Mr. Beller's Neighborhood published "Instantly, Life Got Better," my story about The Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1964. The piece conveys what happened that night but doesn't explore a deeper connection the event had in countless households.
It was less than three months after the Kennedy assassination, Pope John XXIII died in June 1963 (even if you weren't religious, you would've loved this guy) and the country's nerves were still rattled by the upper case, bold, 24 point newspaper headlines and frantic news coverage of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
Children, particularily in Catholic households, saw one or both parents lose it. I mean really lose it. Cuba, The Pope and JFK knocked them for a loop and the younger children were at a total loss understanding what was happening in Mom and Dad's heads - they were crying out of context, drinking when they shouldn't and not making the usual "I'm all there" eye contact. Felt like there was no chance things were going to be OK and the parents lost their license as kid protectors.
In February 1964, The Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan offered families a bit of salvation, a path out of waywardness and grief. If they let 'em in. The younger audience's reaction telegraphed to the older audience, "we have joy." Like or hate them, The Beatles rallied hope.
This Sunday, February 23rd come hear Tommy Pryor tell a long one along with his fellow students at their FREE show concluding Adam Wade's Level 2 Storytelling class. That's 3:30pm, Sunday, Feb 23rd at THE Magnet Theater TRAINING CENTER - 259 W. 30th St (2nd floor)