February 26, 2014

Happy Wed. +1 here and kind of hazy cloudy. There was a pink sunrise.

Not too much to report here. We watched all four Ed Sullivan variety show programs from 1964-65 that featured the new singing phenoms The Beatles. These appearances were credited with gaining the group a huge US audience. The first three appearances were on consecutive weeks, and already the Beatlemania in the audience was pretty extreme. Most people thought the boys (all in their 20s) had really long hair. Compared to the butch cuts that were the norm for the day in the US, that was true. But they wore matching suits and ties and grinned affably. It appeared to me that Paul and Ringo were the natural crowd-pleasing performers. George was pretty focused on his huge guitar and John sang but didn’t talk much except to tell the audience at one point to shut up when he couldn’t make himself heard.

18 months later they returned just as HELP hit the record stores, to be followed soon by the movie. By that time they could hardly perform live anymore due to the screaming crowds. Paul sang solo with acoustic guitar his new song, Yesterday, which became the most recorded song in music history. The rest of each show is good for nostalgia buffs who remember when there were only three TV channels and Ed ruled the airwaves on Sunday evening. The other acts—singers and comedians, mostly—were almost uniformly awful, verging on camp. The best acts were throwbacks to vaudeville like acrobats, magicians, and dancers. If you enjoy the saga of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, these DVDs are worth watching. If not, not. From the public library. You can find them on YouTube also.


Comments are closed.