The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute to The Beatles

I was sleepy as I heard the rain falling outside. I was hoping that it would let up just a little bit. I got soaked just taking my trash out. I watched the CBS Sunday morning show. They had segments on the Beatles in Hamburg, Matthew McConaughey, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I went grocery shopping out in the rain. I came back to watch the documentary “Gimme Some Truth,” about the making of John Lennon’s “Imagine” album. John got angry during a couple of the recording sessions that showed, making me wonder what he was like during the Beatles recording sessions a couple of years earlier. John and Yoko went out to a store to autograph copies of the “Grapefruit” book. They did an interview with a woman who asked them questions about the attitudes about love and sex among young people. John talked to a fan who thought that the lyrics to “Carry That Weight” was directed specifically at him. It was a scary scene, as far as I was concerned, because it seemed to foreshadow what Mark David Chapman was going to do. George Harrison played on the album, and he seemed to be tolerant of Yoko, although he didn’t seem friendly to her. George played his guitar nicely on “Oh My Love.” George didn’t offer his opinion of “How Do You Sleep?” Yoko had strong opinions on the music, and she informed John that some improvising was going on at one point. The movie showed glimpses of Jack Nicholson, Miles Davis, and Julian Lennon. I wished we could have seen more of those individuals. Phil Spector was in the studio, and he did some singing. The album would be one of John’s best, and the song “Imagine” was a classic. John’s songs were mostly ones that he’d started writing a while back. I wondered if there was still some Beatles momentum in his songwriting. That seemed to be the case with George’s “All Things Must Pass.” The film was an interesting look at what John what he was doing at a time before he came to New York. Did he move many of his things from England? I was hard to believe that this was just seven years after the Beatles came to America. I used the Internet to see Rosanne Cash talk about watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. She said that her mother made sure that her little sister wouldn’t bother her during the TV show. Rosanne became the president of a Beatles fan club, but the mail became too overwhelming for an 11-year-old girl. I went to the CBS News website to watch the special that Anthony Mason of CBS hosted about Beatles music. He spoke to Peter Asher, Pattie Boyd, and Mick Jones. Pattie didn’t seem to remember much, like about her first conversation with George, or which movies they went to see. I stuck with the program for about an hour before I quit to have something to eat. I watched my DVD of the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan appearance. They came on after a shaving cream commercial to play “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” and “She Loves You.’ I skipped to “I’ll Do Anything for You” from the cast of “Oliver!” I’ve seen this program enough times over the years. I watched Frank Gorshin again. I was impressed that he could make his face look like the celebrities he was impersonating, like Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, and Kirk Douglas. The Beatles returned for the end of the show for “I Saw Her Standing There” and their hit single “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I listened to the Robert Hilburn Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program. The program was about two albums, Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” and Carole King’s “Tapestry.” They both had a lot of good tracks. I went back to the TV to watch the 60 Minutes segments on housing the homeless and about Philip Seymour Hoffman. Instead of watching the Columbo episode, I kept the TV on to “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America.” I would have liked a different list of artists, but the program started off well enough with “All My Loving” and “Ticket to Ride.” Stevie Wonder sang “We Can Work It Out,” which was fine, but I’d heard it from him before, and it would have been interesting to hear him sing something else. I thought he could have stood to lose a few pounds. I’d like to see him healthy in the years to come. George Harrison’s son showed up for “Something,” but it looked like Joe Walsh handled the hard part. I saw Peter Frampton with his guitar. Sean Lennon seemed like a big supporter of Beatles music, and he sang along a lot to songs like “Don’t Let Me Down.” Yoko looked like she enjoyed herself, and she nearly got out of control with her dancing toward the end. I didn’t care for Katy Perry singing “Yesterday.” I thought she sounded a bit like Sinéad O’Connor. I objected to her saying “somethin’” instead of “something.” The band that did “Revolution” was decidedly unexciting. I wished I could have heard people like Mick and Keith, Bob Dylan, and Brian Wilson try their hand at Beatles songs. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” had more contributions from Joe Walsh. Where was Eric Clapton? Ringo started his set with “Matchbox” and “Boys.” I kind of wished he could have substituted “Don’t Pass Me By” or “Octopus’s Garden” for one of those songs. “Yellow Submarine” was a good sing-along song. Paul did “Birthday,” “Get Back,” and “I Saw Her Standing There” with his voice showing its age. He went into “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” before Ringo joined in for “With a Little Help From My Friends.” I seem to recall that “With a Little Help From My Friends” was Sean’s favorite Beatles song when he was a child. It’s too bad they couldn’t work “Good Night” into the set. The program ended with “Hey Jude.” Sean sang along. I wondered where Julian was. I also wondered if the same people who were watching The Beatles on February 9, 1964 were also watching on the next two Sundays. Were Rosanne Cash, Steve Van Zandt, and Billy Joel watching those programs? Overall, I enjoyed this program, although I wished that there could have been more than two songs with Paul and Ringo together. I’d like to know whatever happened to that guy who wore the Beatles T-shirt in 1964 and described the Beatles as “boss.” Some of the people who died on February 10 include Richard A. Whiting (1938), Laura Ingalls Wilder (1957), Alex Haley (1992), Jim Varney (2000), Arthur Miller (2005), and Roy Scheider (2008). Today is a birthday for Elizabeth Banks (40), Laura Dern (47), George Stephanopoulos (53), Greg Norman (59), Mark Spitz (64), Roberta Flack (77), Robert Wagner (84), and Leontyne Price (87).

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