EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
MEET THE BEATLES
January 20, 1964
I was 13 years old when the musical sound barrier was shattered and reformed by four lads from Liverpool. This album was the turn-key that opened the door to a truly magical world.
The single word to describe the overall impact of the Beatles for everyone (excepting the over 30 crowd) who heard this album back in ‘64 was FUN!
This album generated a cultural shift in music far more influential than that of Sgt. Pepper’s – and Beatlemania was a direct result of a type of fun that could not be contained.
You didn’t have to be a screaming little girl to be affected by this music – it affected us guys too, we just weren’t as emotional about it.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” – 2:24
“I Saw Her Standing There” – 2:50
“This Boy” – 2:11
“It Won’t Be Long” – 2:11
“All I’ve Got to Do” – 2:05
“All My Loving” – 2:04
“Don’t Bother Me” (George Harrison) – 2:28
“Little Child” – 1:46
“Till There Was You” (Meredith Willson) – 2:12
“Hold Me Tight” – 2:30
“I Wanna Be Your Man” – 1:59
“Not a Second Time” – 2:03
Reading these song titles brings back every word and sound – these became Beatle “jingles” in that they were so fresh and new and different that we couldn’t get enough and that meant repeated LP playings well beyond the Top 30 rotation on the radio. Like jingles, these songs would replay in your head; which was an enjoyable thing in a world without Beatles where there suddenly were Beatles!
Plus this was one of the first “album rock” experiences as you could enjoy the whole album as each song was infectious.
This “cultural event” had so many extraneous impacts that they are impossible to know even now 48 years later; as they were personal to everyone yet universal at the same time.
With this album, The Beatles generated a music style, a fashion style, a haircut style (the absurdity that the Beatles had “long hair” shows how repressed and militarized our society was), an attitude style and a youth culture style. Their aura was so encompassing that you couldn’t help but get caught up in the good feeling that what they started was just the beginning of something bigger – and it was.
This joyful new music immediately made ancient the traditional homogenized songs and albums that were the staple for decades.
We had just experienced a newly discovered world – a world that was free of tradition. And therefore, “MEET THE BEATLES” was the first truly revolutionary album that had absolutely no axe to grind – yet was more powerful than all of the protest songs, marches, or sit-ins combined.
Through fun liberation the BEATLES created an innocent subliminal “Question Authority” mentality in it’s listeners – a perfect example of “the Pen (lyric) is mightier than the Sword”. For whether we knew it or not our consciousness was raised, and once your consciousness is raised it cannot be lowered – 00individual speaks Tribal Truth.
These were exciting times for a 13 year old; the world suddenly seemed brighter and there was even more fun in the air.
I was still into the Surfer/Hot Rod/Rat Fink/Tiki God/Mad Magazine culture and music, but was also totally distracted and thrilled with this new wave of sound coming from across the Atlantic called the “British Invasion!”.
Here’s a really intriguing and enigmatic question about the “British Invasion”:
How/why is it that on this planet on this tiny land called England in the mid-1960s seemingly spontaneously with no singular direction or master plan whatsoever, groups, bands, musicians, songwriters, soloists and performers historically emerged and created, changed and influenced music, music genres and culture world-wide to the degree that it became known as the “British Invasion”?
Was this timely Divine Intervention by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Gods?
Vital MEET THE BEATLES Insight:
Through Rock ‘n’ Roll Sage Wisdom 00individual sincerely believes that it was the first 30 seconds of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” that woke up a whole generation to the fact that there was more than we were led to believe.
I remember vividly the first time I heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and that’s exactly how I felt – enlightened – but I didn’t know why at the time. All I knew was that if new worlds can be opened by a great group’s song, then that’s where I wanted to be.
Trip Time: It’s 1964; you’ve heard rumblings through the sound waves about this new “combo” the BEATLES, then soon afterward you hear the radio DJ announce that the next record will be “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – you turn up the radio and immediately you’re grabbed by the intro that pulls you in to lyrics of the simple joy of holding hands – and the world changes forever .