John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Beatles Inspire Baby Boomers to Have Fun

Posted on February 13, 2014
Ringo Starr and all his band (8470866906)

Ringo Starr in 2013

Ringo Starr looks amazing.

I was watching the CBS special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the British invasion of America, better known as the Beatles first big tour of the States, and the quirky drummer, whose real name is Richard Starkey, jumped around stage like he was Mick Jagger or something.

I have been thinking a lot about the Beatles these days.

I was born one month after John Kennedy was shot and two months before the Beatles arrived in America.

I have always felt a weird connection to both Kennedy and the Beatles.

I don’t know why.

I know I was too young to really appreciate the Beatles when I was two months old, and to be honest with you, my parents weren’t huge fans of the lads from Liverpool.

I asked my mom, who was only 23 when they did the Ed Sullivan Show, why and she told me that she was much more into Frank Sinatra.

She had a little baby (me) and she was married to my dad, and her life wasn’t ready for the frivolity of the Beatles.   So, it was old Blue Eyes for her.

I was listening to an NPR story about the Beatles invasion, and I was fascinated to learn that every Beatles record that was released before Kennedy was shot was a dud in America.   “Love Me Do”, “She Loves You”, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” were all released in America in 1963, but America wasn’t ready for the British invasion.

But when the Beatles came in February of 1964, a good chunk of the America (especially kids who didn’t have kids) were ready for a break from the gloom and doom of a country still depressed by the assassination of their President.

Kennedy was, in Frank Sinatra’s famous words, a man of “high hopes”.  But those hopes were dashed by an assassin’s bullet.   The rest of the decade would be tumultuous, led by the generation who loved the Beatles when they first stepped onto America’s shores.  It was that group of baby boomers they led who were the shock troops in the sexual revolution and civil rights movement.

My parents (my mom, especially, as my dad is firmly in the middle of the Depression era babies) just barely missed that generation and I am classified as being at the tail end of the baby boomers.

But I have always been a huge fan of the Beatles.

My first album that I bought with my own money was the Beatles “Red Album,” which was a compilation of their greatest hits from the early years.  The second album I bought was the “Blue Album.”

My favorite Beatles album is probably “Revolver”, although “Rubber Soul” is a close second.

I remember when I went to see “Beatlemania” in downtown Chicago when I was 15.    I loved it.

In any event, both Ringo and Paul look pretty well preserved for their advanced years.

It’s amazing after all the drugs and women and rock and roll, these guys are still kicking it and kicking it hard.

The Beatles were a breath of fresh fun when they swooped into an America that desperately needed a change in attitude.

The remaining Beatles are still a source of inspiration for an aging bunch of Baby Boomers who need to be reminded that we might all be getting older but there is nothing stopping us from still having as much fun as possible.

Not that I am getting any older.