Imagine if you can, the year is 1962, the world hasn't quite gone into chaos with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Marilyn Monroe has less than 7 months to live, John Glenn will orbit the earth and four fellas from Liverpool will take the music and world by storm. Sitting in the living room with a TV the size of of a large desktop computer, teenagers all over the world waited for Ed Sullivan to say those immortal words "And Now The BEATLES!"
50 years have passed and although the music scene has drastically changed since that cold February night, TVs have gotten so smaller, we're able to stream live events right through our cell phones and the world has changed but the one thing that remains is that whenever the Beatles come on TV, we stop and sing along, doesn't matter what age we are, we know the lyrics and we sing along with the guys.
For the anniversary, CBS has presented a Grammy special with some of best artists of today including Maroon 5, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Ed Sheeran, Dave Grohl, Katy Perry, John Mayer, and many others to sing the great Beatles collection, the most anticipated moment of the night is when Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform together for the first time in years.
Along with the musical tributes, Eric Idle of Monty Python fame presents a history of each person, starting out with John and his humble beginnings, when his mother Julia realizing she could no longer care for him entrusts him to her older sister Mimi and dies soon after. Next came Paul and his life after the unexpected death of his mother, who inspires the song "Yesterday." Two motherless boys find each other at school and form a band with another friend, George Harrison.
Ringo Starr was brought into the Beatles as a stand-in after their drummer was fired, but the Beatles manager Brian Epstein wasn't happy about the new edition and tried to push Ringo out but John Lennon stands his ground and soon music history will be made.
In between the songs and the mini biographies, CBS is also doing an interview with the sound stage crew who worked for Ed Sullivan in which these men discuss what it was like to work on that faithful day in which they had to battle not only the elements but teenage girls willing to do anything -- and I mean anything -- to get into the theater including coming through the heating ducts, these men normally not shaken by anything were suddenly fearing for their lives and ear drums.
Somehow in between all that is going on, David Letterman does a walkthrough what used to be the Ed Sullivan Theater but it is now where he films his show, takes Paul and Ringo on a tour and asks them to reflect on what it was like for them to come to America to perform and the reactions of the people and the craziness the followed them. But I'm surprised that they didn't mention Michael Jackson buying the rights to the Beatles music and Paul McCartney's battle to get them back.
In the end the most amazing moment was when Paul and Ringo performed a mini tribute to their departed brothers in music and sang, "I get by with a little help from my friends" together.
Impossible to believe there are only two Beatles left, Paul McCartney hasn't aged in about 40 years and still jams as if time has stood still and, well, Ringo will always be known for "Yellow Submarine!" And for our generation growing up Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station.
This was a great tribute to the Beatles but I felt like they picked songs that have been sung over and over again, they didn't do my favorite "Blackbird" or even a mini tribute to John Lennon's solo career but I didn't plan the set list so i guess I can't complain.
In this age of computer-generated music, it was nice to go back to the days when music was live and unfiltered, to hear every note perfectly clear and the music seemed to last forever. When the world ends, it'll be a collection of Beatles tunes and Keith Richards left to forge on.
What was your favorite moment of the night? Did it live up to the hype for anniversary special or should they have just aired the Ed Sullivan show with Paul and Ringo commenting?