The country was still reeling from the death of a president. The youngest president ever had been murdered. As a kid, John Kennedy was a real person. We had seen the pictures of his wife, his young children, his pets, his vacations... he was a person and now he was gone. Along with him, it seemed the country's enthusiasm. Then on a Sunday night in the middle of the cold winter, every kid I knew would be sitting in our parents' living room, trying to not act too excited, as we waited for the Ed Sullivan Show to come on.
Now watching Ed was something that was done every week. While he had a lot of acts most kids couldn't care less about, he also had music. Real music. And on this Sunday night he was going to have The Beatles. For most of us, our parents had already handed down judgement about The Beatles. Long haired hooligans or something to that effect, and they made noise rather than played music. But we knew better.
We knew it was history. They were OURS and nothing would be the same again. We were right. It wasn't. Everyone knows what happened after that night, but as The Beatles first appeared onscreen, we all felt the universe shift. It was the first defining moment in my life, and the one which has brought more joy into in than any other.
Tonight, I will be tuning into CBS just as I did fifty years ago, and remembering what these four kids from Liverpool meant to me, and to the rest of the world. I only wish John and George were still here to look back too.
"She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah"
Yep, she did then, she still does.
Photo by gothopotam