Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 9, 2014

50 Years Ago Today YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!

We could never be the same after Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Products and marketing had found a new, anxious buyer: Teenagers.

Says Beatles scholar Martin Lewis, “The prevalent attitude among the elite ruling class was that young people had no say in their own lives. The Beatles made rebellion constructive, articulating it with joyous, giddy exuberance. At a time when cigar-chomping moguls paid people in cubicles to write factory-farm pop songs for teenagers, the Beatles were completely authentic and kids instinctively understood that.”

Suddenly, kids everywhere were deciding what to wear, how to style their hair, what to buy and what to listen to.

“A disc jockey from WKBW Radio produced a show at Shea’s Theatre in Buffalo which was a film showing the Beatles in concert,” Mrs. McWhorter said.

“We had tickets and the place was packed. And even though it was a film of the Beatles playing a concert, girls in the movie theater screamed, cried and fainted just like we were seeing them live.”

The Beatles went on to master the intricacies of the recording studio and their later material, though filled with a lot less youthful exuberance, was still groundbreaking and remains popular today.

“Music changed so much from the ‘50s to the ‘60s. It’s pretty obvious that the Beatles were the group behind the change,” said Lockport’s John Lang, whose daughter is named Abbey, after the Beatles’ final album Abbey Road.

Still craving to see the Beatles live, long after the breakup and despite the deaths of John Lennon in 1980 and George Harrison in 2001, fans have flocked for five decades to Beatlemania-type off-Broadways shows, including one called Beatlemania Now, which returns to the Historic Palace Theatre on Saturday.

Why are the Beatles still relevant today?

“It’s the music. The songs are timeless. They’re anthems for an entire generation,”  Mrs. McWhorter said.

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