Liverpool, The Beatles and the Night that Changed America


Let’s just say that it took something of this magnitude to pry me away from Sunday’s installment of Downton Abbey. All I can say is, thank goodness for the DVR. Even Mrs. Patmore would approve of this new invention.

Watching The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A GRAMMY Salute last night brought back a lot of memories from February 9, 1964. It was 50 years ago to the day, date and time that the Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The night turned into one of the most-watched television events in history with over 74 million people tuning in to watch the Fab Four perform five songs during the variety hour.
 
The-Beatles-feb214

Besides the memories of 1964, it gave me a greater appreciation of a trip to Liverpool in 2012 for the annual BBC Showcase. First thing on the agenda before the week-long screening of BBC programming began was a mandatory Beatles tour. The Fab Four Beatles Tour lasted just shy of four hours. There is nothing better than taking a black cab tour of Liverpool getting an up close and personal look at where John, Paul, George and Ringo crossed paths, grew up and, ultimately, changed music history. To actually see the likes of Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, Eleanor Rigby’s grave, the hall at the St. Peters Church where John and Paul met for the first time in 1957 and the boyhood homes of John, Paul, George and Ringo was nothing short of brilliant.

Penny Lane
 
Penny Lane

Strawberry Fields gate
 
Strawberry Fields gate

Eleanor Rigby’s grave site
 
Eleanor Rigby

John Lennon boyhood home
 
John Lennon boyhood home

Paul McCartney boyhood home
 
Paul McCartney home

George Harrison boyhood home
 
George Harrison house

As we prepare to head to Liverpool in a couple of weeks for the 2014 BBC Showcase, I will definitely remember 1964 and ‘the night that changed America’ and just may take that tour again.