Without anything to dance around my bedroom to singing I decided to nip one of my parent''s albums. I'm pretty sure it was A Hard Day's Night because it had "Can't Buy Me Love" on it. I was hooked and never went back to that Disney crap.
This last weekend I got my grubby little mitts on the DVD The Four Complete Historic Ed Sullivan Shows featuring the Beatles and other Artists. This thing is in a word; "awesome." Not only does it feature the Beatles but each of the four shows is packaged as they originally aired. This means we get to see acrobats, musicians and commercials for dinner rolls that promised to contain "real butter."
So far we've only watched the first appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and there are a couple of things I find striking. The first is how darned nervous they all look. McCartney and Harrison put on a brave show but they have happy feet. They don't seem all that comfortable on stage.
Lennon is really the one that looks like he wants to crawl out of his own skin. Picture this shot below with Lennon essentially standing rooted on the spot bouncing up and down like some sort of angry gorilla. It's very uncomfortable to watch the big galoot.
Why I find that interesting is that when I think of the Beatles I usually think of the later years when they were a bunch of supremely confident guys who couldn't give a rat's ass what the world thought of them. "We are more popular than Jesus Christ" and all that.
The other thing that struck me about this television performance is the realization of what a sea change these guys were to middle America. These days the Beatles are considered mellow, retro-rock. Evidence of a kinder time.
Here they were sandwiched between a magician doing card tricks and and Frank Gershin doing impressions of Burt Lancaster. The Fab Four must have looked like Hendrix setting his guitar on fire or Ozzy biting off the head of a bird to the people watching at the time. Maniacs with long hair playing impossible sounds.
I can see why they scared the hell out of the parents of our parents. The Beatles didn't just represent a new sound, they represented a new world. Today their music may seem trite and more appropriate for elevators, but there's no denying what they were.
I can see not liking their music, but you damned well better respect it.
(Except you Jess. You're too cool for me to try and boss around. :-p )