* Special thanks to "Google Images", "wikipedia.com", "NBC News", "CBS News",
and "The New York Post".
CBS carried the Beatles’ first live televised performances in the United States on The Ed Sullivan Show. So, it is only fitting that the network is celebrating the anniversary with a commemorative special. http://guardianlv.com/2014/02/beatles-invade-again-on-50th-anniversary/
by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA
This is our last post for the month of February. Last week we made a number of changes to our Blog site; we introduced a new background, changed our header, we’ve enlarged our writing area to accommodate larger photos, added a language translator and are now running a tech bits reporter in our right hand margin so we may keep abreast of the latest innovations in the world of high-tech. One other thing happened in February which will be our topic for this week’s Blog; you may have heard about it on the news. It was fifty years ago this month that the English musical group, The Beatles came to America!
You just can’t possibly imagine what the world was like in 1964, no Internet, no cell phones, no video games, certainly no home entertainment such as videos, no iTunes or MP3’s, television was still in black & white with color just starting to become available for most broadcasters. The number one program on television was a western called “Bonanza” and many of the programs the networks, of which there were only three, were producing were westerns! It was truly a black & white world back then with Americans getting most of their news from thousands of newspapers and magazines from across the country and these four young entertainers were the biggest news of the day.
Lennon - McCartney - Starr - Harrison
The British rock and roll group the Beatles are shown on stage with Ed Sullivan before their live television appearance on the The Ed Sullivan Show at "CBS" Studio 50 in New York City, Feb. 10, 1964. From left are, Paul McCartney, Host Ed Sullivan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, standing, and John Lennon. (AP Photo) http://myq105.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2012/02/08/this-week-in-music-the-beatles-on-ed-sullivan-pictures/lennon-mccartney-starr-harrison/
Now that we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles American debut it seems as though it was only a few years ago for those of us old enough to remember it. You could say that we feel fifty years young. We were teenagers then and many of us still feel like we are back in our teens whenever we see the old photos of the four “Mop Tops”. Many new photos have surfaced on Google and the Internet. We must confess that we have enjoyed sifting through these pictures.
The Beatles began their recording career in England for EMI’s Parlophone Records, a worldwide franchise of record labels which comprised their corporation or as they say in the UK, EMI Limited, in late 1962. It was not long at all until the Beatles became number one on the English pop charts and were becoming well known is Europe and Canada. The American recording industry; which owned the American Label “Capitol Records”, was also aware of their success but since the type of music the Beatles were performing and recording was Rock n’Roll they were not to be a part of the American music scene in the United States. After all; Rock n’ Roll was invented here in America much earlier in the 1950’s and had established itself as a musical genera by a wide list of musical entertainers from Elvis Presley to Chuck Berry.
With their recording producer George Martin, the Beatles refined and polished Rock n’ Roll giving their sound a new luster which had not been heard before. Martin had a solid musical education and gave the Beatles advice which would mold their sound into a superior class of it’s own and is often credited as being the fifth Beatle. The recording industry saw the Beatles as an imitation of what American performers were already well established in recording and performing and were not interested in having the Beatles in America.
What was unusual about the Beatles, among many other things; however was the originality of their own music which they wrote and performed as a musical quartet playing their own instruments and singing. They were becoming highly original in their field and their records were beginning to infiltrate the American market from Canada and some small record labels here within the US. Try as they did to keep the Beatles out of the US, their recording company Capitol Records, EMI signed the Beatles to an $80,000. promotional deal after their song “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” hit number one across the USA. and brought them to America through promoter Ed Sullivan who took note of the “Fab Four” while on a trip to England the year before.
Thousands of fans had gathered at JFK airport cutting school to greet their new heroes. NYPD had 110 of its finest in preparation of the arrival. One official stated "We've never seen anything like this, not for kings, presidents or anyone". The Pan Am jet landed on American soil to a roar of 4000 plus screaming fans. The boys were whisked through customs then put into a press room to face the older press, ready to devour them. But quickly the Beatles won over the press with their humor & charm. http://www.centerfieldmaz.com/2009/01/beatles-conquer-america-45-years-ago.html
(Left photo) In this this Feb. 7, 1964 file photo, Britain’s Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York, after their flight from London. From left to right, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The Beatles would go on to take America by storm, and rock 'n' roll was never the same. (AP Photo/File)
(Right photo) In the early afternoon of February 7th, 1964, the Beatles arrived at JFK Airport via a Pan Am flight from London. A few minutes later, John, Paul, Ringo and George held their first U.S. press conference. Beatlemania ensued. This Friday, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, in conjunction with Beatles Fest and Radio Station Q104.3 FM, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this world-changing moment with a ceremony featuring the unveiling a marker inside the airport and the cover band Liverpool playing Fab Four favorites. The fun continues on February 9th, when director and screenwriter Celeste Balducci hosts music, dancing and the world premiere of The Lovely Lilly, and independent short film set in Jackson Heights during February 8th-9th, 1964.
Famous News Conference
The Beatles meet reporters at Kennedy Airport in New York City, Feb. 7, 1964 on their arrival from London for their first American tour. The band members, from left, are, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and John Lennon. Credit: AP Photo
There was no doubt at EMI the Beatles were a “Juggernaut” in entertainment. With several albums in England to their credit and now a film ready for release, the American Entertainment Industry could no longer say no to the Beatles and the title wave that was about to erupt in America would be called “Beatlemania” and would launch a musical wave of English entertainers that would be known as the “British Invasion”. They would dominate the musical charts well into the 1970’s and have a profound influence on music even today.
Promotional poster for the Beatles first motion picture released in June of 1964.
So much about this Quartet was so new. Their haircuts, their clothes and “Beatle Boots”, their musical instruments, their English accents and of course as we’ve mentioned – their originally composed songs. Something else about the Beatles worth mentioning was their musical background; they were all self-taught. They learned to play through other musicians whom they came into contact with and a lot of practice. This was something many other acts of their day did not do. Even today; many entertainers are not accomplished singer-songwriters who play their own music as the Beatles did. Oh yes and one other thing; when they performed it was all live! No lip synced pantomime. It was all real!
Now that the Beatles had come to America not only did the Entertainment Industry take note of their many talents, the world of business and finance became aware of the dollars the Beatles were racking in - millions were to be made on everything associated with the Beatlemania. Even Alvin and the Chipmunks were cashing in on the Beatles fame with a record album of the Chipmunks singing Beatle songs. The Beatles were singing and laughing all the way to the bank!
The Beatles were photographed by National Geographic photographer Fred Ward during their first U.S. concert on Feb. 11, 1964, at the Washington Coliseum in D.C. Ward's Beatles photos, including rare color performance shots like this one, will be on display Feb. 9 in Camarillo The Beatles would return to the US in August 1964 to begin their first American concert tour in San Fransico at the "Cow Palace".
(Fred Ward / (c) Award Agency 2014)
(Fred Ward / (c) Award Agency 2014)
Wikipedia recalls the Beatles recording career:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool, in 1960. With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as their songwriting grew in sophistication they came to be perceived as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.
Starting in 1960, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. From 1965 on, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (White Album)(1968), and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr, the remaining members, remain musically active.
According to the RIAA, the Beatles are the best-selling band in the United States, with 177 million certified units. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all time most successful "Hot 100" artists; as of 2014, they hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Score and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. Collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, they are the best-selling band in history, with estimate sales of over 600 million records worldwide. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Beatles as the greatest artist of all time.
Upon their arrival to the US they were featured on the cover of many popular magazines of the day.
So now it's 50 years later. The Beatles were honored at the 2014 Grammy's. The two surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Star performed. CBS produced a fiftieth anniversary special. and The Beatles recording company EMI is distributing a special box set of their American albums. We've selected a few news articles to honor this anniversary from "NBC News", "CBS News" and the "New York Post" to review the event.
What You Don't Know About The Beatles' U.S. Debut
BY ANDY FRANKLIN
Fifty years ago the Beatles conquered America, touching down in New York on February 7, 1964, and making their live U.S. debut two nights later on the Ed Sullivan Show which was seen by 73 million viewers. They seemed to come out of nowhere, but in fact, we knew they were coming. For months before they landed here, the Beatles were all the rage in Great Britain, and America’s top news outlets had taken notice. Among them: NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report, the leading network evening newscast of its time, and the forerunner to NBC Nightly News. Almost three months before that auspicious arrival in New York, Huntley-Brinkley featured a report by Edwin Newman on the Beatles phenomenon. It was the Beatles’ first appearance on American television: November 18, 1963. The four-minute piece was seen by millions of people across the country. Not the tens of millions that would later see the Beatles live on Ed Sullivan, but still the biggest single audience for the Beatles anywhere outside England up to that moment. (CBS via Getty Images)
“I think one of the cheekiest things we ever did was to say to Brian Epstein, “We’re not going to America until we’ve got a Number One record.” Paul McCartney
Fifty years ago the Beatles conquered America, touching down in New York on February 7, 1964, and making their live U.S. debut two nights later on the Ed Sullivan Show. They seemed to come out of nowhere, but in fact, we knew they were coming. For months before they landed here, the Beatles were all the rage in Great Britain, and America’s top news outlets had taken notice. Among them: NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report, the leading network evening newscast of its time, and the forerunner to NBC Nightly News.
Almost three months before that auspicious arrival in New York, Huntley-Brinkley featured a report by Edwin Newman on the Beatles phenomenon. It was the Beatles’ first appearance on American television: November 18, 1963. The four-minute piece was seen by millions of people across the country. Not the tens of millions that would later see the Beatles live on Ed Sullivan, but still the biggest single audience for the Beatles anywhere outside England up to that moment.
It’s hard to believe, but a copy of that broadcast does not exist in the NBC archives. An audio recording somehow did survive, and was recently discovered in the Library of Congress. It is presented here for the first time anywhere in half a century.
The Beatles had been gathering momentum in the UK for several years. From their start as a hot local band in Liverpool, they’d become the headlining act on package tours across Great Britain, with a crucial Hamburg residency in between. They caught fire in 1963. Their debut album Please Please Me was released that January, and followed by three successive number one singles: “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You” (in May), and “She Loves You” (in September).
On October 13, the frenzy was given a name: Beatlemania, after the group’s landmark appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. It was Britain’s top-rated entertainment program, the equivalent of the Ed Sullivan show. The Beatles were the main attraction that night -- the closing act -- and their appearance triggered pandemonium, inside the theater and out. They performed four songs before a rapt national television audience estimated at 15 million.
|February 9, 1964: A group of Beatles fans watch their heroes perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. (photo Central Press Hulton Archive via Getty Images)|
Ten days later, after a hectic series of radio, television and concert appearances, and the final recording sessions for their second album, the Beatles flew to Sweden for their first overseas tour. It was another huge success, and their return to London on October 31 was greeted by more than 1,000 screaming, adoring fans. In the crowd at Heathrow that day: Ed Sullivan, who soon booked the band for his show.
“The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands, and the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewelry.”
On November 4, at the outset of another marathon British tour, the Beatles were the main attraction at a Royal Command Performance in London. With the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret looking on, John Lennon famously asked for the crowd’s help: “The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands, and the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewelry.” (He’d actually threatened to say, “rattle your f**king jewelry,” but thought better of it.) With that, the band launched into their closing number, a blistering version of "Twist and Shout." The next day, British newspapers were beside themselves. The show was broadcast in Britain on November 10, bringing the Beatles to yet another enormous television audience.
American journalists picked up the story. “Thousands of Britons ‘Riot’ – Liverpool Sound Stirs up Frenzy,” headlined the Washington Post. Time magazine described Beatlemania in vivid detail in an article headlined “The New Madness.” That same week, NBC, CBS and ABC dispatched crews to cover the Beatles performing at the Winter Gardens Theater in Bournemouth. The date was Saturday, November 16, and NBC was the first on the air the following Monday with its report by Edwin Newman. CBS aired a story on its morning show that Friday (with a script by correspondent Alexander Kendrick that was strikingly similar to Edwin Newman’s). CBS’s plans to air a story that evening were scrapped after the assassination of President Kennedy that afternoon. ABC apparently never aired a story.
The news media knew something was happening, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, but didn’t really know what it was.
There was more: Variety ran a story headlined “Beatle Bug Bites Britain.” The New York Times Magazine weighed in with “Britons Succumb to Beatlemania.” Life magazine ran a photo of the Beatles meeting Prince Margaret. And the CBS Evening News finally ran its Beatles story on December 10.
November 4, 1963: The Queen Mother talks to the Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. (George Preston / Fox Photos via Getty Images)
It should be said that the tone of most of this American news coverage -- including NBC’s -- was patronizing and dismissive. The news media knew something was happening, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, but didn’t really know what it was. The focus was on haircuts, hype, and hysterical teenage girls. Little attention was paid to the music itself, which as the Beatles themselves proudly pointed out, had deep American roots. Not until later was the moment seen clearly as the beginning of a seismic generational shift, and a sea change in popular culture.
October 14, 1963: The Beatles (top to bottom) Paul McCartney, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), George Harrison (1943 - 2001) and Ringo Starr backstage at the London Palladium. (Right photo: Keystone / Getty Images)
What all the news coverage did do was raise awareness of the Beatles, feeding a growing appetite for their music among American record-buyers. Up until then, their hits in Britain had tanked here. But things had changed. The Kennedy assassination had left Americans hungry for something to feel good about. What better than four lovable singing moptops? Eleven weeks after Dallas, the spark of Beatlemania jumped the Atlantic and set fire to a huge American audience.
The Beatles’ next single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (b/w “I Saw Her Standing There”), was promised for American release in January. But demand was so great that the record was rush-released on December 26. The song exploded onto U.S. airwaves, charting for 15 weeks, including a phenomenal seven weeks at Number One. When John, Paul, George and Ringo landed at New York’s newly renamed John F. Kennedy Airport half a century ago, the Beatles were at the top of the charts, just where they said they would be.
A footnote: The Huntley-Brinkley Report distinguished itself in November 1963 by being the first to put the Beatles on American television. Sadly, that was not the case three months later, when the broadcast inexplicably underplayed the story of their arrival in New York. It’s a shame, because the Beatles actually watched Huntley-Brinkley that night. Documentary footage shot in their Plaza Hotel suite on February 7, 1964 shows the Beatles tuning in to NBC after catching Cronkite on CBS. If they’d watched to the end, they would have heard Chet Huntley trying to explain why America’s premier evening newscast thought the Beatles’ arrival that day was worth covering, but not worth airing! Here’s how Chet signed off that night:
“Well, the Beatles arrived in New York today and advanced almost to the Hudson. The four English musical stars with their pudding-bowl haircuts were greeted by about 4,000 shrieking teenagers at Kennedy Airport and mobbed by another large group of juveniles when they got to the Plaza Hotel. All day long, some local disc jockeys had been encouraging truancy with repeated announcements of the Beatles’ travel plans, flight number and estimated time of arrival. British journalists tell us that the record company had 16 press agents handling the arrival, but we wouldn’t know much about that. However, like a good little news organization we sent three camera crews to stand among the shrieking youngsters and record the sights and sounds for posterity. Our film crews acquitted themselves with customary skill and ingenuity. The pictures are very good but someone asked what the fuss was about, and we found we had no answer. So, goodnight for NBC News.”
First published February 7th 2014, 5:14 am
When The Beatles Changed Everything
February 9, 1964 – The Beatles made their live U.S. television debut in their first appearance on CBS-TV’s “The Ed Sullivan Show.” An estimated 73.7 million Americans watched as John, Paul, George and Ringo performed “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
A record setting 73 million people tuned in that evening making it one of the seminal moments in television history. Nearly fifty years later, people still remember exactly where they were the night The Beatles stepped onto Ed Sullivan’s stage.
In the weeks leading up to the performance, several Beatles records had already hit number one on the U.S. charts, and the radio airwaves were saturated with their tunes. The delirium and ground swell of anticipation surrounding The Beatles’ arrival from England had not been seen around since Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. But even that experience could not have prepared the Sullivan staff and the New York City authorities for what was about to happen.
"Here Comes The Sun" is a song The Beatles recorded in 1969, not all that long before the end of road they traveled together. How that journey -- their "long and winding road" -- began for these four remarkable musicians is our "Sunday Morning" Cover Story is a report from Mark Strassmann:
Even half a century later, the sound is unmistakable . . . the sound of frenzied joy.
When John, Paul, George and Ringo stepped off the plane at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, they had no idea they were making history.
The Beatles: Backstage at "The Ed Sullivan Show"
The Beatles informal rehearsal for t their American television debut.
Despite their reception, they were still a mystery to MOST of America, until two days later, when Ed Sullivan made the introductions: "Ladies and gentleman. . . The Beatles!"
An astonishing 73 million Americans tuned in that night -- nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population.
Some say that was the night the second half of the 20th century officially began.
"In a country in which popular culture is extremely important, there's probably nobody more important than The Beatles," said Steven Stark. "They changed more about both their discipline, and the other disciplines around them through that, than anybody else did."
Stark was one of the millions whose lives changed that night, so much so that 30 years later he moved his family from Boston to Liverpool to write a book about exactly how The Beatles changed everything.
"Rock music was not the soundtrack to a generation, it WAS the generation," Stark said. "It was the air, it was considered to be the central, and a revolutionary and new -- kind of the way the people think of the Internet is now -- communication force that would change everything. It would change our politics, our culture, our fashion, and The Beatles were the crown princes of this movement."
And they came along, Stark said, exactly when we NEEDED them.
In February 1964 America was a wounded country. President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas three months before. The Vietnam War was heating up. Civil rights clashes became street battles.
Nothing seemed to be going right.
"The country was in a collective depression, essentially," said Stark, "and to have these incredible fun and funny guys show up, almost from outer space -- which is about the equivalent of what England was in those days -- was incredibly energizing for people."
In the press conference, the great surprise is that they're fun, funny, and all very disarming.
Reporter: "I may be a little square but what does 'Beatles' mean?"
Ringo: "It means US!"
Paul: You've seen the little crawly things, haven't you? Well, we're BIG crawly things."
Ringo: "It means US!"
Paul: You've seen the little crawly things, haven't you? Well, we're BIG crawly things."
"And very intelligent," said Stark. "It's absolutely astonishing to the reporters. They're astonished at how erudite they were.
Reporter: "What have you seen best that you like about our country?"
Reporter: "Which one are you?"
John: "I'm Eric."
Reporter: "Which one are you?"
John: "I'm Eric."
Few people besides The Beatles themselves have more first-hand knowledge of that historic visit than Albert Maysles, the 87-year-old award-winning documentarian behind such classics as "Gimme Shelter" and "Grey Gardens."
"It's just amazing," Maysles said. "It's the experience all over again, every time I see it. I mean, it's wonderful. That's why I make movies."
In 1964 Maysles was just another little-known New York City filmmaker, when out of the blue, "I got a call one day from Granada Television saying that The Beatles are arriving in two hours: 'Would you like to make a film of it?'" Maysles recalled. "So I put my hand over the phone, I said to my brother, 'Who are The Beatles, are they any good?' And he said, 'Yeah, they're great, yeah.' So we both got on the phone, made the deal, rushed off to the airport in time to see the plane coming down."
For the next week he filmed every step of that first tour. It became his first documentary, "What's Happening: The Beatles' first U.S. Visit."
Maysles was with them as they arrived at the Plaza Hotel, where another crowd of screaming fans was waiting -- a crowd that included 13-year-old Irene Katz. Cameras were rolling while she and her friends cheered, immortalizing her memory.
"I had my sign, my girlfriend Laura had her sign," Katz recalled. "We were holding them up, because we were convinced we were going to be seen by The Beatles. They were going to look out that window, and pluck us from the streets, and make us their girlfriends!"
Strassmann asked, "What was it about the music originally that hit you?"
"It was just so different than anything I had ever heard," she replied. "They were very positive, very upbeat. I think it was a healing thing. Other people have said that before, I know. But it was just something that people needed. I particularly did. I didn't have a great relationship at home, and this was something that I could really embrace, and it made me just much happier."
Whatever fans were getting from The Beatles, it all starts with the songs. From 1962 through their breakup in 1970, they would write roughly 200 of them.
Then there were the films, the changing hairstyles, and most importantly, the ever-evolving music.
"Most pop culture figures become well-known, and then they stop growing," said Stark. "They keep doing what got them there. The Beatles constantly reinvent themselves. They don't want to keep doing the same thing even more than once, and in a way as they reinvent themselves, they reinvent all of their followers -- and we're talking hundreds of millions."
Hundreds of millions, and counting.
At the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, professor Lauren Passarelli has taught the music of the Beatles for 15 years. "It's all Beatles all the time," she said of her courses. "There's a John Lennon course, 'The Music of John Lennon,' and then there's a 'Beatles harmony' class, and I teach a Beatles guitar lab. And then the Beatles ensemble -- try to get the whole class to play like The Beatles."
Year after year the classes fill up.
"All of my influences you can trace back to where it started with The Beatles," said one student. "So I'm tracing my roots back to where it all began."
Last week, Berklee students and faculty performed The Beatles' "White Album" live in its entirety. They played to a packed house -- the magic in the music as strong as it was when it was first written.
"I think people recognize in The Beatles today, younger people, a feeling of hope and optimism that people miss," said Stark. "They miss the excitement of the time, the idea that you are on the ground making history is a very heady feeling, and they wish they had it."
And as for how many generations that might be, here's how John Lennon answered the question way back in 1964:
Reporter: "How long do you think Beatlemania will last?"
John: "As long as you all keep coming!"
John: "As long as you all keep coming!"
Fifty years later, we're all still here.
"The New York Post"
February 10, 2014 | 2:16pm
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (Reuters)
Sunday night’s CBS special, “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America,” celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Fab Four’s live appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” which did, indeed, “change America” and provided a seismic sociological shift in our culture.
The night featured a reunion of surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and A-list artists (Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Dave Grohl et al.) performing classic Beatles songs.
The night also provide many lasting images — some good, some not-so-good — that everyone’s talking about in the typical Monday-morning quarterback kind of way.
So, in that spirit, here’s my take on the night’s “Five Best” and “Five Worst” moments from Sunday’s night’s CBS special.
Five Best Moments:
1.) Ringo Starr singing onstage singing “Yellow Submarine” and “Boys.” He was vibrant and seemed to be enjoying himself, despite singing songs he’s sung thousands of times before in the past 50-plus years. He’s 73 now, but you wouldn’t know that from his energetic performance. We’ll cut him some slack in the vocal department.
2.) Ringo and Paul McCartney together on stage, performing “With A Little Help From My Friends” and, with Ringo on the drums, “Hey Jude.” Brought a tear to the eye, especially when they gave a shout-out to late Beatle brothers John Lennon and George Harrison.
3.) Glorious black-and-white clips from the Beatles Feb. 9, 1964 live appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” which reminded us of the magic. The excitement was still tangible, 50 years later.
4.) Quick-hit bios of all four Beatles — informative and illustrative, without overdoing it.
5.) Adam Levine and Maroon 5 performing “All My Loving” (who knew Levine played the guitar?). They were obviously nervous, but found their groove and delivered a dynamic performance.
Five Worst Moments:
1.) Any of the roughly 48 times the CBS cameras cut to Rita Wilson dancing and singing along. Because when people think “The Beatles,” they think Tom Hanks’ wife. WTF?
2.) Yoko Ono dancing in the aisle. That should never happen in public. Awkward, and reminiscent of Elaine’s infamous embarrassing dance moves on “Seinfeld.” And please, Yoko, take the huge sunglasses off already.
3.) Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. Maybe the tens of people awaiting their reunion were in heaven, but they butchered “The Fool on the Hill.”
4.) Imagine Dragon and its reworking of “Revolution.” John Lennon’s snarling anthem reduced to acoustic dinner-theatre music.
5.) Katy Perry’s interpretation of “Yesterday.” Why? (Honorable mention to Ed Sheeran’s crooning of “In My Life.”)