It is admittedly difficult to be nostalgic for something that happened a few years before I was born, but the energy and cultural turning point of this event transcends this for music fans around the world, and I suspect, will continue to do so. The band could not have timed their arrival any better. America was breaking away from the mores of the 1950’s and grieving from the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963. The current single “I wanna Hold your Hand” had just hit number 1 on the charts, and their TV appearance on the Ed Sullivan show would go on to become a landmark Television event. The Beatles were the perfect distraction for American teens, and their arrival to JFK airport on Feb 7th, 1964 was the kick-off of a near-decade long run which of course ushered in the British Invasion and later psychedelia.
The tour of 1964 hit several American cities, and the Hollywood Bowl shows were some of the most famous.
While they (Particularly McCartney) owe a world of debt to the King of Rock and Roll, Little Richard, they created a sound all their own which is still imitated.
Of course for us Vinyl collectors, there are endless “Holy Grails” of Beatles records if you’re a fan and have the wallet for it, some rare 45 RPMS have been known to go for $30,000USD.
I’ve found some cool pressings here in Germany, including the “Help!” soundtrack which was called “Hi HI Hilfe” here at one of my favorite Frankfurt shops, Lucky Star Records. There are also a lot of “faux” Russian pressings from the 1960s out there, which aren’t worth much, but sort of fun to add your collection. I bring this up because there’s a lot of inexpensive stuff on the market if you’re interested in collecting but don’t want to take a mortgage on your house to do so.