On this day (February 7th), four men set off on a trip that would change the course of history as we know it and change an entire nation. These men were to appear on national television two days later and have a live performance two days after that. These four men–George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr–changed the world of music and made history in a way that people today still remember. They were The Beatles, four men from Liverpool who were already gaining popularity in England.
My first experience with The Beatles was much later in time than the time they were in their prime. I myself was not even born until almost 15 years after John Lennon was shot dead in New York City (December 1980). Of course I had heard some of the most popular Beatles songs as a child without realizing that they were recorded many years ago. I recall a commercial on WTTW (Chicago’s PBS channel) featuring the Beatles’ rendition of “Till There Was You,” and I recall hearing “Strawberry Fields Forever” somewhere else (although I don’t exactly remember where). My sister liked a song called “When I’m Sixty-Four,” which I later ended up liking myself.
I didn’t really become a Beatles fan until I started playing their music in my piano lessons as my piano teacher recommended. I would play the songs and later recognize them when I heard them, either online or elsewhere, which was always a nice experience. At first, I didn’t know any of the lyrics but knew the melodies almost perfectly. After a while, I fully immersed myself in The Beatles and their songs, starting to learn lyrics and even beginning to have a few favorites that I would listen to often. I would often play songs like Yesterday on piano and I would play songs for my mother to sing along to.
Today, I often find myself playing songs by The Beatles and I often listen to my favorites by them. I like many of their songs, about 90 the last time I counted, and I do consider myself a Beatles fan, although you could probably see that by my Beatles calendar and the huge Beatles poster I have hanging above my Kawai electric piano, the very piano I used to instrumentally cover Yesterday a few months ago. I don’t think I will ever tire of The Beatles, partially due to the fact that their songs are timeless. I’m not the only one who thinks this. Many people, particularly those who are younger (much too young to be around when The Beatles performed in the ’60s) become fans everyday.
From those who fondly remember buying all of The Beatles’ albums and singles on vinyl and seeing them live in concert to those who listen to them on YouTube or on their MP3 players, fans of all ages can come together (no pun intended) and enjoy the music that defined a whole era of music and continues to shape the world of music to this day. The Beatles’ first performance in 1964 was a single event that caused the history of music to change forever in the United States, something that is still relevant today.