The Beatles bit me

 

Well, she was just 17,
You know what I mean,
And the way she looked was way beyond compare.
So how could I dance with another (ooh) 
And I saw her standing there.

Well, she looked at me, and I, I could see
That before too long I'd fall in love with her.
She wouldn't dance with another (whooh)
And I saw her standing there.

Well, my heart went "boom",
When I crossed that room,
And I held her hand in mine...

Whooh, we danced through the night,
And we held each other tight,
And before too long I fell in love with her.
Now I'll never dance with another (whooh)
Since I saw her standing there 

When The Beatles sang "I Saw Her Standing There" on the Ed Sullivan Show February 9, 1964, I just knew I was the 17-year-old girl in the song, and I was falling in love with four dish mop heads of hair.    

I was joined by 73 million people, whose eyes were peeled to their grainy video time capsules. My family watched the "really big shew" on a black and white 19-inch DuMont television set. Ed Sullivan, in his carny-barker stoicism, said, "Ladies and gentlemen...The Beat-les," as if he were attempting a Liverpudlian accent. His next words were drowned out by teen-girl screams. 

My parents had already been warned about compulsive tribal singing and dancing. Guilty, as charged. It was Elvis times four. Maybe my resistance was low, because I welcomed the epidemic called "Beatlemania." Owen Gleiberman of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY nailed it when he wrote, "They had thatch hair, thick eyebrows, English bone structure, and those mouths, when they were singing, were shaped like lemons---big and round and poised at the corners."

Harold Bronson spotlighted their humor in THE HUFFINGTON POST: "The Beatles' sense of humor was already on display upon their arrival in America in their witty responses to questions lofted during press conferences.  

'Would you please sing something?'

John: 'No, we need money first.'  

'What do you think of Beethoven?' 

Ringo: 'Great, especially his poems.'  

'A psychiatrist recently said you're nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys.'

John: 'He must be blind.'

Ringo (shaking like Elvis): 'It's not true. It's not true.' 

George Harrison's dry manner was revealed when he offered that he had a haircut the previous day, eliciting laughs." 

Mama and Daddy were stunned as I sat on the round green hassock in the living room and wiggled my hips, waved my arms, and clapped my hands to "All My Loving," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," (with Paul and George wiggling their heads together at the microphone in an ecstatic, high-pitched "Wooooooo!"), and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." My 15-year-old brother remained quiet during the show, but that's the last time I ever saw his cowlick-swirled crew cut. From then on, he and all the other teenage boys in town began sporting pudding-bowl mop-top hairstyles. 

Watching the 50th anniversary televised special of that 1964 Ed Sullivan appearance in 2014, I felt the rush of the crush all over again. I no longer have the round green hassock; my bobby sox have been replaced with Isotoner house shoes; and screaming prompts uncontrollable coughing. But, I bobbed my head and tapped my toe to the beat. It has been fifty-three years. 

But I think I could still tear their clothes.

 

cindybaker@cableone.net


  Huntington Beach News


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