Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Beatles - February 1964

On February 7, 1964, the Beatles were heading over the Atlantic, towards America, on Pan Am Flight 101. With them were their manager, Brian Epstein; roadies/friends Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall; also the infamous Phil Spector and his wife Ronnie, and The Ronettes. They were accompanied by a few journalists. None of them had any idea of what was awaiting for them upon their arrival.

Surprisingly, they had only received word the previous week that they had the Number 1 Record on America's Billboard chart for several weeks already. This lack of knowledge, on their part, was one of the main reasons that Brian Epstein had signed The Beatles for 4 shows, contracted at Union Scale, on the Ed Sullivan Show. In between they would be making a limited amount of stops in America, "testing the waters", as it were. And those waters were boiling!

I only mention this because history has a way of repeating itself. I have been on a Dean Martin binge for a few weeks now. That, in itself, is not unusual, as I am a huge Dean Martin fan. His voice is like a single malt whiskey; pure and aged in oak, and then aged again, making it extra mellow. It's the timing that is surprising.

Just as he did in 1964, Dean Martin has done it again. At the height of Beatlemania, in 1964, he upstaged them with the number one hit "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime", which became his iconic, signature song, even replacing "That's Amore" in popularity, as well as sales. And now, 48 years later, my Dino binge eclipsed the anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America.

But, "give the devil its due", the Beatles were a lasting influence on an entire generation, and so it would be wrong to fail to mention them this week. It was 48 years ago when these guys stormed America. I still remember watching them, sitting in the living room, on the Ed Sullivan Show. Those were still the days of one TV households, and we all watched the show together. My parents and brother said they were a fad, with long hair and collarless, or "cardigan", jackets. Except for me, and millions of other kids; we felt the magic; so enjoy the above video of the Beatles doing "I Saw Here Standing There", and "Long Tall Sally", from Swedish TV in October of 1963, several months before they came to America. The energy is fantastic.

And here is one of the Beatles doing "Revolution" in the studio "live" in 1968 for the David Frost Show in England. It was later re-broadcast here on the Smothers Brothers Show in September of that year, along with "Hey Jude." Not bad, for a "fad."

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