The Quarrymen, Johnny and the Moon Dogs, the Silver Beetles.
Still one of my all-time favorite bands but mostly in their younger days.
It was February 9, 1964—fifty years ago yesterday—that the Mop Tops performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and sung themselves into rock-and-roll eminence.
Although I had always known that the Beatles played these catchy songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” (Yah, Yah, Yah), I didn’t fall into my own semblance of Beatlemania until I was a freshman in college.
See, there was this guy. I’ll call him “Paul,” just because. I caught site of him in summer school and decided that he was a real cutie. He had a mop of dark hair, so I decided to call him “Paul MacCarthey” to my friends. I probably just should have gone right up and introduced myself, but I think I had a lot more fun swooning and eyeing him from a distance. It was a lot safer, anyway.
So my girl friends knew that I liked this young feller—in some parts of north Alabama, guys are called “fellers”— and they knew that I called him “Paul MacCarthey.”
One day we were all packed in my friend Jennifer’s* little compact sedan. Suddenly, I caught sight of Paul’s black jeep, darting through the intersection up ahead of us.
I started practically screaming, “There’s Paul MacCarthey! There’s Paul MacCarthey!”
Jennifer slammed on her breaks.
I felt six pairs of eyes on me.
“Stephanie!” gasped Jennifer. “What’s wrong?”
“I saw Paul MacCarthey!”
My buddies all sighed in relief but were still shaken by my outburst.
“Who?” asked Heather.
“Paul MacCarthey. The guy that she likes. Stephanie, please don’t ever do that again,” said Jennifer.
“No, you don’t need to do that,” agreed Michelle.
“You scared me to death,” added Jennifer.
My friends were very nice about it, though. I think I got their point and was sincerely apologetic. Then we headed back to Harris Hall, where we were living that summer.
“Isn’t it actually ‘Paul McCartney?’” asked Michelle. The other girls agreed that it was, and we started talking about the Beatles and their music.
And maybe my “Paul MacCarthey” crush got me to listening to early Beatles’ music until I became a fan.
I don’t like their music as much when they got all shaggy in the 70’s, although I do like the “Hey Jude/Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” mash that was released a couple of years back, and I did learn to play a mean “Let it Be” on the piano.
My mom remembers when they were first on The Ed Sullivan Show, which is very cool.
I found some neat Beatles memorabilia on eBay, and the seller was most gracious to share his photos. I hope you enjoy!
Crazed fans…Mom, is that you? (Just kidding!)
The Fab Four:
John – the smart one
Paul – the cute one
George – the shy one
Ringo – the sad one ??
* Names changed to protect my friends’ privacy. BTW, we are still good friends and remember our summer at Harris Hall—its dank, stale cigarette smell, notwithstanding—fondly.
Here is the link to the Beatles memorabillia on eBay. Thank you so much, Newton6950, for sharing your pictures!
The Beatles with Ed Sullivan.
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