Ladies and Gentlemen, May I Present The Beatles. . .
I remember that night so well. It was February 9, 1964 and we were living in Delhi, California. I was in kindergarten, involved with all the typical pursuits of a six year old. Little did I know that life would change after that night, not so much for me, but for most of the world because they were getting ready to go along on a very memorable ride.
Even in February our California evenings were pretty mild. Although it was dark out, we were still hanging around outside that evening, riding our bikes and laughing at the neighborhood dog who loved to chase tumbleweeds. It was small town USA, a delight for any kid. This was before the days when parents had to worry about something bad happening to their kids like kidnapping or molestation. We lived on Jennifer Court and ran wild and free playing Red Rover and jacks and chasing each other around playing tag.
“Hey kids! Do you want to come in and see something really funny?” my mom yelled out to us from the front door our house.
We were somewhat hesitant to end our play time, but decided it would be worth it to see something funny. Five of us ran into the house to the family room to see something that did indeed seem funny to us; four guys with long hair singing. When I see pictures of that performance now I laugh at myself for even thinking that their hair was long, but back then it really was.
They were singing Till There Was You, and as I watched, something incredible was happening to me, to most of the US as a matter of fact since an estimated 73 million people were watching. We had missed the first song they sang, All My Loving, but they actually sang 5 songs that night. By the time they sang I Wanna Hold Your Hand I knew I loved them. I just felt the music flow through me. It made me want to dance and laugh and as my friends and I sat there watching, that is exactly what we did!
The next few weeks the Beatles appeared again on the show, and we waited excitedly for them each time. In some ways it is sad for me to equate this as such a memorable time like when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, or when John F. Kennedy was shot, but it probably impacted as many people as those events did. I can’t think of another time that a single event changed so much for the US and really even the world, until September 11, 2001.
I’m glad I can remember. . .