Mar 1, 2014

50 Yeas ago Today - The Beatles subverted the American way of life

50 Years ago this Week, aka - That Was the Week That Was

The Beatles were introduced to US audiences on 2/9/64 on the stodgy, silly and largely culturally irrelevant Ed Sullivan show..

Everything changed!!!

The Beatles went on to provide the soundtrack for many of our lives.

3 Questions:

1)Where were you, & what did you think/feel when you first heard the Beatles?

2) What influence/impact did they have on your life?

3) What is your favorite Beatles song & album?

I know there are major Beatle fans among us - let's hear from each and ALL of you.

Bill Kamenjarin
Sutherand 1/63
MP 1/67


I have received an interesting assortment of private emails and comments re these earlier questions.

Some of them follow below.

Other thoughts?


Bill Kamenjarin
Sutherland 1/63
MP 1/67

* * *
I cannot imagine what our lives, and those of our generation, would have been like musically and culturally without the influence of the Beatles.

They were the Pied Pipers, or the cool older brothers/cousins, which may have led many of us.
And collectivity and individually, they made some of us, and our ancestors, very uncomfortable.

For some of us, they were a liberating influence, with the idea that there was more to life than of following our parents'
ideas and paths, & our own very limited adolescent horizons.

I think they were the gatekeepers who helped open the door for many of the bands of the British invasion.

Although I usually liked the Beatles , I was personally more inclined to the Animals & the the 1965-1971 version of the Rolling Stones.

Favorite Beatles' songs include: Strawberry Fields Forever, In My Life, a Day in the Life, much of Sgt. Pepper, and all of side 2 of the vinyl Abbey Road.

* * *

1) I heard my first Beatles songs sometime before Christmas 1963. I got my first Beatles 45's for Christmas that year. I remember calling my cousins on Christmas day and excitedly telling them which ones I got (From Me to You was one, I remember for sure). I remember thinking there was nothing else like that on WLS.

2) They've been my favorite band ever since. And that isn't just an offhand comment, they really have been. Their music takes me back to my childhood, when life was simple, although it didn't seem so at the time.

3) Seriously??? A favorite song or album??? I couldn't narrow it down to my favorite 3 albums, or 20 songs. I will try to highlight a few favorites by era, though.

Early - I Feel Fine, She's a Woman, And I love Her, She Loves You, Any Time at All,. Please, Please Me, Can't Buy Me Love, I Want to Hold Your Hand, All My Lovin'

Mid Mania - Ticket to Ride, Penny Lane, Day Tripper, In My Life, Eight Days a Week, Nowhere Man, Norwegian Wood, Paperback Writer, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, Drive My Car

Later still - Golden Slumbers,A Day in the Life, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes the Sun, Carry That Weight, I Want you ,Oh Darlin'

* * *

1) Where were you, & what did you think/feel when you first heard the Beatles?

Don't know. Probably in the living room watching TV. Probably the airport scene.

I did not jump up and down screaming, that's for sure.

2) What influence/impact did they have on your life?

Not a clue. Do you think they impacted your life?

The Beatles had huge talent and were a great gift but there were loads of good bands back then. Many from England.

Do you think we would be drastically different if the Beatles had not been among them?

3) What is your favorite Beatles song & album?

Actually - Imagine. I don't care if it's just John and not "Beatles"

So tell me. I remember that most guys didn't like the Beatles and somehow felt threatened by them.

Is that correct?

* * *
1) I remember watching the show with the other members of my church, maybe a dozen teenagers. I remember it just as an exciting, engaging, somewhat exotic performance (in B&W) that led immediately to a new era of radio and musical romance. Had to have their albums. I Want to Hold Your Hand was suddenly everywhere.

2) Not sure how to measure their impact on me and all of us. I look at my stack of their LPs and they stretch a Proustian soundtrack right through HS and college. Random memories include hearing I Saw Her Standing There and thinking they were everywhere, marveling at the electric guitar intro to I Feel Fine at a pool party when I was about to graduate, lightheaded and drunk for the first time, Ticket to Ride was in there, too the event of Sgt. Peppers being released in that mellow (grass was here!) summer of 67. Later, stoned amazement at the density of the White Album and thinking it would be worthy of aural scrutiny for decades to come. Debating the meaning of Hey Jude with another waiter for hours while we worked a mid-winter wine-tasting at the Faculty Club, throwing back the vino (along with the profs) in the kitchen between servings.

3) Of course very hard to pick a favorite song or album. HELP stands out as a go-to song set with warm collegial associations -- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, You're Gonna Lose That Girl. Lennon lead vocals, I think. Otherwise, the later stuff: Long and Winding Road, Let It Be, Yesterday. So many songs...


This is one of the better retrospective & perspective articles I have read this week re the Beatles' television debut here on 2/9/64.

Bill Kamenjarin MPHS 67

Cute? Hardly. The Beatles subverted the American way of life. 
Half a century ago, they led the British invasion of American pop music and changed everything.
by Michael Tomasky


Fifty years ago Sunday, the Beatles first appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show." You'll almost surely see clips of them on the news this weekend, or on tribute shows, japing with the press, smiling those cheerful smiles, singing "All My Loving" --- and you'll probably think, "Oh, they were so cute."

That's today's conventional wisdom: The Beatles were cute and unthreatening. The Rolling Stones --- now, there was your threat. And the Who
 smashing their instruments. And numerous others, against whom the Beatles were supposedly a dish of vanilla ice cream.
It's ridiculous. If there's one canard I'd like to see these anniversary festivities flip on its head, it's that one. To the America that existed then, the Beatles were plenty threatening. To understand why, you have to understand the music scene of the time, and how utterly new the Beatles were in every way, how totally uncategorizable.

Here's the quick, well-known background: Rock 'n' roll was born in 1955 and was immediately seen as a danger by the day's reactionaries. "Jungle music" and all that; white children screaming for black performers. In a few years' time, the industry tamed rock 'n' roll. Elvis went to the Army. Chuck Berry went to prison. Bobby Vinton went to No. 1. Chew on this little fact: On the American Billboard charts of the hits of 1963, not a single No. 1 song featured an electric guitar solo.
Click the link below to read the article.

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