Sunday, 9 February 2014

It was fifty years ago today...

The Beatles arrive at JFK Airport, New York, to play on the Ed Sullivan Show. The date - 9 February 1964. This event of transatlantic import evidently moved me greatly (aged six years and four months), inspiring me to draw the picture below. My father date-stamped the picture 12 February 1964 (bottom left) before archiving it.

Looking at photographs taken of the Beatles' arrival, I'm amazed at the detail that I remembered; there's left-handed Paul McCartney; the colours of the Pan-Am Boeing 707 are accurate (the registration not quite - it was actually N-704PA), the Esso tanker truck, the stairs leading up to the front fuselage, the US flag...

Here are some photos taken that day, 50 years ago... (go back another 50 and it would have been 1914).The half-century from 1914 to 1964 saw far greater change than the half-century from 1964 to today. In terms of technology and socially accepted standards of behaviour.

(all photos courtesy of

A good piece about the Beatles in the USA here, on BBC Culture.

Quite an amazing memory from a little Polish boy in West London...!

Yet for me, the best thing I'll remember the Beatles for is... the infinitely greater Rutles. Without the Beatles, the magical humour of the Rutland-based parodists would have been lost for ever.Yes, the Rutles brought more mirth to the world than all the Beatles put together.

This time last year:
Adventures in the Screen Trade - the truth about Hollywood

This time two years ago:
Drifting home

This time four years ago:
Today's dose of wintery gorgeousness

This time six years ago:
First intimations of spring

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