As you’ve probably heard by now, February 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America. Where was their first stop? Queens, of course! That is why we propose a new, two-week celebration: “FABruary!”
FABruary would commemorate the Beatles' first visit and concerts in America from February 7 – 22, 1964. You too can recreate that magical time in American history, thanks to a number of DVDs available at Queens Library.
The first DVD you will need is the Maysles brothers’ documentary “The Beatles – The First U.S. Visit." This astounding cinema verite follows the Beatles from the moment they disembark from the plane at JFK airport to when they leave for home from Miami 15 days later. Witness for yourself the hysteria and mayhem caused by Liverpool’s lovable moptops as they dodge fans, get snarky with reporters and try to get on with the business of performing on the Ed Sullivan show. Even legendary New York DJ Murray the “K” gets in on the act. The film captures it all as it happened and it is fascinating.
Next, pop “The Beatles – 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows” into your DVD player for a real slice of television history. Not only do you get the musical performances by the Beatles, but the shows also contain all the other acts and even the commercials that were broadcast into living rooms around the country. Only the first two shows had the Beatles live in the studio, but the pre-taped segments for the other two shows are just as good. Look for future Monkee Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger in a scene from “Oliver!” during the first show.
Finally, see the first real Beatles concert in America on the DVD “The Beatles in Washington, D.C.” In between Ed Sullivan shows in NY and Miami, the boys stopped by the Coliseum in our nation’s capitol to perform for 20,000 screaming fans. By today’s standards, the sound is terrible and the revolving stage is primitive but it is still a joy to watch. Maybe you know someone who was there? Like Woodstock, the number of people who claim to have been there far surpasses the actual attendance.
Ready to join me in celebrating FABruary 2014?
Yeah, yeah, yeah!