There are a great number of bloggers waxing poetically about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on Ed Sullivan back in 1964. Among my favorites so far is an article posted by my friend Kit Bigelow on the blog site BoomerCafé which was created by veteran journalists David Henderson (left in the photo) and Greg Dobbs in the summer of 1999. (disclosure: David Henderson and Kit are married)
What really impressed me was the acknowledgement in the comments that there was a different reaction for girls and boys. We boys were a bit jealous that these fellows from England could fly in here and immediately be the the heart throbs we desired to be ourselves. I hadn’t thought about that until today and realized that the “jealousy factor” was greater with age of the boy.
Here’s what I offered on BoomerCafe’: I well remember the impact of the Beatles. I watched them on Ed Sullivan that night too and was agitated that the “screamers” were interfering with the music. And I also acknowledge a little jealously at the way the girls went totally mesmerized over them. But part of their redemption was that they represented a new alternative form of rebellion. I was only 11 and the older “rebels” (you know, the “cool” guys) who rejected me as “just a kid” seemed to style themselves after Elvis and James Dean – “greaser” hair, and a “loner” independence. But here was a BAND with a new look and a social attitude. There was more happening here than just Rock’n’Roll. These guys gave us a new way to be cool.