I’m at the point in my life where I don’t mind dating myself. So here goes. I was—and find I still am—a passionate Beatles fan. I was reminded of this as I was watching the DVDs from The Beatles Anthology. When the segment on their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show came on, I was immediately transported back to 1964.
I was nine, and I wasn’t allowed to stay up late enough to watch the show. But the TV sat at nearly a right angle to the staircase that went up to the bedrooms. I thought I was so crafty to sneak down the stairs—my parents hearing them creak the whole way, I suppose—to sit on the bottom step and watch a distorted view of The Beatles’ first U.S. performance.
My older brother, who was able to watch the show in the normal way, saw the whole thing. As we walked to school together the next day, he regaled me with how great they were and wasn’t it too bad I had missed the performance. Hmph, I thought. Later, after their records were spreading throughout the states, I saved up my dimes and pennies to buy them—all of them. I also bought every magazine I could afford that had a story about them—and there were tons!
Friends of mine and I decided to form our version of The Beatles, complete with cardboard guitars and drums. The drum set was made out of the large tubs that the folks at Baskin Robbins—a new ice cream-only chain that had recently opened near my house—would give us for free. The girl who played Ringo managed to screw her Lebanese features into the intense expression the drummer often wore. She was brilliant. I lip-synced John’s singing and learned to shake my mop hair—which, yes, I had grown and styled to mimic their haircuts. We all wore tight pants and black half-boots with heels. Were we cool or what?