What the Beatles Meant

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arrivi...

English: The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There’s so much there in that ‘Ed Sullivan’ appearance it’s almost overwhelming to me,” says Lennon and Beatles biographer and NPR critic Tim Riley. “But there is this thought that they articulated later: ‘We are a rock ‘n’ roll band, we know where we’re situated in rock ‘n’ roll history and we do not want to make the mistake that Elvis made.’ It’s almost articulated in that Sullivan appearance. They’re very defiant. They have a very strong, secure, cocky sense of who they are and where they might be going, of their own potential.”

“At the same time, it’s like, ‘We’re not going to bend to please the forces that be,’” Riley says. “They watched Elvis go off to the Army and go into Hollywood and it was a tremendous, tragic story. They always felt they were determined to do it differently and that’s almost conscious in the Sullivan thing.”

via What the Beatles Meant to America: 50 Years Later – US News and World Report


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