Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Alan Cross0
Prepare for a New Onslaught of (Completely Justifiable) Beatles Hype
The next big event from the rock’n’roll almanac is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America, specifically their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. There will be plenty of hype and product centered around this date–and, if you ask me, it’s entirely justified. This single TV appearance chanced rock and pop music forever.
Some 73 million people–more than a third of the US population–tuned in to CBS that Sunday night to see what all the fuss was about. Just about every kid who saw the show went out an bought a guitar the next day. Nothing was the same ever again.
Over the last 50 years, much has been written about the effects of that performance and why it had such a profound effect–and more will be written in the coming months. Vanity Fair looks ahead at what to expect. And not with just the Beatles, either. We’re heading into a period of multiple fifty-year anniversaries.
At least the anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival and their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show is one of unalloyed joy. The touchdown of Pan Am Flight 101 at J.F.K. Airport on February 7 that brought the Beatles to America set off a thunderclap of euphoria heard round the world and proved to be no temporary flash of mass hysteria or passing fad but the re-start of the 60s after J.F.K.’s funeral procession. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were the heralds of America’s spring awakening, a puberty rite writ large.
There’s more, so keep going.