The Beatles: Why we Loved Them

 

Sir Paul McCartney is currently promoting a gallery showing in New York City of the photos he took on the famous breakout tour in America of the Beatles in February of 1964. It was such a shock to the system when they landed in America. After JFK’s assassination, the country needed something completely different. The world was changing and the shock to the system needed a purge.

 

The Beatles were about love. She Loves You, was what they sang. And I love her was another song title. They were loved and people laughed to see how funny and witty they were.  And older people just shook their heads in wonder. It was a time of change and the country was ready for something different.

 

There is a book out now trying to explain why some people become famous and others don’t. In this case, serendipity met the moment! The Beatles were needed and they were persistent and above all, they were talented. So many naysayers thought of them as a “flash in the pan,’ and there were copy-cat groups that did try to emulate their success.

 

The Beatles were “The Real Deal”

But the Beatles became famous for a reason. Their music was seen and heard by brilliant people like Bob Dylan, who also knew they were the ‘real deal,’ and not a passing fad. And the Rolling Stones also broke through at this time. The two pop groups were sort of a Yin & Yang for pop culture and rock music fans.

 

Bob Dylan came onto the scene through the doors of folk music and the entrée of the Greenwich Village beatnik scene. The Beatles listened to black musicians and gathered all the ammunition they needed from a wide range of pop influences. They were not really just overnight success stories. They worked hard and were persistent.  Plus they had producer George Martin backing them and pushing them and encouraging them not to give up!

 

The ”It’ Factor in their Success

 

That is one reason why the Beatles became “The Beatles!” But there was the ‘it’ factor too. It is this elusive factor in success; where Hollywood producers have told us that if you knew how to bottle it and sell it, then there would be thousands of celebrities and famous movie stars. But there is some extra ingredient that goes in to making a star into a “Star!” of great heights.

 

The Beatles brought with them the ‘it’ factor and it seemed to be the fact that they were loved. Their fans loved them and adored them and screamed and cried for them. That is what made it different. The “X” ingredient seemed to be the love quotient…

 

What they taught us about “The Global Village

 

Before the Beatles, the idea of the “Ugly American,’ was apparent in the heavy-handed global footprint Americans had managed to create. But the Beatles were able to ‘lighten up’ the messaging problem a bit!

 

Why? They were the continental success story and they were loved in the newly emerging “Global Village’ Not as a pejorative term, but as a realistic fact, we have all become “Globalists’ in the Computer Age. But in the early sixties, the isolation of countries and the pervasive shadow of the Cold War loomed over our lives. But the Beatles sang their songs in French (Michelle, My Belle) They sang in German: “Komm, Gib mir deine Hand!” was I want to hold your hand!

 

They were English with a Continental flair and their flippant humor was perfectly charming to most Americans. The Global Village opened up with the global success of The Beatles.

 

Changing the Conversation

 

The conversation was changed for the better when the Beatles first appeared on the scene. Their humor, their hair, their clothes, their music, and their entire persona and popularity became the much-needed antidote to the national malaise that had fallen over the USA. They came on the scene at the right time and in the right place. They arrived in New York City and suddenly nothing was ever the same in terms of the notions of what a ‘pop band’ was! Nothing would ever be the same…

 

Looking at the photos that Sir Paul took from his own camera capture the moments that followed. You can see the excitement and almost feel it in some of the photographs. They sang “She Loves You,’ but we were the ones who fell in love that time in 1964 when the Beatles first came to our shores.

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