Monday, February 9, 2009

The Beatles On Ed Sullivan

This Day In Boomer History
February 9, 1964
The Beatles Make Their First US TV Appearance

The set was, undoubtedly, black and white. You older boomers may have been home after an afternoon at the local drive-in. We Jonesers were already bathed and in our feetie pajamas.

But after dinner on that fateful Sunday, we gathered with mom and dad in the living room and heard
Ed Sullivan boomed, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!" We heard John Lennon count off, "One two three four," and, as they launched into "All My Loving," we felt our world tip on its axis.

I think you always remember the first time you fall in love. And, though I was still a preschooler, I always loved the Beatles. Oh, not in that boy-meets-girl way (which I wouldn't understand until I hit middle school) or even in the way I would swoon over
David Cassidy or the other 16 Magazine staples in my tween years (which back then would have been called 'preteen').

No, I loved them in the way you love the people who grow up with you, those who engage you and exasperate you and fill you with overwhelming affection. And, at moments, pure joy. I felt joy as the four boys from
Liverpool started, "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you." And it seems I shared that feeling with my entire generation.

Of course, the Beatles got older, just like we all did. But so much of what they gave us boomers were the mark stones on the path of our growing up. We bought the
Beatles lunchboxes and wore the Beatles boots. I can still remember pondering their trip to India to study TM; I still remember when I first saw John and Yoko with their heads shorn for peace. And I remember thinking Paul might be dead, and learning that John really was.

But that was all to come, just like my adulthood. On this day in 1964, I joined the rest of my generation, gathered in the living room, shushing our parents and feeling giddy as our world tilted.

Oh, how we loved them. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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