We had to postpone last night's scheduled practice till Thursday.
On this day in 1964, The Beatles's MEET THE BEATLES (the nearest counterpart of the U.K. album WITH THE BEATLES which it is actually superior to being more of a straightforward rock and roll collection) hit number one in the United States. It stayed at the top for eleven weeks. I'd already secured my copy the day after the band appeared on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, February 9. I must've listened to that record (ranked the 59th greatest of all time by ROLLING STONE) a couple hundred times in '64. I'm certain I read the liner notes almost as many times. Here they are, by the way (my, how I miss holding a record album in my hands, reading the notes, gazing at the cover art and photos, and even perusing the album ads on the sleeve):
You've read about them in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times. Here's the big beat sound of that fantastic, phenomenal foursome: Meet the Beatles!
A year ago the Beatles were known only to patrons of Liverpool pubs. Today there isn't a Britisher who doesn't know their names, and their fame has spread quickly around the world
Said one American visitor to England: "Only a hermit could be unaware of the Beatles, and he'd have to be beyond the range of television, newspapers, radio, records and rioting fans."
Said another: "They're the biggest, hottest property in the history of English show business."
The foursome --- John Lennon, 23, George Harrison, 20, Ringo Starr, 23, and Paul McCartney, 21 --- write, play and sing a powerhouse music filled with zest and uninhibited good humor that make listening a sensation-filled joy. It isn't rhythm and blues. It's not exactly rock 'n' roll. It's their own special sound, or, as group leader Lennon puts it, "Our music is just --- well, our music."
Whatever it is, the Beatles' robust, roaring sound has stimulated a reaction the English themselves describe as "Beatlemania."
Consider these manifestations:
In Newcastle, England, four thousand fans stood all night in pouring rain to get tickets for a Beatles appearance.
In Portsmouth, the queue started 90 hours before the box office opened. Teenagers brought food, drink, blankets and transistor radios, and two determined 16-year-old girls spent four nights outside to hold their place in the queue.
In Carlisle, frantic schoolgirls battled police for four hours in a do-or-die effort to gain admission to a sold-out show.
In Dublin, Ireland, the Beatles' first visit set off a mob free-for-all resulting in unnumbered broken limbs.
At London Airport, reporter Anne Butler had her gloved hand kissed repeatedly by youngsters who saw it accidentally brush against the back of a Beatle.
Similar wild enthusiasm has greeted the Beatles in such disparate places as Sweden (where frenzied girls swarmed up onto stage), Germany, Finland and France, and the acclaim recently brought them one of the highest of all entertainment honors: an appearance before Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother and Lord Snowdon at the Royal Variety Performance in London.
And their records? In America, a total sale of a million discs calls for celebrations, gold records, trade news headlines and delirious self-congratulations. A recent Beatles recording had an advance order of a million copies in the United Kingdom three weeks before release. And simultaneously the Beatles occupied positions 1 and 2 in the hit singles charts and 1 and 2 in the album charts --- a phenomenal achievement anywhere.
Now the Beatles are getting ready for a royal welcome in America. Ed Sullivan signed them for three appearances in rapid succession on his Sunday night TV show, They are shortly to film in England a feature length United Artists movie for worldwide release.
And here is their first Capitol record --- twelve of their most sensational songs in their wildest Beatlemaniac style!
Produced by GEORGE MARTIN
[The following text is the caption to the sleeve photo.]
The Beatles all hail from Liverpool, a seaport city which, because its sailing men bring in the latest hit singles from America, is the hippest pop music spot in England. They wear "pudding basin" haircuts that date back to ancient England, and suits with collarless jackets which they've made the newest rage. John Lennon plays rhythm guitar and harmonica, George Harrison lead guitar, Paul McCartney electric bass guitar, Ringo Starr drums, and all four of the boys sing. They also work piano, Hammond organ, tambourine, mouth organ, Arabian bongoes and claves into their act. That's John doing the lead vocal in It Won't Be Long and All I've Got To Do and the double-track solo in Not A Second Time. Paul does the lead vocal in All My Loving and Hold Me Tight, and the solo in Till There Was You. Ringo is soloist in I Wanna Be Your Man and George in Don't Bother Me, double-tracked.