If you saw my piece on Buddy Rich, you would know I was banging on anything that would substitute for a drum by age 4 or 5. My Aunt Kathy was visiting us at our house in Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island and naturally I was banging out some pitiful beat. This was 1963 or 64. “Who are you, Ringo Starr? she said. I said who is that? She said “You don’t know who The Beatles are? Are you living on the moon?”
Well it wasn’t long before I heard The Beatles on the radio singing Please, Please Me, I want to hold your hand and other hits produced in England. Then I saw them with their matching outfits, long hairdos and witty charm on the TV. That was a life-changing moment. Not just for me but for all my friends, the rest of the country and even the world at large.
John, Paul, George and Ringo exploded globally as a sensation and the term “Beatlemania” was coined. When they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, I was glued to the TV along with 70 million other Americans. Most adults said this was a fad and would pass quickly but with each hit they released they became more popular. Then they evolved beyond the 2 minute pop single and started exploring more complicated songs using and even developing new studio techniques.
My friends and I started a crappy little band in the hopes of attracting screaming girls like they did and we certainly were not the only ones. But as they grew musically they educated us and showed us how to create music, not just perform it.