The Beatles were not the band of my youth. I didn't know about them until the midseventies, after they had broken up. And I didn't have a epiphany when I did learn about them. That came much later.
I know exactly where I was when I heard John Lennon was murdered. But the shock didn't have that extra personal depth that fans feel when someone they feel attached to dies.
But I'm excited about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on Ed Sullivan today because my late-in-life Beatles love came when working on an exhibit at the Paley Center of photographs from the group's beginnings in Liverpool. And that fired my imagination. How Johh, Paul, and George found each other as teens, and completed themselves later with Ringo, and went on to change the world in all the ways people have been talking about since then. Theirs was a positive energy filled with love and yearning amidst the bloodless revolution they were creating.
The talent of Lennon and McCartney is one of the great phenomenons of all time and their relationship one of the great love stories of the 20th century.
In My Life
This first video is from the Anthology documentary series that Paul, George, and Ringo, along with Yoko Ono for John, did in 1995 so that they could tell their own story. The opening montage to "In My Life" tells you everything you need to know about them.
"Some for ever, not for better" dissolves from John in Germany at the very beginning, to John on the Let It Be rooftop, the last time the Beatles played together. Having the "not for better" lyric over that Rooftop image is a pretty strong editorial judgment: Paul didn't like what John had become.
Then later is a dissolve from Paul to John: "In my life, I love you more." And there you have it.
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(top photo: AP via Daily News