February is a significant month in the annals of music. In February 1964, the American people were introduced to The Beatles. They gave three performances on the Ed Sullivan Show (February 9, 16, and 23). Essentially, those shows gave birth to “Beatlemania.”
The Beatles came to America at a time while the nation was still grieving over the tragic events that had occurred some three months prior, in Dallas on November 22, 1963. In many ways, The Beatles helped the country to get through the somber grieving process.
It was a little over 60 years ago – in 1960 – that four Liverpudians – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best (Ringo would join the group in 1962) formed the legendary band that would take the world on a “Magical Mystery Tour” throughout a turbulent decade plagued by a senseless, unwinnable war in Asia, political unrest, the “Cold War,” and a righteous struggle for equality and civil rights.
Without doubt, The Beatles had a mesmerizing influence throughout the 60’s with their creative use of harmonies, sound, and instrumentation. So much so, that after they had disbanded, there were notable efforts throughout the 70’s to reunite the Beatles to support the various worthy causes du jour.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the Fab Four. Of course, today a Beatles reunion would be possible only through recording media, such as the “Anthology” sessions in the 1990s. Yet, we wonder, if the Beatles could have gotten through all the contractual red tape and the legend could have become real again, would they have had the same magical spell – the same charismatic, hypnotic effect on society – as they had throughout the 60’s?
The Beatles are music’s mythical deities. What would have happened if the “Olympudians” with their history-making albums, imperial wreaths adorning their brows, and dollar sign caduceus in their hands would have become flesh in the 70’s? Then, dear readers, after these four millionaires would have taken the stage and hypocritically begun to sing “All You Need is Love,” the “Legend” would have died. . . Pretty much as it did after the release of the “Anthology” albums.
John Di Genio and Albert J. Cupo