Or maybe I have it mixed up with Presidents Day.
Anyway, the big deal that it was in 1964 has come back around again in my house, and it is not uncommon to hear “I Want to Hold Your Hand” or “She Loves You” blasting from the hi-fi at any given time.
(Note to you kids: Hi-fi is ancient terminology for an antiquated piece of equipment on which we played records in order to hear music. Today’s equivalent would be that little telephonic gizmo you listen to through those little buds, which seem to have taken up permanent residence in your ears.)
Most Americans of my approximate mileage remember with great clarity Feb. 7, 1964, the night The Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan’s television show. (It was a variety show – another piece of ancient terminology for you youngsters.) I can still see the Redmonds gathered around the family Zenith waiting to see this new group from England – Mom and Dad skeptical, we kids eager and excited. And millions of Americans have pretty much the same memory from their kidhoods. Especially the skeptical parents part.
But what looms equally as large as that Sunday is the Monday after.
As I got on the school bus that morning, the bus monitors – two eighth-grade girls wearing safety patrol belts and badges – were singing (and doing the hand jive to) every song on the “Meet The Beatles” album. The class clowns were singing “I Want to Hold Your Gland.” Girls were writing The Beatles’ names all over their blue cloth binders. Guys had already begun training their crew cuts into Beatle hair. And The Beatles were the ONLY topic of conversation.
I joined the babble by announcing a new twist in my career path. Whereas before I was going to be either a newspaperman like my Dad or first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, I now intended to play the guitar in a band for a few years first. I figured I already had a leg up on the competition, too, seeing as how I owned a ukulele and knew four – count ’em, four! – chords and was working on the fifth. Becoming a Beatle looked like the easy road to riches for a young man with my kind of potential.
OK, well, we can see how it turned out. So much for me and career planning.
Even if I never became one, I can’t deny that The Beatles brought me a great deal of joy, from their music, their cultural influence and from the way they annoyed my father. I especially enjoyed that last one.
And now, thanks to the magic of DVDs (soon to be another antiquated technology) I can relive it all again and remember what it was like when four guys from Liverpool changed the word. Or I can just listen to some really good music. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.