Tag Archives: A Hard Day’s Night

Old-School

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Fifty years ago till now, The Beatles – well, it‘s Sir Paul – continue to be in the news! Amaaazzing!!

Paul McCartney’s OUT THERE tour is rolling along and rocking, too. This past Monday, he stopped off in Omaha, Nebraska…perhaps you’ve heard. The news everywhere, broadcast and web, has been about the 16 year-old boy, Tom White, of Omaha, Nebraska who managed to snap an Instagram photo of himself and Warren Buffet, famous Nebraska billionaire and Sir Paul McCartney, no description needed, outside an Omaha ice cream shop!

In the photo, Warren and Paul are just sitting on a bench and Tom is in the foreground, happy as can be. BTW, Paul had vanilla and still sports a watch on his right wrist (he’s left handed). Now that’s kinda “old-school” but I love it!! For dinner, though, he ordered gluten-free pasta, decidedly not “old-school”. Paul’s next concert date will be August 2nd in Minneapolis. Wish I could be there!

Fifty years ago today, July 20th, the Beatles‘ “Something New” album was released. “And, I Love Her” was on that album.  Of course, we loved it.  We didn’t realize it then but that song showcased the Beatles’ varied talents and foreshadowed their more introspective songwriting to come. Also, July 25th, fifty years ago this week, the album, “A Hard Day’s Night” hit No. 1 in the charts and stayed there for 14 weeks. Yes, it was “A Hard Day’s Night” summer, for sure! Sherryl and I were in heaven that summer every time we turned on our transistor radios. You couldn’t miss that song even if you only listened in for a few minutes! We loved it!! And, we were so looking forward to the premiere of the film, “A Hard Day’s Night” in August!!! I don’t know how we managed to be patient and wait for it.

Also, on July 25th, fifty years ago, race riots spread to Rochester, NY, having begun in Harlem, NYC, the week before.

And, fifty years ago this month, LBJ sent 5,000 “military advisers” into South Vietnam. Does this sound familiar in regards to 300 “military advisers” having been sent recently to Iraq? The addition of those 5,000 advisers in South Vietnam brought the total of US forces in Vietnam to 21,000 in 1964 – the Vietnam conflict was heating up though, at the time, I wasn‘t aware of it. A few years later, I was painfully aware of Vietnam as were those in my generation who had just passed through adolescence.

This week, fifty years ago, I was to “go on the road” but I haven’t found Sherryl’s letters from that summer yet. (They will serve to jog my memory!) I will. This time next week, we’ll be on the road to California!

I welcome your comments, suggestions, and/or memories!
Martha

The West is the Best/Exodus to California

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Fifty years ago, there was a hint of California Dreamin’ as the “Leading-Edge Baby Boomers” (what the first wave of boomers were known as) were coming of age. Despite the English Invasion of British Pop, the singing and surfing set were gaining in popularity. The Beach Boys had just finished two weeks at the top of the charts with “I Get Around” (which gave way to the Four Seasons‘, “Rag Doll”). By July 20, 1964, the first record about surfing, Jan & Dean‘s “Surf City”, became No.1.

There was no surf to speak of where we went to the beach near Boston but, occasionally, one would see an out-of-place looking surfer with a board (usually not on the board!). But, all around the US, California seeds were being planted in the psyches of adolescents which would bloom during the hippie “flower power” wave of the late ‘60s when the universal thought was that the West was the best (a la Jim Morrison).

As I mentioned before and will explore soon, my first taste of the West Coast was about to be taken, though a bit reluctantly. Though latest stats regarding California and its population suggest a reverse Exodus, as compared to the 1960s due to a lack of employment, population density and the state’s fiscal instability, I still have a warm spot in my heart for California which dates back to the summer of ‘64.

That summer, we were reading Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” and in love with the spy novel, Ian Fleming’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and John le Carre’s “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”. Fleming’s character, James Bond, was also in theatres that summer, in“Goldfinger” and “From Russia With Love” with my favorite Bond, Sean Connery.

Along with the Bond flicks and “A Hard Day’s Night”, we were watching “Mary Poppins” and Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas”.

Fifty years ago this week, July 16th, Barry Goldwater (“Mr. Conservative”) was selected
as the Republican presidential candidate at their Convention in San Francisco.

Race riots broke out in Harlem, NYC, fifty years ago this week and over six consecutive nights, spread to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.. Later that summer, rioting would take place in Rochester, NY, several cities in New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Ford Mustang had been introduced earlier in the Spring of ‘64, making way for the 1965 model which was to become one of the most popular models of American cars.

My family made the cross-country trip that summer not in a ’64 Mustang but a 1955 Pontiac (grey) which was as heavy as a boat but provided much needed back-seat space, especially for that soon-to-be teen listening to her transitor radio.

Next post, we’ll go on the road.

 

“A Hard Day’s Night” Summer!

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The Beatle buzz at the beginning of July, 1964 was centered around the already released album, “A Hard Day’s Night” (June 26, 1964).

By this week, fifty years ago, the Beatles had held 14 slots on Billboard’s Top 100 from “Can’t Buy Me Love“ to “Love Me Do“ which hit the charts that year at the end of May.  “A Hard Day’s Night” hit the Top 100 Chart the week of August 1, 1964 right before the premiere of the movie of the same title.

That summer, when there were no Beatles’ songs on the radio, we broadened our horizons by listening to the just released “Chapel of Love” (Dixie Cups) and “A World Without Love” (Peter and Gordon).  Paul McCartney had written “A World Without Love” a few years before and had given it to Peter and Gordon to record, Peter being the brother of Jane Asher, Paul’s then girlfriend.  The Beatles were prolific songwriters and didn’t record everything themselves.  So, that even when we weren’t listening to the Beatles, in a way, we were listening to the Beatles!!

Fifty years ago THIS EVENING, on the last night of their Australian tour, the Beatles performed at Brisbane’s Festival Hall. The tour had been booked by promoter Kenn Brodziak in what turned out to be a very lucrative deal – Brodziak had made the arrangements in 1963 before the Beatles became a household word. By the time the Beatles hit Australia that summer, they were greeted in Adelaide by an estimated crowd of 300,00 fans along the motorcade route! For the tour which lasted from June 12th to June 30th, the band was paid 1500 pounds a week (approximately $3,000 at the time). What a deal!

During the Summer of ‘64, we let the Beatles take over our lives. They dictated everything from our hair styles to politics and all subjects in between. We matured and learned along with them, read the books they read, listened to the music they listened to (rhythm and blues which was new to me); we read every line that we could that was printed about them. We lived and breathed Beatles.

Later that summer, I went on a family road trip, my first, across country. You can imagine how I took this news. I would be separated from Sherryl, my best friend, the only person I knew who faithfully loved the Beatles as much as I did; I didn’t want to go. But, somehow, WITHOUT cell phones or social media, Sherryl and I managed to keep in touch! I still have her letters from that summer, pages filled with references to the Beatles, the upcoming release of the movie, “A Hard Day‘s Night“ and their summer US tour. Though I didn’t have much clout then, family decision-wise, all I cared about was that I would return home by August 11, 1964 so Sherryl and I could see the premiere of “A Hard Day‘s Night“ in Harvard Square. But, that was something I wasn’t sure of when my family and I drove out of Boston that hot and humid July day in 1964, on our way to California.

That summer, having come off their world tour, the Beatles were well on their way to becoming a world wide phenomenon. And, it was only the beginning. Much to the delight of Beatles fans, thanks to the album and the film of “A Hard Day’s Night” and the marketing moguls of that era, the summer of 1964 was  Beatle-filled!!

Don’t forget to check local listings this coming week for the re-release of  “A Hard Day’s Night”!  It promises to be a fun time for all!!

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