Beatles Come to America

Beatles Come to America

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by Martin Goldsmith
     
 

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When the Beatles touched down in New York on February 7, 1964 for their first visit to America, they brought with them a sound that hadn't been heard before. By the time they returned to England two weeks later, major changes in music, fashion, the record industry, and the image of an entire generation had been set into motion. Coming less than three months after

Overview

When the Beatles touched down in New York on February 7, 1964 for their first visit to America, they brought with them a sound that hadn't been heard before. By the time they returned to England two weeks later, major changes in music, fashion, the record industry, and the image of an entire generation had been set into motion. Coming less than three months after the assassination of President Kennedy, the Beatles' visit helped rouse the country out of mourning. A breathless and condescending media concentrated on the band's hairstyles and their adoring fans, but their enduring importance lay in their music, their wit, and style, a disconnect that signaled the beginning of the generation gap. In this intriguing cultural history, Martin Goldsmith examines how and why the Beatles struck such a lasting chord.
Martin Goldsmith (Kensington, MD), the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony (0-471-35097-4), is a program director for XM Satellite Radio in Washington, D.C. From 1989 to 1999, he hosted Performance Today, NPR's daily classical music program.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
..".written in an easy and pleasant style...a useful addition to the collection of the avid Beatles fan." ("Beatles- Unlimited magazine," May/June 2004)

..". fascinating ... quotations from those fusty Americans..." ("New Statesman," 12th April 2004)

..".a breezily intelligent biography...perhaps the first serious Beatles history to have a truly happy ending." ("Entertainment Weekly," February 6, 2004)

Whether you're old enough to have lived through Beatlemania or young enough to know only that one of these guys went on to play in Wings, Martin Goldsmith offers new twists on a fascinating subject in "The Beatles Come to America." In this reflective account of the Beatles' explosive arrival on the U.S. music scene in 1964, Goldsmith digs into the tale with such attention to detail that its freshness seems never to have faded. Discovering what went into designing the stage set for the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," for instance, makes clear how portentous that broadcast turned out to be.
The story is put into a personal context as the author inserts himself into the narrative, both as a teenager bearing witness and an adult now looking back with some perspective. The opening pages, for example, take us along on his pilgrimage to Liverpool on a recent summer day. Where the Britney generation might see an unremarkable urban panorama, Goldsmith finds evidence of miracles-a street called Penny Lane, a dank reliquary in the shadows of the Cavern Club-and, briefly but gloriously, bonds with a couple of Russians drawn on their own "hadj" to the center of Strawberry Fields.
This magic blows through the book, past delightfully obscure anecdotes and insightful reflections that present the Beatles as both a tonic for the malaise that followed the Kennedy assassination and a harbinger of the feminist revolution. When the Fab Four, a little bewildered at what they had just unleashed, wave goodbye to America and fly back home, Ringo wonders, "How i

Publishers Weekly
For this latest installment in Wiley's Turning Points series of personal perspectives on defining American issues, music writer Goldsmith (The Inextinguishable Symphony) looks at the 1964 arrival of the Beatles in America to show how the "unleashed, unbridled joy and unparalleled excitement" of Beatlemania "was an earthquake, and we continue to feel its aftershocks forty years later." Goldsmith clearly expresses his love of the Fab Four and is especially good at detailing their famous appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. However, while Goldsmith unassailably argues that the group that appeared on TV in 1964 was an act that had been honed during four previous years of hard work, he devotes the first half of the book to proving that point by giving a short history of their entire early career, including childhoods as well as the tough tours of Hamburg and England, where they forged their style. For someone who has never heard of the Beatles (if such a person exists), this may be necessary, but this material has been covered more thoroughly and with more detail in many other works. The book does offer many fascinating details related to their arrival (such as negative reviews of the band from mainstream newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post). Goldsmith never explores in-depth some of the "lasting changes" that he says the Beatles' arrival made in "music, broadcasting, journalism and fashion." A little less Beatles history and more material on their actual arrival would have made this a more effective narrative. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471469643
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/16/2004
Series:
Turning Points Series, #11
Pages:
196
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN GOLDSMITH is director of classical music programming for XM Satellite Radio. From 1989 to 1999, he hosted Performance Today, National Public Radio's daily classical music program. Since 1984 he has been co-host of Songs for Aging Children, a radio program devoted to the singer-songwriter generation. He is also the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony. Martin Goldsmith lives in Maryland with his wife, Amy Roach.

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Beatles Come to America 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Beatles Come to America is a great book. The author includes many intresting details that any fan would find amusing. The book tells about each beatle's life before stardom which I found very intresting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a terrific read. Goldsmith gives plenty of interesting details to keep even the most well read Beatle fan interested. I have read many Beatle books but I was impressed with the number of details and by the enthusiam and love with which Mr. Goldsmith writes about the Fab Four. Thanks for such a great book on the anniversary of a truly remarkable cultural milestone.