today, outtakes from "The Making of...".

George Harrison is suffering with a fever of 102, but the show must go on.  The three lads from Liverpool, who've stuck together through thick and thin and a friendly drummer are about to overwhelm the new world.  You can make bringing coals to Newcastle work!