One Sunday evening when I was ten, my dad turned on the TV and asked me to watch the Ed Sullivan Show with him. He said if I did, I would see something important. My dad didn’t normally encourage his children to watch TV and, when he said something was important, I believed him. His cultural acuity gave me a wonderful memory — sitting on the floor in front of a black and white television set watching the Beatles’ first performance in the United States.
The world changed a little for me that night as it did for so many. After February 9, 1964, I saw the Beatles in concerts twice, learned a lot of Beatle trivia, and memorized almost every word of almost every song. There are probably not four people who more profoundly influenced 20th century American culture than the Beatles — musical innovation, politics, philosophy and of course hair styles. Timothy Leary said “The Beatles are mutants, prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen.”
All four Beatles grew up in Liverpool and began their musical careers there. Liverpool is on England’s west coast, about half way between Dublin and London. Since I am traveling from Dublin to London, it made sense to stop there and I did.
As you can guess, Liverpool is a very proud of its connection to the Beatles and it knows why you are visiting.
Here are a few of the highlights of my morning with Eddie and some songs too.
Yesterday and today. The photo on the left is the album cover for Ringo Starr’s first solo recording. On the right is The Empress Tavern today. Ringo chose the building for his album cover because it is the pub that is closest to his two childhood houses. I don’t know why this building only takes cockeyed photos.
If you are older than 60, turn on a Beatles song and see whether you aren’t transported to a time and place of really good feelings. Same if you are younger than 60.
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”