This post is not about books!
No, it's about music. Specifically, it's about the 50th anniversary Beatles special that was aired on Sunday night, and which is being reaired tonight starting at 8:30.
If you didn't catch it the first time around, it's worth watching.
2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan, and in honor of that event, CBS put together an amazing special event for Beatles fans, music fans, or, honestly, really anyone.
I was born in 1966. I am not a child of the sixties in any meaningful sense, and the Beatles were pretty much over by the time I reached the age to get really interested in music. My childhood soundtrack includes Shawn Cassidy, the Bay City Rollers, KISS, and, later, AC/DC, Billy Idol, The Cure, REM, Nirvana and U2.
Nonetheless, this was just pure fun to watch. Amazing musicians, from Adam Lavigne to Dave Grohl were invited to perform some of the best known, and some of the least known, songs from the Beatles songbook. Overall, they did a remarkable job, with some of the performances reaching the level of amazing. Alicia Keys and John Legend's side-by-side piano duet of "Let it Be" was absolutely gorgeous, and Dave Grohl's cover of "Hey, Bulldog" were my favorites. Other people would have different opinions.
CBS tracked down many of the people who worked on the Ed Sullivan show on the historic night of the Beatles performance, and many of the girls who were screaming in the audience. The anecdotes were sweet, funny, and nostalgic. It was a wonderful tribute to a lost moment in time.
But, of course, it was Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney who completely stole the show. You know how sometimes you watch an aging performer, and you feel sort of bad for him/her. It's sort of embarrassing in a really sympathetic way, because they aren't what they were in their prime, and everyone knows it, and we're indulging them by listening.
Well, that isn't at all how this was. Ringo Starr is amazing. He is vibrant, and energetic, and was obviously having more fun than anyone should ever have (not really, of course, and I suppose he could have been faking, but if he was, he is the best fun faker I've ever seen). He looks about fifty, and he's a quarter century older. He has more energy than most twenty-five year olds muster up on a regular basis. His time on stage was unequivocally delightful.
And Paul - he is older now, to be sure, but he is still winsome, still appealing, still a musician to his soul. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert 20-some-odd years ago, in Des Moines, Iowa, well after the Beatles years, and he put on one of the best concerts I've ever seen. He performed "Hey Jude" for the special, and it is still one of the best songs ever written, performed by one of the most amazing performers who has ever lived.
Anyway, if you are into music, even a little bit, catch this tonight. It is totally worth watching.