Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9th - Beatles At The Cavern Club, Or Ed Sullivan, Or Both - Even Wikipedia Is Conflicted

I've written the following one way or another in this blog before; I'll say it this way today: Recent history is the most inexact science because everybody isn't dead yet. Once a generation is in the ground, and a big tomb dropped on top of it to make sure nobody gets out, then historians can decide for certain what the hell happened. Mostly because historians have the benefit of not having been there.

For all my digging through vinyl around dusty buildings, barns and the spare rooms of recently re-married men, I've learned that much.

So variously, today is credited with being the day that The Beatles first played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool (1961), and also the day The Fab Four first played on the Ed Sullivan Show (1964). No dispute on the Ed Sullivan part. We have tape and a mass of 75 million who saw it, a good portion of whom aren't buried yet. But a lot of them aren't feeling well. Get back to sculpting that tomb, the deadline is approaching.


The accuracy of the Cavern Club part is a good deal murkier. The local newspaper in Liverpool reports celebrations at the Cavern Club today, commemorating the 50th anniversay of the Beatles first appearance (as being on February 9th 1961). Rolling Stone reported it that way too.

However, many sources report the first date The Beatles played at the Cavern Club as February 21st 1961. Wikipedia has the date as the 9th in the section on The Cavern Club itself, and as the 21st in the section called The Beatles At The Cavern Club, both appearances are credited as "lunchtime appearances". Note: The above mentions on Wikipedia are as of 8:00am Pacific Time on the 9th Of February 2011; some bastard's gonna change one of the wiki's, I know it. Other websites have the same discrepencies.

Things get pushed together in February; it's a short month. When I was a kid we had separate days off for Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays instead of one Presidents Day. I'm keeping a tally of those missed holidays and I'll want them back.

Maybe these two events are being pushed together into one day in a marketing conspiracy to create a Beatles Day.

Now I myself was born a few years after the Ed Sullivan appearance. I won't be pressed under the iron heel of the same tomb as those who were there. I vote for the 9th. The 9th for both events creates a poetic symetry, two stages of the same rocket. Like Trumbulls' Signing Of The Declaration Of Independence. Who cares that all the signers were never in the room at the same time? It's the image that counts. And falling between Marting Luther King Day and Valentine's Day would be good placement for a Beatles Day. In The Beatles, you've got the working class don't-opress-me-mate sort of thing, and the All You Need Is Love motif. Perfect. Yes, I declare the 9th is the day of The Beatles first appearance at The Cavern Club in 1961 and on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Gift cards will be on sale soon.

The video below is not of The Beatles at the Cavern Club on either the 9th or the 21st. It is a later video, unless of course I am dead and some future historian who has not yet been born or has just crapped her diapers sees some purpose benefiting the establishment of the below video as being of The Beatles at the . . . oh, forget it.

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