I am old enough, just barely old enough, to remember when the Beatles first came over to the States. Back then it was a big deal when a band, a British Invasion Band, actually crossed the pond… I’m not sure why – they had airplanes, after all.
At any rate I remember them getting off the plane at the airport in New York. We lived only a few miles north of the city then. It was covered on the evening news. I had no idea who they were… and am afraid that when I first saw them, I thought they were women. I was only seven years old and I had never seen men with hair that long.
That didn’t last long – even at my age Beatlemania swept everybody up. At that age, I remember the Beatles cartoon on Saturday Morning more than anything, but I was familiar with their music.
Oh, one other little tidbit. I remember when they flew back to England – it was like we would never see them again. Someone was talking about, “Now they are gone, there is this other band, you need to see them.” So I remember watching this “other band” on some variety show. I was too young to understand completely, but even at that age I could tell there was something different about this other band. Especially the lead singer. I didn’t know what, but I knew this guy had something … something different, something a little dangerous.
It was, of course, Mick Jagger and the Stones… and I guess I was right.
Watch this clip of the Stones from Mike Douglas… it’s pretty amazing. Check out the interview at the end (starting at about six minutes). It’s like something from another planet. The world would never be the same after this.
For someone of my age, the music of the Beatles, as much as anything else, set the stage for everything from my earliest memories up through middle school. When I hear anything from them now it brings back memories that are almost visceral, rather than the more specific memories of music that came after.
So even as something as pedestrian as a Beatles tribute band will have a reaction in my noggin’ – bring back the past in a way that’s a lot of fun.
There’s a pretty decent Beatles tribute band in the Metroplex, A Hard Night’s Day. They have been playing around Dallas for fifteen years now. They have five members, which actually makes for a more realistic, if not accurate, recreation of the sound. They usually play two sets – one of the earliest stuff from the sixties, and another of the more psychedelic later Beatles’ fare. Until you sit through one of these long concerts you forget how wide a swath the fab four cut through the music of the decades.
We’ve seen them many times and saw them again when they played on Saturday afternoon at the Cottonwood Arts Festival. It was, as always, a ton of fun and a lot of old memories for some of us and new memories for a few others.