I was 11 years old. I was sitting in the living room of our houme in Tucson, AZ. The television was set for the Ed Sullivan Show, a favorite of my Mom and Dad's. That night, the Ed Sullivan Show would become my favorite.
The radio station we listened to all the time was KTKT, 990 on the AM dial. It was the station everyone tuned to for the latest rock and roll tunes. In December the station began playing music from this English singing group, The Beatles. Every 30 minutes a Beatles song would be played.
Their sound seemed so new, so original. I knew Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone and the like. The Beatles were different. Their music had energy. It made you feel happy. I couldn't get enough of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
That my parents let me watch them on Ed Sullivan was nearly miraculous. They didn't know much about the Beatles. But what my parents knew was enough. Their music was awful. Their hair cuts were ridiculous. My Dad would walk around the house mocking their "Yeah, yeah, yeah's!"
When Ed Sullivan brought them out on stage, I wanted to scream as loud as the studio audience. The first voice I heard was Paul's. "One, two, three, four, one, 'Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you'..." As they sang, "All My Loving," I was in awe. The Beatles looked so cool. They sounded so brilliant.
I fell in love with music that night.
It's been 51 years since that first appearance on Ed Sullivan. And in all that time the music of The Beatles still sounds like nothing else. Their music still has energy. It still makes me happy.
I've got the DVD set of The Beatles appearances on Ed Sullivan. I think I'll go and watch them again. It won't be too hard to imagine. I'm 11 years old. I'm sitting in the family living room of our home in Tucson, AZ. I'll be watching my favorite band on my favorite TV show. I just might scream with joy. Brilliant.