Last week CBS, in a partnership with the Grammys, announced it will air a two-hour special in February featuring some of our favorite musicians performing the songs that the Beatles sang on their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
Our generation has never known a world without the Beatles. There is a fantastic line in the movie Sliding Doors where a character perfectly explains, “Everybody’s born knowing all the Beatles lyrics instinctively. They’re passed into the fetus subconsciously along with all the amniotic stuff. Fact, they should be called The Fetals.” On the day my son was born, the very moment he was placed on my chest, I sang a Beatles song to him.
For many of us, it is our parents who will remember their personal moment when “the Beatles invasion” happened in their life. It’s hard to pin down the exact instant when the whole world took notice, but about fifty years ago, music changed. The performance of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 is how CBS and the Grammys are measuring the Beatle’s impact on music.
On the morning of November 22, 1963 Mike Wallace aired a segment featuring the frenzy of the Beatles in the UK. In his report Mike Wallace dryly says, “This is Beatle-land, formerly known as Britain, where an epidemic known as Beatlemania has seized the teenage nation, especially female.” He then proceeds to explain how to spell the band’s name and gives a dig at their “dish-mop hairstyles.” The Mike Wallace broadcast didn’t do much to introduce the Beatles to America as November 22nd became a day of tragedy for our nation with the assassination of President Kennedy.
In Paul McCartney’s book, Each One Believing: On Stage, Off Stage, and Backstage, he acknowledges that the band was aware of the role they played in the healing after such a tragic and shocking death. They knew the “Beatles’ first visit gave America reason to smile again.”
In so many ways the Beatles have been a part of our life.
The Beatles…in Our Life
A brief glimpse at how the Beatles have influenced us: 1 of 16
It's the little things, but we all do them: sing their songs to our children, quote their lyrics when we need that perfect phrase, celebrate when we recognize a Fab Four reference within pop culture... Find out how the Beatles are influencing us all around the world.
Beatle-Influenced Names 2 of 16
1. While many have said our first lady got her name from the hit Beatles song, it is mathematically impossible. Michelle Obama was born in 1964 and the song, "Michelle" appeared on the Rubber Soul album in 1965. That doesn't stop the first lady from claiming it as "her song," and who could blame her!? A few years ago Paul McCartney serenaded Michelle with "Michelle."
2. Actor Jude Law is named after "Hey Jude," and after all these years it's still his favorite song. He told a reporter at a film festival: "I've got so many memories of that song being played. Thank God it's a good song. It would be terrible to be named after an awful song."
3. Musician Liam Gallagher named his eldest son Lennon as a tribute to John Lennon.
Image Credits: PR Photos, PCN Photos
Animals and the Beatles 3 of 16
Beatles are animals so it is only natural that the fab four would have influence on our four-legged friends. I am so completely charmed by the name of Tabby Road animal hospital in Colorado. Their website art made me grin as well. Then I found out about the Beatle Barkers. This is a tribute band like no other: dogs bark out Beatles tunes. You will want to bring your kids over to your computer before you click on that link. Trust me.
Beatles also influence our pet names. Miley Cyrus adopted a puppy and named her Penny Lane! I even have a friend who had a cat she named Paw McCartney.
Beatles on the map 4 of 16
In 1981 four streets in Liverpool were named after the members of the Beatles. John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close, and Ringo Starr Drive are all streets in a subdivision.
Image Credit: Google Maps
Characters + bands named after Beatles’ songs 5 of 16
1. Gemma Atterton, far left, looks radiant in purple at the Quantum of Solace premiere. In the 2008 James Bond film, she played Agent Fields — Agent Strawberry Fields.
2. In the film I Am Sam, Dakota Fanning plays a character named Lucy Diamond. There are many Beatles references within the film, as Sam, played by Sean Penn, is obsessed with the band.
3. The original name of Irish rock band, The Cranberries, was The Cranberry Saw Us. This is said to have been a reference to the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever" by the Beatles. There was a famous hoax that suggested Lennon mumbled, "Paul is dead" at the end of the song. Lennon disputed this completely in one of his final interviews and admitted he actually said "cranberry sauce." Cranberry Saw Us = Cranberry Sauce ... get it?
Image Credits, PR Photos, All Movie
Beatles in space 6 of 16
It really didn't surprise me to discover that the Beatles are intergalactic. In April of 1990 two scientists, Brian Skiff and Edward Bowell, discovered 4 asteroids on the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Being Beatles fans, you can guess what they named the asteroids ... Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr.
Beatles food 7 of 16
The Yellow Submarine Food Truck in Miami, Florida has taken its wheels off! Now operating at the renamed Rock That Burger, the musically influenced fast food joint is still offering an eclectic menu. The yellow submarine burger comes with: mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, raw or grilled onions, pineapple sauce, white mustard, sun dried tomatos, and mayo.
Image Credit: Yellow Submarine Twitter
Beatles on the menu 8 of 16
Beatles covers 9 of 16
Grammys salute to the Beatles 10 of 16
This February the Grammys will host a two-hour tribute to the Beatles on CBS. The tribute, The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, will air on February 9th. That date is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The show will be taped the day after the Grammys and will include top stars singing the songs that the Beatles sang on Sullivan's TV show. I can not wait to find out who will be selected to perform — this is certain to be must-see TV!
Image Credit: Wikipedia, author art
Beatles on location 11 of 16
The tagline for the Liverpool John Lennon Airport is, perhaps, the most perfect tag line for an airport I have ever heard. (Not to say that I can think of any other airport taglines, but I digress ...) "Above us only sky" is on every page of the airport's website. The airport was renamed in 2002 and is the only airport in the UK named in honor of a person.
In Hamburg, Germany there is a plaza named after the Beatles: Beatles-Platz. It is circular and paved black to make it look like a vinyl record.
Circus Beatles 12 of 16
I have never been lucky enough to see a Cirque du Soleil performance (it's on the bucket list), but I did enthusiastically watch the documentary about the creation of the Beatles-themed show, Love. It was completely fascinating to see how the production was created: from the mere idea to getting permission to use the music to artistic differences. All Together Now just gives us a taste of the show, and what I saw was WOW. (Watch a trailer for the live performance.)
Image Credit: Cirque du Soleil
Beatles in modern movies 13 of 16
2007's Across the Universe received mixed reviews when it was released. Roger Ebert and I both loved it. Roger says, "Across the Universe is an audacious marriage of cutting-edge visual techniques, heart-warming performances, 1960s' history, and the Beatles songbook." I say: If you didn't enjoy it the first time, give it a re-watch.
Almost Famous continues to be one of the only film soundtracks that I always keep in my car. (Spoiler alert: there are no Beatles songs on the soundtrack.) The 2000 film starred an on-the-cusp-of-stardom, Kate Hudson, in the role of Penny Lane.
Beatles on buildings 14 of 16
Earlier this year the University's Art and Design Academy in Liverpool named a building after John Lennon. The new building on campus is called the John Lennon Art and Design Building. Yoko shared: "John studied at the university when it was the College of Art and it provided the springboard for so many influential aspects of his life. When the university approached me about naming the building after John I was so touched. I was there when the building was planned and have watched its progress with great interest. It is an enormously fitting tribute to John and our shared connections with LJMU."
Image Credit: John Lennon Building Facebook
Beatles on TV 15 of 16
Long before Glee hit the airwaves, the Beatles have been singing on our favorite TV shows. Providence, Life Goes On, and The Wonder Years all had a Beatles song as their theme song. Providence started every show with "In My Life," The Wonder Years began on the chords of "With a Little Help from My Friends," and Life Goes On featured the entire cast singing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."
Beatles in the bar 16 of 16
Watch the Mike Wallace Beatles Segment from November 22, 1963
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