For those of us old enough to remember the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the decades of Beatlemania that followed, yesterday (pun intended :-) ) was indeed a special day — in many ways a nostalgia trip similar to reflecting back 50 years after President Kennedy’s assassination (November 22, 1963).
Never made it to Shea to see the Beatles on their U.S. trip, but did see McCartney live at both Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium. What was amazing at the McCartney concerts was the multi-generational nature of the audience. Saw lots of parents and their adult children there too.
In marketing, we talk a lot about the product life cycle (which applies to performers as well as physical products) and how most products having a beginning, middle, and end — and some are fads (think one-hit wonders) and others endure for decades or longer (think Rolling Stones).
So what has made the Beatles so enduring — even though the band broke up in 1970 and John Lennon was murdered in December 1980?
As John Pareles reports for the New York Times:
“If there’s one thing pop learned in the last 50 years, it’s that Beatles songs never wear out their welcome. The Beatles’ original recordings have retained not only their musical brilliance but also the nearly universal good will that the band generated in its time, as well as the accumulated nostalgia that makes baby boomers conflate its music with all the pleasures of their youth. On purely musical grounds — the foundation of melodies, harmonies, and lyrics — Beatles songs have thrived through half a century of remakes.”
“The Recording Academy was counting on both nostalgia and tunefulness with Sunday night’s special on CBS, ‘The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A Grammy Salute.’ It was a Beatles tribute concert recorded Jan. 27, 2014, the day after this year’s Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles with an extensive lineup including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and a reunited Eurythmics. Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, and son, Dhani Harrison, were in the front row; Dhani Harrison helped perform his father’s song ‘Something’ onstage.”
Click the image of Paul and Ringo performing last night to see an interesting video clip on the Beatles, including some cool data.
Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision, via Associated Press