Another 50th anniversary milestone is almost upon us.
While this past November marked the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, February 9 is the anniversary of an event which seems like a major contrast, but one which many people still insist was the direct result of the November, 1963 tragedy.
On February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Even though I didn't watch the show (my "fab four" at the time were Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Barney and Betty Rubble), I realized what a major music and television event it was.
There's talk David Letterman (whose show comes from the same theater where Sullivan's show was broadcast for nearly 25 years) is trying to get Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr together to celebrate the anniversary. But I think that would be a lame effort at a Beatles reunion. Let's face it: any chance of a real reunion ended (somewhat ironically) on that December day in 1980 when John Lennon was murdered. George Harrison died in 2001.
I heard of a more unique idea while visiting Columbus recently. A local oldies radio station is staging a reenactment of the Sullivan broadcast from that memorable night. (Information on the event is available at the station's website, www.oldies933fm.com). In addition to showing the actual broadcast of the program itself (which also is available on DVD, along with the Beatles' three other appearances on the show), it will recreate the Beatles appearance itself, with the help of a Beatles tribute band-one of dozens that exist all over the country, and an actual Ed Sullivan impersonator to introduce them. (I think, along with John Wayne and Howard Cosell, the most imitated personality of all time is Sullivan, with his noticeable lack of stage presence.)
Weird as the concept seems, it sounds hilarious. And it might work.
I hope it's a "Really Big Shew".