Fifty years ago the Beatles made their first trip to the USA and changed the musical, and cultural, landscape forever. This book is a compilation of memories and an assessment of what they meant to the people who were there. It is comprised of essays, interviews and tells how Beatlemania crossed the ocean and the reactions to it. Many parents were less than impressed – seeing them as dangerous influences (you wonder how they responded when the Rolling Stones touched down...) with their long hair and cheeky humour.
There are famous fans, including Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper, those who witnessed the concerts, who stood outside their hotels and screamed and even those who were unimpressed by this strange, new import (including some rather churlish comments which it is best to gloss over!). Amongst the memories are contemporary news articles, very interesting to read with the benefit of hindsight. The author managed to track down most of the girls seen on the cover photo of this book, who reflect on that time with warmth. There are comments on the importance of the Beatles acknowledgement of black music in a, still very much, racially divided country. One of my favourite pieces is an article on the song, “When I’m Sixty Four” and an appreciation of the enduring Lennon and McCartney songbook. Other fans mention “A Hard Day’s Night” and the sheer joy of their music.
“Whatever the Beatles had,” muses one fan, “no one else in my lifetime had it.” A ‘new’ Beatles appeared every so often in the seventies and eighties, only to disappear again. Few musical acts last – none with the enduring influence of the Beatles, who not only touched so many people so long ago, but continue to do so. This book is sure to be enjoyed by fans, whether they were there at the time or not and is a great book of many interesting recollections to treasure and dip into.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.