Tag Archives: Harvard Square

“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!!

A Summer of New Freedoms

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Summer has begun!  And, the weather on the East Coast has been uncharacteristically beautiful and dry (more like the West Coast!); I hope my readers have been able to get out and enjoy it!

There’s lots going on, on the ROAD TO SHEA STADIUM countdown to its 50th Anniversary next year – let’s go!  For now, let’s remember the Summer of ’64 some more!!

The Summer of 1964, also called the Summer of Freedom (politically wise with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, as noted in my previous blog) was also, from the perspective of a 13 year-old adolescent, a summer of personal, new found freedoms.

Society was changing rapidly then in all sectors.  Aware of politics perhaps like no other generation since, we witnessed up close, on television, the national struggle involving race that summer.  Most of the baby boomer adolescents were aware, tuned in, part of the pulse of a changing nation and would continue to be so throughout our lives.

Our adolescent freedom was initiated when we started venturing out on our own, walking longer distances from the house (notice I said ‘walking’) and taking buses and trolleys more often.  For me, about twenty minutes from my then home, the destination of destinations was Harvard Square, Cambridge, specifically to the Harvard Coop and the Out of Town News stand where my best friend, Sherryl, and I would pour over Beatles albums and the European version of Beatles magazines (the Europeans had more in-depth coverage of the Beatles – or so we thought).  Nowadays, 13 year-olds are more scheduled — there are more “helicopter parents” than there were?  The world now, in general, appears to be more threatening – listening to today’s news reports, I‘m surprised anyone goes out at all, anytime!

Ironically, even though my generations had more stay-at-home mothers, we saw our parents less.  If possible, I’d love to get a statistic on this musing.  If anyone out there has some percentage backup about this observation or knows where to find this, please let me know!  Also, where did you go to take in the latest Beatle news in 1964?  I’d love to know!

Fifty years ago this June and July, the Beatles were touring internationally in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand before returning to the States (for the second time that year) in August.  US Beatles’ fans anxiously waited for the published list of cities the Beatles would tour that August and September – it was THE thing to look for in “16 Magazine” this month, fifty years ago.  Wow, can it be?  I can see myself now at the magazine counter at the A&P (long gone!) flipping pages madly till I reached the page with THE LIST.  Prior to viewing that list, all sorts of rumors floated about, were they or were they not playing in Boston?  Sherryl and I were ecstatic when we saw ‘Boston’ on that list — the exact date, September 12, 1964.  (More on that later!)

When the Beatles were in NewYork City during that 1964 US summer tour, Bob Dylan visited them.  Ostensibly, one can see the influences each had on the other in the music that was produced following that meeting.  The following year, Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone” which featured electric guitar.  (This past Tuesday, June 24th, at Sotheby’s, New York, the pages (4)  that Dylan wrote “Like a Rolling Stone” on were auctioned off; the pages sold for $2 million dollars, a world record for a pop-music manuscript, according to Sotheby’s.)  Dylan’s influence on the Beatles can be heard in their “folk rock“ album, “Rubber Soul,” also released the following year after that meeting.

Fifty years ago this past week, June 26, 1964, the United Artist’s album “A Hard Day’s Night” was released with advanced US orders numbering 1 million.  The album made way for the film of “A Hard Day’s Night,” released a few weeks later in July, 1964.  The film, “A Hard Day’s Night” has been digitally re-mastered for movie house showing.  To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, it will be re-released all over the US a few weeks from now!  Look for dates and places locally around the 4th of July.  You’ll be able to see “A Hard Day’s Night” in the theatre for the first time or re-live the time when you first saw the film in a theatre way back when!!  Just Google “A Hard Day’s Night, 2014, list of cities.”  I’m planning on viewing it (one  more time!) and  can’t wait to see it again on the big screen!!!

 

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, and/or memories that you may have concerning any of the content in this week‘s BLOG, on the ROAD TO SHEA STADIUM.

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