What if The Beatles landed today?

It’s so funny how things like this just pop up.  A friend of mine and I were just talking about this a few weeks ago.  This article is a simple music/culture piece, but my friend and I were arguing this very same thing.  I know that the article is very tongue in cheek and funny, but imagine if the Fab Four landed today instead of 40 years ago.  

It would be an interesting phenomenon with technology and all.  Things would be quite different I imagine.  Nice piece. 

Here’s what we’ve read.

Hillary Clinton’s webcam announcement of her presidential bid got me to thinking about news conferences, or the lack thereof.

Politicians love making pronouncements on the Internet. They can look you right in the eye through the computer screen and talk directly to you and approximately 200 million other viewers. The Net allows them to bypass those nettlesome news conferences with all those pesky reporters asking their silly questions about Iraq, abortion, favorite ball teams, etc.

Thinking about news conferences got me to thinking about, naturally, the Beatles. Even if you weren’t around 43 years ago when they landed in New York, you have probably seen footage of their famous news conference at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Fresh from their trip over the pond, they stood behind a cluster of microphones from every news organization on the planet (there were six back then) and faced a phalanx of crusty reporters who had gotten their training by covering the Okinawa invasion. In other words, it was a tough room. Yet, they stood their ground and answered reporters’ silly questions about music, hairstyles and Iraq.

Anyone with a sixth-grade education in the school of rawk knows what happened. They charmed the trenchcoats off those reporters.

REPORTER: “Will you sing something?”

JOHN: “We need money first.”

REPORTER: “In Detroit, there are people handing out car stickers saying, ‘Stamp Out The Beatles.’ ”

PAUL: “Yeah well … first of all, we’re bringing out a ‘Stamp Out Detroit campaign.’ ”

REPORTER: “What about the ‘Stamp Out The Beatles’ campaign?”

RINGO: “How big are they?”

And so it went until they had charmed the American press so much, they took over the entire country without firing a shot.

Would the Beatles invasion have been as successful had they skipped the news conference and gone straight to the people instead? In 1964, that meant appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” so I guess they sort of did that, too.

But what if there hadn’t been a news conference? Would Ma and Pa America have gotten to know the Fab Four as well so quickly? Would the group’s wit have translated as well? And how could we have lived without those darling Liverpudlian accents? And why didn’t any of those pesky reporters ask why is it “Liverpudlian” and not “Liverpoolian”?

Anyway, all this got me to thinking, what if the Beatles landed at JFK today? I don’t mean just the two living ones, but the original Fab Four, all in their 20s, handsome and at the peak of popularity. I imagine their career would go something like this:

1964: Beatles land at airport and are greeted by thousands of screaming fans, mostly teenage girls, and a hovering news corps, mostly 47-year-old men. They prove to be as quick-witted as they are cute. Their appearance on Ed Sullivan attracts 73 millions viewers, and they never look back.

2007: The Beatles announce their American arrival with a four-minute video on YouTube, which is viewed by thousands of fans, mostly teenage boys, and makes them the buzz band for people in chat rooms, mostly 47-year-old men. Their appearance on a Cirque du Soleil special on CBS attracts 10 million viewers, 20 million fewer than watch “American Idol.” Their debut “Please Pleshizzle Me” becomes iTunes’ most-downloaded album.

1965: Their movies “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” are critical and box-office smashes.

2008: Their movies “Hard Core and Dazed” and “Hard Core and Dazed 2,” produced by MTV and pairing them with Lindsay Lohan, are dismissed by critics but earn a combined $580 million at the box office. The movies tie for Best Picture at the MTV Movie Awards.

1966: The Beatles begin to change rock ‘n’ roll with the release of “Revolver.”

2009: The band has not released a record since their debut two years ago.

1967: Fans know something great is coming when the single containing “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” is released. They are not disappointed when “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” appears.

2010: New song “Strawberry Humps” is released as a ringtone on iTunes. The ensuing album, “Pepperlicious” is leaked to the Web.

1968: John leaves his wife for Yoko.

2011: Ringo announces he is gay.

1969: The breakup begins, but “Abbey Road” is considered their best work.

2012: The band has actually not been in the same room since 2009.

1970: The end comes with “Let It Be” and the accompanying documentary. Fans mourn the band’s breakup.

2013: The band attempts comeback in MTV reality program “It Be Let.” New generation of 14-year-old fans cannot believe how old these guys are.

In life and music, timing is everything. Thank God the Beatles had it.

Source: Roanoke Times



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