Sunday, February 11, 2007

"What's Happenin', Baby? It's the Gear!"

Whenever I watch The First U.S. Visit, I catch myself smiling uncontrollably throughout the entire documentary. The Maysles brothers captured the vitality and exuberance of the youthful Beatles, caught in the whirlwind of Beatlemania, in such a way that it remains fresh with every viewing. A second generation fan like myself can experience the thrill and excitement of February 1964 whenever we wish, but it doesn't completely make up for missing out on the real thing. At least we have such documents preserved for future generations.

The Beatles shall remain forever young.

I never grow tired of seeing and hearing the Ed Sullivan and Washington Coliseum performances. The Beatles appear poised and deliver solid performances, despite finding such a reception hard to fathom. The audiences are swept up into complete mass hysteria, enthralled by the music, of course, but lest we forget--the raw sexual energy the Beatles emitted also had something to do with it. (Fortunately, the last song from the Washington concert, "Long Tall Sally", finally appeared on the Anthology EPK--now we have the entire concert film.)

Their personalities, their humor, their down-to-earth reaction to the craziness around them, the friendship they shared--its all here for us to partake in with them. I often speak/write of the "joy" The Beatles continue to give--The First U.S. Visit is proof of that joy. Magic!

1 comment:

DinsdaleP said...

Joy indeed!

That Washington concert is really unique; it's their first full live performance in the birthplace of rock and roll, and I've never seen The Beatles look so happy to be playing for people.

It's like there's this adrenaline loop going on - Beatles feeding off the crowd's energy, and giving it right back to them. At times, Ringo looks like he's about to propel himself right up to the roof of the Coliseum!