The American media love anniversaries to celebrate---they fill space in newspapers and magazines
and provide TV programming at little or no cost.
That explains the burst of Beatles articles and TV programs coming up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9. Anyone who hasn't seen that clip of Sullivan introducing them and their brief performance must have been asleep for the past 50 years as its been shown repeatedly ever since. The telecast still ranks number 11 of the most watched non-sports telecasts in TV history, with an astounding 73 million viewers.
Nonetheless, its always good to see film clips of the Beatles at their peak and Tom Hanks, who was ten years old when they stopped touring, has produced two specials for CNN focusing on the 60s and particularly the lads from Liverpool. In addition, on February 9 CBS will commemorate the landmark with the concert special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, and a boxed-set release of their U.S albums is kicking off fresh promotion of the band's music that will run for years and bring new Beatles titles to the marketplace. There are strong rumours that their first movie, A Hard Day's Night, will be re-released shortly.
Incredibly, more than four decades after they broke up, the Beatles remain the biggest-selling band in history and the two remaining members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still touring regularly.
In Las Vegas, the Beatles music has been packing people into the Cirque du Soleil's flamboyant proudction of "Love" at the Mirage for more than seven years and will continue for at least another three.
Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamare says the production has so far played to 6 million people and grossed $800 million.
He sums it up when he says: "I think the Beatles are going to be relevant forever."
Coming soon....the anniversary of the Beatles appearance at Shea Stadium? their performance at the Hollywood Bowl? their last U.S concert? their break-up? etc. etc.
As John Lennon would have said: "Let it Be."
Friday, January 31, 2014
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