On June 25th, 52 years ago, “All You Need Is Love” debuted on BBC’s “Our World” program. The Beatles performed their then new song to an audience of some 400,000,000 viewers in 26 countries. Aside from being popular, the song continues to positively inspire people with its upbeat sound and lyrics.
…”All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
All you need is love
All you need is love” etc.–John Lennon/Paul McCartney
Global Beatles Day was instigated as a way to recognize the band for their influence on society and the ways they changed the way millions of people think about life.
I agree with commentators who say that the Beatles greatly influenced a generation, because I’m a member of that generation. The Beatles came to greater attention of the American public at large on February 9, 1964 with their appearance on TV’s “Ed Sullivan Show”.
The 6th grader version of me was one of Sullivan’s viewers that Sunday night. The band provided much of the music for the soundtrack of my youth until the Beatles officially announced their break up the year of my high school graduation. The split underlined my own metamorphosis from youth to young adulthood. The four former Beatles and I set about taking on the world on our own. I went into a period of mourning, then a process of acceptance that lasted through much of the summer of 1970.
What can I say about the group that hasn’t already been said countless times by countless fans and commentators? There is a raft of biographies and interviews about the Beatles and the individual members. There have been retrospective albums starring “The Quarrymen” and “Silver Beetles” of the late 1950s. To make things even more personally significant, the group’s name was changed to “The Beatles” in mid August of 1960. I celebrate my birthday in mid August.
The musical and multi-media evolution of the Beatles happened at around the same time frame of my own evolving musical tastes. As they shifted from their traditional rock and roll sound into the psychedelic period, my musical world expanded. Did “Rubber Soul”, “Sgt. Pepper”, and the “White Album” influence this shift? I suppose to some degree those records did.
The Beatles and their music bonded my brother Mark, our friends, and me together. Until his dying day, Mark’s favorite song was “Octopus’s Garden” with “Blackbird” coming in at a close second. I honestly cannot rank a personal favorite. If I say “Help!”, I immediately think of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, then I think of the crazy, avant garde “Revolution 9”. The same goes for favorite album. Is it “Magical Mystery Tour” or Abbey Road”? When I play one, I yearn for another.
Again, it’s difficult to write or say something about the Beatles that hasn’t already been written or said by countless other Beatles fans. As for me, the Beatles charged my life with creative energy. Their boundless creativity inspired me to think and act outside of the box.
The best non-classical music of my youth and early adulthood came from the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Iron Butterfly, Pink Floyd, Santana, and, most importantly, the Beatles.
Happy Global Beatles Day!
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes George Harrison. “They gave their money, and they gave their screams. But the Beatles kind of gave their nervous systems. They used us as an excuse to go mad, the world did, and then blamed it on us.”