Raging crowds, raving teens, and disapproving parents, what do all three of these things have in common? The Beatles caused many of these things when they hit American turf in the mid 1960’s. A band from England, the Beatles, brilliantly changed for the better, the way America’s music was to be played for years to come. With their “mop-top” style, the Beatles hit American soil running. America’s music was never quite the same. Many traditional adults did not approve of how the youth of their “gilded” nation were flocking to this new style of music.
As a four member band from England, the Beatles had it going on. The members of their band were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They had fans going crazy over seas and wanted to expand their talent to the Americans, who were stuck in an age of conformity and traditionalism. The Beatles knew that they were going to be a hit in an age where people were speaking out against this conformity. They themselves had a hair style that was not even popular at the time. The Americans called it a “mop-top”, because the hair was long and it looked like someone had put a mop on the persons head with this style. All of the members had this hair style, so when the Beatles went on game shows or talk shows, they were always asked about their hair. Many times it rooted back to the history of where they came from and how they met each other.
John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 in Liverpool, England. While growing up, John was a prankster and enjoyed getting into trouble. As a child and early teenager, he loved to draw grotesque figures and cripples because of the death of his mother, Julia before his 18th birthday. When John was sixteen years of age, he created a group called the “Quarry Men”. John played lead guitar and sang vocals. They performed at their school at dances and what not. While in the band, John was introduced to Paul McCartney. John then proceeded to ask Paul if he would like to join their band. The next day Paul accepted the invitation and was in the band.
Paul McCartney was born on June 18th, 1942 in Liverpool, England. While growing up, Paul loved to write poems and was quite successful at it. At the stunning age of fourteen, he wrote his first song entitled, I Lost My Little Girl. The song was about his girl friend that broke up with him and inevitably, he was very sad. Paul met John at St. Peter’s Church Fete, Woolton, Liverpool. After this meeting, Paul knew he had a friend that was pretty good at guitar, but not a very good singer, but he introduced him to Lennon anyways thinking he would have a shot at getting in. They also recorded their first song, That Will Be the Day by Buddy Holly.
George Harrison was born on February 25th, 1943 in Liverpool, England. George was the youngest in the group and the only member who’s growing up was not marred by divorce or death one little bit. At an early age, George began showing his independent nature by defying his schools dress code by growing his hair long and wearing blue jeans to school. At the age of fourteen, the long skinny, pimple-faced George was introduced to Lennon. Lennon decided that George was too young to join the group but when he got older he would be eligible to join. So instead of being in the band, he hung around the band and came to idolize John and everything he did.
With 4 members in the band, John came up with a name for them, ‘The Beatles’. John said when he was twelve years old, he had a vision. A man appeared on a flaming pie and said to them ‘From this day on, you are the Beatles with an ‘A’. After this, the band began getting several gigs, chances to play with large crowds watching. One of their largest and most memorable gigs was at The Cavern. While playing, a man named Brian Epstein, he wanted to be their manager so the Beatles let him do it. Once the manager and his companions got used to each other, they all came up with a common goal, to tour America and make it theirs.
When the Beatles made their fist appearance on American soil on February 9, 1964, on the Ed Sullivan Show, Americans were deeply in love with this “mop-top” band out of Liverpool. The studio that held the show was barraged by 50,000 people wanted tickets to a place that only held 700. During the Beatles show, they played five songs in the following order: All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand. On this night, seventy-three million people watched the Beatles. “Their appearance had such an impact that most normal activities in America came to a standstill watching their performance. Criminal activity in most of the major cities and towns in America was put on hold, and getting a taxi or bus in New York was almost impossible, until their performance was over.” (Peter Jennings) Mass