On this day, much will be written about the Beatles. On Sunday, February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on American television. It was the Ed Sullivan Show…and the world was forever changed.
I wish I could say I could remember that event. I’m sure I was in the room with my family as they watched in glorious black & white, in sensuous monophonic sound from a six inch speaker.
I was just past two years old.
But like the rest of the world, the Beatles caused a huge butterfly effect in me. I grew up with the sounds of the Fab Four in my ears, my little spirit soaking up the words and sounds. Years later I would spend hours learning all of their songs.
They sang about love.
I’ve written before about my love of music, how I met Christ, He then introducing me to my gifting. There’s never been a time when I’ve played music without Christ being resident in my heart.
There have been times when I’ve been far from Him. When loneliness and hurt and pain overwhelmed me. Yet in the music, I heard echoes of Him.
I remember playing a club in Birmingham. My personal world was falling around me. The church wanted my skills, but not my heart. Music was my only solace, yet even the joy of music couldn’t assuage my bitterness and pain.
But that night we played a song by Paul McCartney…one of his infectious throwaway hits, “Let ‘Em In.”
Someone’s knocking on the door
Somebody’s ringing the bell
Do me a favor?
Open the door
And let ’em in
We sang a song of love.
People ask me what is my favorite song by the Beatles. Not a fair question. But I remember singing a brilliant song by John called “In My Life.” The lyric says, “In my life, I’ve loved them all.” That speaks to my love of their music. No favorite required.
It was even more years later when I saw Sir Paul in concert in Atlanta on the “Flowers in the Dirt” tour. It was this infamous night when Paul emerged that I found myself on my feet, with tears streaming down my cheeks, like some transplanted victim of Beatlemania.
It wasn’t so much that I was enthralled by the man himself. It was being in the presence of one of the men who created the soundtrack for my life. It was tears of gratitude that rolled that night.
He ended the evening with these oft-quoted words:
And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make
It was a song about love.
And tonight, my tears will roll again. I’ll endure the comments and the ribbing gladly. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ‘Night That Changed America.’
It took a few years more, but it changed me too.
In my life, I’m reminded by this thought every time I play music.
Love is all you need.