Whilst I was visiting the Big Apple last week on business I ventured to Central Park to visit Strawberry Fields; an area of the park that pays tribute to the late John Lennon. The ‚ÄėImagine‚Äô mosaic which lies in the centre of the area is adjacent to the Dakota apartment building. Lennon was returning home to the Dakota building when he was shot dead on December 8th, 1980. Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer.
It seems apt therefore to mention that 50 years ago today on the 7th February 1964 The Beatles arrived at John F Kennedy airport for their very first tour of the United States. Their Pan Am flight touched down in New York City where thousands of screaming fans waited to catch a glimpse of the band that had just started to creep into the American music charts. The four mop-topped musicians from Liverpool spent two weeks storming the US; performing at concerts and appearing live on the Ed Sullivan show drawing a television audience of millions. Their fresh sound and sharp style seduced America and Beatlemania took hold instantaneously.
For many the arrival of the Beatles in America is now a reminder of a bygone era; a time before new music was so readily available through the internet and social media. It was a time of mystery and anticipation which must have made the moment The Beatles stepped off that plane fifty years ago so exciting and today so memorable. The group went on to achieve worldwide success and had an unprecedented impact on Popular Culture.
These evocative photographs are from the resource Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975. Sections I and II are available now.