Sunday, February 9, 2014

Has it really been fifty years?

Was it really fifty years ago today that one of the most electric moments in cultural history occurred?

It amazes me that the screaming, bouncing girls in the audience then are either close to or at Social Security age. (It's also something I don't want to think about.)

Back to the Beatles. All four of their Ed Sullivan Show appearances are available on this DVD, which deserves a place in your video library.

I'm sorry I couldn't find more footage to share on my blog. But when you watch the whole video, take a look at the faces of the Beatles. Take a look at the faces of their fans. So much joy. So much hope.

I cannot in truth say that life was better in 1964 than it is today. Back then, we were so ignorant about issues that we're just learning to understand now. Something was in the air in 1964, and that was hope. A belief that humanity was moving in the right direction - and the will to work to make that happen.

Many of us, alas, have lost both the belief and the will.

That cannot stand.

Something else rode side-by-side with hope in the 1960s...that something was called creative courage.

Popular rock musicians and singers and songwriters and producers had greater freedom to be artists, to evolve, to change styles. To listen to the mandate of their creativity, not the fickle winds of what might sell most. And that music got played on commercial radio.

Today, the risk-takers live in the indie world - where you may not find them unless you listen to public or Internet radio. Pop music - the kind you hear on today's commercial radio - is too dull. It's doesn't touch the heart or echo off the bone. It doesn't tell your story. It's like a commercially grown tomato - pretty, shiny, and as nourishing as a plastic toy from a vending machine.

The Beatles will never get "old," or "tired," because theirs is the music of joy and hope, and we need that always. Listen to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" today...and then hold the hand of something (or someone!) good.

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