You Know You Should be Glad
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964
What did the early Beatles mean to America?
They were about joy, excitement, and pleasure.
It was less than three months after the Kennedy assassination.
Just to briefly buzz in on this weekend's whir of nostalgia around the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show: As many have noted, it was less than three months after the Kennedy assassination, bringing across the Atlantic a whiff of much needed fresh air, a reacquaintance with joy we all had been craving since November 22, 1963.
They represented youthful hope
The Beatles were simply the biggest thing in the world, short of nuclear fear. They represented a sea change -- in music, in culture, in democracy itself. They weren't always comfortable with having that effect. 'People said the Beatles were the movement,' Lennon later said, 'but we were only part of the movement. We were influenced as much as we influenced.' True, but the Beatles were a key part of that movement. They represented youthful hope, and they represented the new social power that rock & roll might achieve -- a power not only to upset but to transform. The world was changing -- or at least it felt that way -- and the Beatles served as emblems of that change.
Youth is life as yet undimmed by tragedy. And the finest flower of youth it to know the lesson in advance, undimmed.
..and life undimmed by tragedy.
They were like a rainstorm,