February 7th, 1964,
the U.S. was oblivious as to the changes in pop-culture that were going to occur a mere 48 hours later. In two days the nation and the world would experience a shift in the focus of attention and how to gauge the measure of popularity. A British invasion awaited beyond our shores awaiting the first wave of troops to storm our beaches. When The Beatles touched down on the 7th they sent a shock wave around the globe that the general public did not absorb until two days later. When The Beatles made their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show two days later both rock music and pop-culture changed forever.
The Beatles will always be remembered for the pop-culture giants that they eventually became.
But, younger generations may only categorize the The Beatles as hippie music that is only good in the background when you are getting high. A band endorsing LSD with, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.” The group that appears on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band dressed in multi-color revolutionary war suits, standing in front of a garden of ‘peace’ flowers spelling their name. This is not the image of the four guys playing “On Want To Hold Your Hand” on Ed Sullivan, but remembering them as peace loving hippies is much better than the bitter and resentful men they became. During these performances you can see how happy all four of The Beatles are to just be playing the music.
The Beatles performed three weeks in a row on The Ed Sullivan show, performing five songs: “I Saw You Standing There,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,””She Loves You,”All My Loving,” “Till There Was You.” Four clean cut kids playing their music live on TV was all the gratification they needed those days on Ed Sullivan. When those kids touched down in the states I wonder if they had any idea of the insanity on the horizon. Within 48 hours of the band being in the U.S. they became a worldwide obsession. “Beatlemania” began immediately and the lives of four boys transformed. The Beatles began to influence not just music, but everything in pop-culture. As The Beatles changed, so too did the fashions and styles of the world.
The Ed Sullivan Show remains one of the most recognizable names in the history of television. When The Beatles performed those three shows they helped show solidify the legendary status it now holds. Music has been influenced, altered, assisted and twisted in many ways over the years, but nothing compares to what changed after The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Those performances created global pandemonium altering music and pop-culture to this day.