Friday, November 19, 2010

Remembering the Beatles

Apple (the iTunes company) and Apple (the Beatles' music publisher) finally got together to make the Beatles' music available on iTunes. With the announcement this week, iTunes is streaming the film of the Beatles' first U.S. concert. They arrived in New York on February 7, 1964 and performed on the Ed Sullivan Shown two nights later—the most widely watched TV show in history at that time. Two nights later they played their first concert in Washington, D.C. It's the film of this concert—about an hour—that Apple is streaming live and for free on iTunes. The black and white video and audio are archaic by today's standards, of course, but for those of who lived through that era (I was a sophomore in high school in 1964), it brings back memories.

Following are some screen grabs from the movie. You can watch the whole movie in iTunes by going here -- click on "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964." There are a number of other shorter videos and pictorials there as well.

Picture 2

The concert was played "in the round." They would face a different quadrant of the audience every 3-4 songs, Ringo being on a revolving pedestal that men in suits (!) would come out and rotate:

Picture 1

Picture 11

It's easy to recognize some of the iconic photos that have appeared over the years of the Beatles when they were still young -- they were 21-22 years old in 1964:

Picture 9

Picture 5

The screaming teenage girls in the audience are amazing to watch. Note the cat-eye eyeglasses on the girl on the left. And particularly notice the young man in this picture. A whole generation of adolescent males suddenly found themselves reduced to the status of slugs in 1964 as the teenage female population, en masse, dropped the boys like hot rocks and gave their hearts to the Beatles. This young man looks none too pleased about it:

Picture 3

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And here is one of thousands of Beatle wannabe groups that sprang up like dandelions after a spring rain all over the country. This one hailed from Decatur, Alabama, and had its picture featured in the 1966 Decatur High School yearbook -- yours truly on the far right:

Regents 5 #2

What an era it was. How blessed are the Baby Boomers who witnessed it firsthand.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, William...

    What a cute guy :D (yours truly on the far right). And I remember those it!