It’s finally here! Fifty years ago the United States, and since the U.S. considers itself the center of the universe, the world was visually introduced to The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Seventy-three million people were exposed to what England had seen for the previous two years, and fell in love.
It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. Many viewers tuned in to witness a musical farce or to see the band fall flat on its face. Who doesn’t slow down at a traffic accident and gawk or at least sneak a peek. The hype had been there for the past month as I Want to Hold Your Hand rose to #1. Who were these guys usurping our record charts?
I was a witness and remember comments from my family about their long hair. (Really? Look at the haircuts. They were just touching the ears!) Someone said that John Lennon resembled a “singing golf ball with hair.”(??!!) And, of course, there were plenty of comments about the crazy screaming girls in the audience. (“What are they screaming about? They can’t even hear the music!”)
I can honestly say that I wasn’t totally won over by The Beatles from that first appearance. Even as a child, I was skeptical. I think it was my unfamiliarity with some of the music. That soon changed. But I returned the following weeks to witness those incredible moments. And man, Ringo Starr could sure rock those cymbals–and drums! But I stayed well clear of the ongoing discussion among the girls on who was cuter: John Lennon or Paul McCartney? That was so annoying! I just wished I didn’t have to hear it!
And when I visited New York City in 1985, before the age of home-owned video tapes, I went to the Museum of Television and Radio (now known as the Paley Center for Media). The first thing I wanted to see was that first Ed Sullivan appearance. I wasn’t the only one.I found out that that show was the number one requested viewing item. It seems everyone wanted to relive those magical moments when The Beatles changed the world!
Nowadays, I can just post it on my blog. What a wonderful world!: