WWL>Topics>>2-10-14 3:10pm Angela: on the Beatles

2-10-14 3:10pm Angela: on the Beatles

Feb 10, 2014|

Angela talks with Beatles expert Bruce Spizer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's American television debut.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well hopefully you enjoyed all the hoopla of the last week. As America has celebrated the fiftieth anniversary. Of The Beatles introduction to this country on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the beginning of the British invasions. And the beginning of the transformation. Of popular music. If your Beatles band or just someone interested on how they did what they did to become legends that that they continue to be. Then you'll want to stay with this for the next hour. As we talked to the local man known as the world's leading authority on The Beatles in America. Bruce Pfizer is a local tax attorney. Whose real passion for The Beatles led him to -- eight books on the subject. Any talks to -- from the shore hotel with The Beatles state fifty years ago tomorrow during their visit to Washington DC. Where they were to play their first concert in America before 8000. Screaming fans. Bruce first of all thank you so much for doing this but are you just living there. What was happening fifty years ago. That's really been fun because I was in new York and that took the train down from New York to Washington DC which is what The Beatles did fifty years ago tomorrow. And whether it was caused flight album because it was a snowstorm like George didn't like like the gamut and what about to get on an airplane now during the blizzard so they took the train and it was great to 'cause. They were kicked out of the press -- who follow them mail or on the train together I think that. Interaction between that and the process was something that was really good for the group been good for the country. I'll take this back in -- last night the NC BS at the wonderful on fifty year. A special and first did you -- they're. Yes I was there I was I was an -- with the taking of the concert. And then CBS to copy tickets for the Sullivan theater last night and it was really great because. You know it opened up -- The first song played by Maroon 5 was all my loving mission that The Beatles doing it and kind of segued into Maroon 5 doing it live. It was fun sitting there. Knowing that exactly fifty years ago I was in. My TV's you know my parents who else in the world Louisiana watching. The Beatles on WW LTV. So really dropped actually great memories and then also I was. Able to walk on the stage and you know at I was doing so I think that gave -- you know this is where -- took place so it was a really incredible field. You and 73 million other people were watching that program salute and it truly was sort of the defining moment. And I remember watching with my sister from the little TV. I'm thinking gee they're they're different. There they were wonderful they were charismatic. But it was even more than that. Yeah I mean the thing about it was that I was attracted to the group initially for a variety of reasons. That we weren't in the global communities so the fact that they were British was exotic you know James Bond -- creeping into our culture. Have you know the hair was radically long that the problem and I have a flat -- crew cut at the time. -- the other thing was great about it was they could mock a party I'm in a charming way. So about a party didn't realize they were being -- but we got in on that was comical. And that of course the freshness in the excitement of the music and you know I can ask this question all the time you know -- I hear people talking about The Beatles fifty years on. And that they're all the same reason that people you know more than a hundred years on will be talked talked about Bach Beethoven Mozart Schubert. Hear what people keep talking about Louis Armstrong that the truly great music is in fact harmless them. He -- well produced well performed. In the song writing was so good and you know what when you have all those elements come together. It creates something that's very special so. I think young children today that -- was into The Beatles they certainly aren't doing it as a British group or global community they certainly aren't doing it because of the long hair. The simple answer is the music. The music. Let's to we have some bulletin natural sound here let's go to cut number three. -- -- -- -- -- -- And I am. -- yeah. That of course was two teenagers at JFK in -- The Beatles were are arriving and I think that's. At least to my generation looks back and sees the real hysteria. That was around. Whether they were in concert are just arriving in an airport it was unbelievable. I mean you know here we ordered more you know it's Friday afternoon kids is supposed to be in school. And 3000 kids essentially cut school to go to the newly named JFK airport to see The Beatles arrive. In this was in the day when news was news and retain that was entertainment it never the Twain shall meet. Yet Walter Cronkite felt that this was newsworthy -- ended the CBS evening news broadcast on February 7 1964. All the story of The Beatles arriving at the airport and it's. It's a really fun thing and in the talks that I get by actually playing that audio clip. And when he signed off as a chuckle because boy if he doesn't it can be used about quite know what to make of that but he knows it's newsworthy. Interestingly enough the competition. In this and -- in the -- break the report. Chet Huntley says well you know The Beatles were arriving like -- little news organization. Cameramen and reporters and they brought back wonderful images that we were trying to see what all the excitement was about -- we couldn't figure out what it was goodnight and BC's. -- -- that -- probably teenager crosses America ready to throw bricks at the tells. -- -- -- You know wasn't clear and did Walter Cronkite interviewed them or. No he he didn't but his connections with the work it's kind of fascinating. About Walter Cronkite was actually responsible for pushing the first domino that jumpstart the beatle mania in America. It is kind of a convoluted story -- and break me off what you need to go to commercial but. The way comic goes is that. In November. The trust in London and realize that this was a big thing and so most of the London bureaus of ABC CBS and NBC. Film The Beatles and concert in CBS apparently did five minute story. All The Beatles and typically what would happen at the time was that a feature story would run in the morning. On the CBS morning news of Mike Wallace in the files on the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite. And nobody really knew if we win these stories were wrong we knew that it runs on December 10. But I -- that the footage of The Beatles was from November 15 so logically what would you wait that long run -- story. So -- called the CBS archives of that this was a little over ten years ago. -- almost -- You know yeah we can find it for you and some young British woman who apparently was Manning the archives. -- back and so it will cut down on the index card but it's kind of strange it says story ran morning news' Mike Wallace. Not broadcast that evening. And she -- that's -- usual elements that goal what was the date she says November 22. So here we. The CBS morning news broadcasting the story on The Beatles in the few hours later president Kennedy is assassinated so literally. Nobody remembers that broadcast. And it was as you can imagine very dark -- -- at the Kennedy assassination problems Cyprus. Civil rights on the rest. And for whatever reason on December -- Walter Cronkite felt to become -- funding and the news. With this lighthearted story about this music phenomenon happening in England that would probably never catch on. And the more sophisticated United States as a -- it is so. He runs the story. And that which is the first domino. -- then. Please historian he had -- The Beatles exactly a mile earlier to be on show in February. And I kind of forgotten about that or unknown in America he gets so excited. And the call up mr. Cronkite decision to get -- he says you know what can you tell me about those whatever they call themselves. And mr. Cronkite you know it doesn't know much about let me just ran on the story but tells them you know -- -- -- -- -- -- publicity people would ever. And so and so against promoting that The Beatles are going to be on his show. Have a schedule. The other -- the fifteen year old girl and so over spring Maryland named Marsha Alpert. Sees that Anderson today we don't have -- -- actually physically writes a letter triple local radio stations sang. All The Beatles on the CBS evening news. You know why can't we have music like this and America. As fate would have it one of the disc jockeys at WW DC is Carol Jennings who is friends with someone who is a stewardess as they're called those days. For British overseas Airways corporation. And the answer to bring back The Beatles latest record -- one soldier and Capitol Records has just signed the group in the -- at -- two record in mid January. So the normal timetable would be the record comes out mid January The Beatles from the -- show early February. Maybe by that time that record's top ten. But instead. In -- the second domino falls with Marcia Albert Holland cal games in the and that. The record becomes the third domino invites were down to the station -- on December 17. He has to introduce the song that's played and afterwards he says you know. Westerners brightest to let us know what you think mobile phones structuring off the hook. And the next thing you know the switch -- lights up like Christmas tree. And Carole James makes a dump of the records -- the -- disc jockeys in Washington saint Louis blues and all the sudden. Three major markets in the United States are playing a record that's not scheduled to come now for several weeks. Capitol Records initial reaction is. To have an attorney called them to get an injunction to stop playing the record and of course -- radio stations as you know not a thing yet. So capitalism -- makes cents. We want records played on the road. But basically -- -- factories in Scranton in Los Angeles. Start pressing copies of this record. And it's actually released the day after Christmas. And Debian. CA in New York jump started immediately in the -- VI NS WABC's quickly policy. Kids know video games in those days so they're almost into the radio during their Christmas break and then during the on that just -- -- -- They have put some comic money. Mommy and daddy can take into the record store applied in the next thing you know it's selling tons of copies in New York. Getting saturation radio airplay in the rest of the country follows suit. Meanwhile. If we have time we can go back about things that happening in early 63 but. Please please leave at least a year earlier. And -- -- essentially. She loves you have been released earlier that it flopped and so these records -- re released on different record labels that put them now when capital but initially turned them now. So not only do you have one holder and -- saturation airplay. But please please me -- she lobbed you and then -- about one vote and let's start standing there and that it -- you know polite. You know it's just it's everything is timing. Really it is Bruce I hate in -- if we are gonna have to go to a break stay with isn't. Everybody stay with us. Bruce lies -- -- an update us on the history of The Beatles right after this. Not so -- it. Our special guest today is Bruce Spicer who has a local tax attorney but. Kind of equally importantly an authority on The Beatles he has written eight books. Obviously it has been a passion of yours for a very long time. That really was you know I mean I remember hearing wanna hold your hand on the Newman School bus radio and I was. You know it looked like it was just the excitement of it it was something different about it. Haven't you know remembers time went on here in the record over and over again my mom has memories of yummy in my friends singing in the backseat of the car. And when the album came down -- What to studio a records stored wanted to -- -- my goal was to get the single look and realize there was an album that that a -- other songs and was able to you know persuade my mom and that it would be several weeks allowance and she was nice enough to buy the albums of meet The Beatles was first album that I ever purchased. Oh my gosh let's talk about. Real beatle mania it because it became even more than their music it was down. It it really didn't you know its interest in and you look at how they were promoted by Capitol Records from the basket at a biography on the group. But it also have a separate biography for each Beatles so. Everyone knew John Paul George and Ringo you know everyone knew the Kingston trio but probably couldn't name a member of the Beach Boys you know him you might be able to put. For the most part with groups they would just a group they want people. But The Beatles have such dynamic individual personalities. In the record companies picked up on that has to the press and everyone else so you know it was like. You know we grew up with jumped out Georgian -- goes on the Vatican names a new Pope Pope John Paul you know. Something the Pope John Paul George and Ringo is just follows. It's that type of -- And that. You know we have all the radio -- play and so Sullivan normally drew about thirty. 35 million people not like 73 million people to India and the significance beatle mania did start with the soul shall we talked about four. You know the saturation radio airplay but the put the exclamation point on its position as the day we didn't have you -- been videos -- Taxes or even now there's so. There was no way to see The Beatles performed. Can see the excitement in the CBS cameraman. Did a great job because not traditionalists The Beatles both hand held cameras measures the screaming girls. In the street in on the theater bopping up and down in this -- and that added to the excitement was just a really great visual thing. And the course after the Sullivan's show. You know many people. Were influenced. Not only. Get rid of that crew cut. But also you know took place in to hear that I should do. Unbelievable. And I think that's them arriving in Washington where you are so you take the same -- that they took the sting at the hotel. Can you imagine what it was like. I mean it was crazy it just total pandemonium at the train station in this was on day when it was snowing hard. That once again kid didn't care they're gonna go out to Union Station to greet The Beatles and in other concert was incredible ticket prices were 23 and four dollars as a promote wasn't sure. If he could sell opposite Daniel and of course the 8000 tickets went almost instantly. And that they were Cuba where things about the concert it was a boxing arena and so The Beatles looked like kind of theater in the round sort of and so they played three songs facing one direction current round played three in another direction and then -- to the left in the right. So every three songs they played in the different directions. Palm -- were truly pumped up for the show. Did it was the second largest crowd that ever played before. And the other thing that was later made the mistake in the interview and -- -- -- like jelly babies which of these soft English candies. In English fans were tossed them on the stage. All American fans saw that they went out and bought jelly beans which candies he was throwing -- people and so. You know here they are getting stung by these jelly beans playing an antiquated equipment with. No monitors so they can't hear themselves yet incredibly. You know if you watch the the tape for the concert they just do an incredible job at that play a little bit faster a little bit edgier. And and they open -- roll over Beethoven song that hasn't been released in the United States with Georgia call people on lead locals. No matter crowd goes wild they close -- long tall Sally with the group hadn't even reported yet a little Richard's wrong. Yet it was just a phenomenal. You know -- the and fortunately the film was exists so the next two nights ago from one extreme to the over the -- Carnegie hall and unfortunately. The concert was going to be recorded but the musicians union blocked the and so was not reported so we only have a couple of still pictures of them but once again you know -- sold out shows. It Carnegie Hall. Stay with -- we're gonna continue our talk with Bruce sponsor and The Beatles right after this let's go to Don names in the newsroom. Fifty years ago actually fifty years ago yesterday. The Beatles arrived on the its knowledge. Fifty years -- still can't get over that. But I think it's very interesting that in studies that have been done very recently. That two thirds of Americans say The Beatles -- had a great deal of influence on music and popular culture. And nearly seven intends to The Beatles music has held up well and still surrounds current and fresh today. Our guest today Bruce sponsor who is an authority Beatles. A local attorney but a worldwide authority on. On these very special -- for men who impacted music and and culture I have to tell you Bruce that sent. Miraculously. Would you believe actually solve them in concert. In Houston. In. Stronger in summer of 1965. And yes. And I remembered driving up there with a group saying I don't understand all the screaming. -- I got literally into this coliseum where they were playing. And started screaming and efforts to. It was absolutely. An unbelievable. Experience. It was like not mass hysteria I don't mean that but something caught on and really when I look back on -- really didn't get to hear them. Now in the and that's definitely unfortunate -- get themselves sizes so it's incredible that they were able to. Provide music of any level at all because most stage monitors constant screaming and in -- generally very poor public address systems that they were playing through and so -- It's just quite remarkable that they can entertain anyone at all all of -- at home. And I'd like to fast forward a little bit -- at some point I mean their popularity was unparalleled. Worldwide indefinitely in America but at some point didn't they get tired of the beatle mania didn't they want to spread their wings. They -- day. It was very hard thing and if you look at the schedule that would do and say in 1963. They rarely have a dale. That were playing to the streets. Engagement somewhere they would doing TV or radio and -- recordings owns. And the -- really took -- stroll particularly in 66 when they. Had a problem in the Philippines where those questions as whether or not they were gonna get out the country along mean it was a very crazy situations and they did this. US tour implements test that George Harrison on the plane. Going back -- that sit on the long -- if he knew that they would never tour again. You know they -- might consider playing in public with nothing like that idea you know we're seuss' crises schedule. In the 64 people was booked a manager Brian Epstein book to visit they -- point in the UK. So you know it was not -- usual from the undergoes a sense that in Los Angeles Chicago -- world that means it was it made note that you know that would. Just going covering ridiculous distances. In playing all these different dates fortunately they played normal ones some. Almost every city they play it was a major market. But they played two smaller markets know about it in New Orleans and that was -- had this crazy belief that they would be able to go out these cities. In the course there was no way they could have gone around the world the Roosevelt hotel didn't want them so they stated to congress and on shipments -- highway. And then what would've been a day off where they might have been able to see the world Charlie gently. -- Brian Epstein and manager properly equipped refused. The -- The Beatles and unprecedented. In -- 150000. Dollars to play in Kansas City. In Portugal recently lost a ton of money on the concert -- as a matter of civic pride. You know he wanted them to play Kansas City so it was just -- on things like. You mean they they. They wouldn't raise the prices by that time. No I mean that -- have a ticket prices were still you know I think Kansas City was like eight dollars which was the most it was anywhere. I think the city parks -- -- was five dollars and and we'll have to talk about that there's another problem we get on that anniversary September 16. But you know here -- are they're -- of the -- in what it did. Was it began recording differently after coming off the road the first song they reported strawberry fields forever. And that's forever changed The Beatles and their music so they were using the recording studios in instrument itself in about. You know before it was setting that it would -- microphones and play two guitars bass and drums and get it on tape and they were done. But the songs like strawberry fields you know you've brought in orchestras you know it'll kind of brokered she did back which loops on symbols of he had just completely changed everything so. -- came in studio band at that point for the rest of their career. And and that's what it remains so popular in -- group like today -- Favre came out with great excitement. In great songs with the driving -- that they never could progressed. The Beatles on the other hand you know if you listen to lobby do what you licences strawberry fields forever works hard to -- the same band could've done those two. Fault much was made that transition and a couple of years. Stay with us we're gonna continue our talk about The Beatles right after the us. It's still great music it really is were talking The -- fifty years ago. Coming to America. Opening our eyes to a different kind of music and a different kind of musical culture. Bruce Pfizer is our guest today author of eight books on The Beatles. And I I have to ask you. Including -- think was the most talented of the four. I think you know. Pure talent I'd have to say Paul. It on the -- what good date multiple instruments and play the ball that well. -- but I think what you compliant. Paul with the genius of -- lavender both individually and great song writers put together and they worked off of each other well. It all -- doing something that John did like he would Salomon vice Versa so. I think you know but that really work well I think George Harrison was an underrated musician and certainly developed to be a good songwriter toward the end of the group's career. And I get Brussels stand up on my neck and Angolan people suffering does the luckiest man in the world he's not that as a drummer Ringo was it was -- Corel -- and an integral part of the group. Absolutely an integral party this. Everybody had a crush of. He was the most popular Beatles on America when they first came over here. People don't remember them pretty close. But you know I actually do I do remember that in a personal they were all adorable with a little haircuts. And it -- and that added you know little flavor to it. Do you think that. Do you think it is true that the local -- down. Relationship with John was the ultimate end of The Beatles -- The beginning of the gambles when Brian Epstein died and a jaw line and that has much to work in the process agent states that the patent. Because and what happened was that there was a -- there in the -- -- fraud so global it. Can take over things and and you know one being the perfection symbolic came across as being -- and that led to resentment. Among the other members of the band and and I think it's really not fair to say it was all Yoko I think to death abroad and Epstein had more to do that in any. Today and friends or just. I think you know that was a lot of resentment because of these the legal wranglings you know if you going to break up the partnership you have to do legally in this case in the which -- losses to corruption that was resolved but I think toward the end of jobs like he and Paula reconcile. There was even talk that -- was seriously considering doing some sort of our reunion type thing and of course. That never came about because as being assassinated. And I think that is just where were you. Where were you when that happened. Like many people watching Monday Night Football and what our number was and I was reading the Wall Street Journal -- in the game at the same time. Also on the put on the journalists -- activists -- writer Howard Cosell says Joan -- has been killed. But I -- back to my bedroom and called up the beach -- you -- radio and you want the disc jockeys. And he says the eighteen machines skull and walkers and you know Sony's portable PH came machines and you know this is one of those -- -- -- over the next day it was a hastily put together memorial at the scientists theater. An -- of walking from my office to assign that theater and every time my past a newsstand. I kept looking at -- outline. And hoping it was gonna change to -- and recovering from. Assassination attempt to -- percent that is always supplement shut them out and just really horrible field. -- terrible terrible thing to happen in this country. Stay with us we'll be right back. Our guest today Bruce Fleischer we have about a minute and a half left and on. Sorry because we could -- many hours on this. And we are absolutely committed to having you back on September 16. -- -- just wanted to know what you your favorite song of -- -- Favorite song that was big hit AG my favorite popular out tracked in my life. But favorite obscure song that -- such a thing across the universe. Very interesting I was looking at some list of that will be hit 21 hits in America and seventeen in the UK isn't that interest. It would release more records in the US the US would pull song's awful problems and release them like. Eight days a week was an award in the US but that was the single in the UK. Very very interest in the whole thing is interest in -- and I can understand why you had such a passion forward and again eight books a reworking a number nine. Not for a little while Angela. Lobbyist on the Salmonella literally have to run from the west front of the storm hotel to the east when we're going to be giving the presentation in the -- and. Can't thank you enough Bruce spies -- we'll have you back on September 16 thank you for everything you're welcome back to work and I thank everyone for joining us I'm so sorry couldn't get you called -- We'll be back here tomorrow but now let's go to the newsroom and Don names.