May 18: "From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America" at the Plymouth Arts Center
When asked why he played so hard every game, Joe DiMaggio (Hall-of-Fame center fielder for the New York Yankees from 1936-51) replied, "Because there is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best." (Rosen and Bruton, p. 116).
Though the average attendance at my programs hovers around 30-35 (while Yankees games might draw 30,000-35,000), the concept is the same: I never know who is attending my presentations. Most, I suspect, are watching me for the first time. And there's also a chance that today's event might be the only time they see one of my programs. If that's true, I want to make absolutely sure that it is the best it can possibly be. And since I have no way of knowing, it forces me to give my best every single time.
Take, for example, last Saturday's program "The Beatles & The Rolling Stones" at the Brookfield, Illinois library. During the Q&A after the presentation, one man raised his hand. I recognized him instantly from the photos on the backs of his books and/or on his website as Robert Rodriguez, author of Revolver: How the Beatles Re-Imagined Rock 'n' Roll and co-host of the podcast "Something About The Beatles". We chatted for several minutes before departing the library, and he confirmed he'll be speaking at the Chicago Beatles Fest in August. I'm undecided if I'll go or not, but I am very interested in hearing one of his talks, so the fact that he'll be speaking there, coupled with the fact that he went out of his way to attend my own, pushes me towards attending Beatles Fest in August.
Rosen, Mark and Jim Bruton. Best Seat in the House: Mark Rosen's Sports Moments and Minnesota Memories. MVP Books, 2013.
After "The Music of Star Wars" this evening, I return to the Beatles universe tomorrow at the Plymouth Arts Center:
Wednesday, 18 May 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Plymouth Arts Center, 520 E Mill St, Plymouth, WI
From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America
Many Beatles authors and scholars have cited John F. Kennedy's assassination on 22 November 1963 as a cause of the Beatles' sudden popularity in the United States in early 1964. Their logic: Kennedy's assassination made America sad, then the Beatles made America happy again. But this commonly accepted answer is overly simplistic. America has suffered numerous tragedies and rebounded each time, but the popularity and staying power of the Beatles remains unmatched in American history. The real answer is that Kennedy's life and death inadvertently primed the nation for the Beatles' arrival and success. This 60-minute program will explain how and why.
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This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.