I know that Ed Sullivan Day, February 9th, isn’t an official holiday, but it should be! That was the day when 73 million Americans saw the Beatles’ live debut on American television. Many of those were teenage girls that instantly fell in love with the Beatles, and though I wasn’t around for that historic day, this is exactly how I fell in love with the Beatles!
Confused? Let’s backtrack a bit, while I explain how I became a Beatlemaniac almost exactly a year ago today…
For most of my young life, I vaguely knew the Beatles and their music. I knew John, Paul, George, and Ringo as a band from a long time ago that was and still is very famous. I knew most of the words to Hey Jude and Yellow Submarine like everyone who doesn’t live under a rock. And I knew that Paul McCartney’s 3rd wife, Nancy Shevell, had the same name as our longtime pediatrician. But beyond that, they were not a big part of my life. In fact, until about 3 years ago, I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head who George Harrison was. (sad, I know, but that changed!)
So there I was, going along in life, and when I got to middle school, I made friends with a girl who LOVED the Beatles! (you know who you are…) Whenever I went to her house, we’d listen to albums like Please Please Me and Help! and I’d be mystified as to how she knew all these songs from so long ago. So for about 3 years of my life, I was a casual Beatles fan, but not an obsessive one.
Gradually, I started to realize that there was not much modern music I liked, and I started listening to the measly 16 Beatles songs on my iPod more and more. I liked these songs a lot, but I still couldn’t tell the Beatles apart. I’d stare at the Rubber Soul album cover for 10 minutes at a time, trying to figure out which one George was. As the months went by, I eventually borrowed all of the Beatles albums from my friend and from the library, while uploading the rest of the albums that my family owned on CD onto iTunes. I began listening to almost nothing but the Beatles, as I didn’t know of any other music out there that I could connect with. This was about a year and a half ago, the beginning of 9th grade for me.
And then I started listening to full albums at a time. I made it a point to listen to every single Beatles album out there, and I fell in love with their music. I distinctly remember a turning point in my Beatle fandom came while listening to Abbey Road in the car, and sometime during I Want You (She’s So Heavy), I felt that the Beatles were just the best thing that had ever happened.
Fast forward to 2 months later, the Friday before February break. I had lots of time to waste doing nothing, and I thought that the Beatles, a band I had grown to love, must be on Youtube somewhere. I decided to look for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, since I thought that would be a good place to start. I found the video and started watching, and within 5 seconds of the first song, I understood exactly how all of those girls from 50 years ago felt. I was thrilled and excited by their performance, and felt like screaming along with the audience! I had never had such a distinct feeling of joy and happiness from anything except going to Mets games, but this was different. I noticed how smiley and happy they looked, and of course, I immediately noticed how good looking they were. And sometime during this video, I decided that I liked George the best. (I realize now that this was probably because of his dashing smile during his solo on Till There Was You)
I was hooked, and watched Beatle videos on Youtube for about 3 hours straight. I loved their wit and sense of humor, and I just thought they were amazing and perfect in every way.
I didn’t tell anyone I loved the Beatles for about a month after that, but slowly, people figured it out or I told them. And I was surprised that so many of my friends liked the Beatles as much as I did!
And that’s my story…
The Beatles, since that day in February, have added a lot of fun times and true meaning to my life. And I am so thankful that they existed! Thank you John, Paul, GEORGE, and Ringo for being the fabulous Beatles all those years ago. You guys rock my world.
To close out this probably too long post, here’s the video that started it all, for me and so many others: