How Dallas led to Beatlemania 4 Comments / Assassination, News, Popular / By Jefferson Morley Source: Krerowicz will discuss how the assassination of Kennedy helped Beatlemania flourish. Share this:Tweet
4 thoughts on “How Dallas led to Beatlemania ”
Nature abhors a vacuum and society cannot stand pure misery. So when the Beatles broke through in America, it was like flipping a light switch, especially in southern New England when I was a fourth grader.
On the Catholic calendar, November 22 is St. Cecilia’s Day, patron of musicians and poets. 11-22-63 was the release date for the Beatles’ 2nd album, With the Beatles, really their 1st LP proper, mostly their own songs and properly produced. It was a big deal in Europe, pre-sales through the roof, roll-out parties. Then after supper they heard the news from the States. Bummer.
The perfect song for us at the time, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” was leaked on radio before Xmas and, due to instant demand, the U.S. record company had to put it out 12-26, way earlier than planned. By the time they were first on Ed Sullivan, 2-9-64, the counterbalancing joy (to the unspeakable horror of our 11-22-63) reached a crescendo that didn’t end for a long time.
There is a poetic justice in the foreign aspects of Beatlemania and the British Invasion, as if the kids of the Sixties were shouting, “We don’t want no more o’ yer murderous American crap!”
McCartney was an early and vocal skeptic of the official line on the assassination. He read Mark Lane’s manuscript of Rush to Judgment and offered to compose a soundtrack for the movie. The producer declined because the subject matter was too somber.
The Beatles put out “The White Album” on St. Cecilia’s Day 1968, on purpose, to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the military fascist coup that slaughtered decency back in the UMSA. And we had slaughtered MLK and RFK the previous April and June. That album is chock full of Clues about the Ubiquitous Murderous State of America. There are no clues about the death and replacement of Paul McCartney. That’s a CIA-Mockingbird fantasy.
Believe it or not, a filmed report about the Beatles was supposed to appear on the CBS Evening News on November 22. That report was about 4 to 5 minutes in length (they screened much longer reports on news programs back then), a shorter version lasting about 2 minutes actually did run on CBS’s morning news show that day. This was the first time the Americans got a glimpse of the Beatles. Even having lived through those years, it’s astonishing to think how on 11/22/63 they were completely unknown in American, and how completely they would dominate this country’s popular culture only a couple of months later. The longer report did eventually run on the Evening News one night, in December I believe. I’ve never seen it, it would be interesting to be able to, from what I understand it was very condescending and dismissed the Beatles as a teenage craze peculiar to the UK that would soon run its course and be quickly forgotten.
I would enjoy hearing this talk because I believe not only leading to Beatlemania but also to the 60s as we know it.
I’ve thought a lot about he Beatles coming to America just short of 3 months following the JFK Assassination. I think it was great to “feel good” again, listening to the wonderful sound of the Beatles. . Unfortunately that “wonderful sound”, didn’t last long. But it was something we needed to hear after 11-22-63.