Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Sep 9th 2009 11:45AM by Gaylord Fields
I can proudly state that I was one of the record-setting 73 million Americans who witnessed the Beatles performing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' and three other soon-to-be-ubiquitous songs in the course of their historic debut on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' that landmark Sunday of Feb. 9, 1964.
I can also sheepishly clarify that, as I was 3 years old at the time, I can't recall a single solitary second of it.
However, just a few months later, when my 4-year-old brain started absorbing the Top 40 AM radio airwaves circa late 1964 that were being beamed at all our heads, even it could discern how special 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' is. Yet my tiny but growing blob of gray matter had scant knowledge of whence that two minutes and twenty-four seconds of perfect pop synthesis emanated.
As a song, the Beatles' first US No. 1 single offers this: The protagonist is addressing the object of his affection about his desire to hold her hand and how it makes him happy when he does just that. No more, no less. That's about the size of it.
As a record, though, it's something abso-tively, posi-lutely musically unprecedented: How does a song stitched together from bits and pieces of 16 styles of music from our past sound so much like the future? It's akin to gathering up the scraps and sweepings lying around your dad's garage -- and fashioning them into a rocket ship to Mars!
Living grandly between the rhythmic misdirection of the push-me-pull-you intro and the stuttering "ha-a-a-a-a-a-aaaaaaand" ending is a beast of a performance, adroitly arranged and expertly recorded to create and relieve tension with every strum and wallop. Hearing the burst dam of head-over-heels youthful joy that (and the order of the following names would quickly become canon) John, Paul, George and Ringo, ages 20 to 23, deliver on this simple song about hand-holding, I'm curious to get a glimpse at what exactly is on the end of this young lass's wrist! Just why does the mere anticipation of some hot palm-on-palm action from her cause John and Paul's entwined voices to leap an entire octave?
Thankfully, the idea of parental guidance was nonexistent in the pre-choking-hazard-warning mid-'60s, so this tyke had full exposure to this carnal depiction of an innocent courtship ritual set to a cheery tune. Even 45 years later, I'm still slightly leery about clasping mitts with my beloved, thanks to what the Beatles have wrought. But when I dare to, I do feel happy inside, just as they promised.