Rushville Republican


January 14, 2014

And the Beatle goes on

According to my calculations, it’s been roughly 50 years since things that happened in 1964 happened. And among these things was the first appearance by The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” It was Feb. 9, 1964, and unlike tens of millions of people throughout the United States, I neither knew nor cared about this seismic event. Of course, I can be forgiven, because I was only six years old.

If only this seismic event had happened a little later. And no, I don’t mean 9 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. I mean, like, in 1972-ish, by which time I was a HUUUGE Beatles fan. If only they’d made their Ed Sullivan debut then! – I would’ve been into it BIG-time!

Anyway, you’ll probably hear lots of scholarly commentary and read lots of scholarly essays about The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and what it meant then, and what it’s meant since, to life on our planet. None of that kind of stuff here. Instead, you get stuck with a random collection of Beatles factoids, or at least musings dressed up to look reasonably factual, from a once – and still – HUUUge Beatles fan.

> At the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, there’s a good bit of Beatles memorabilia on display, including little Beatles dolls, still in their original boxes. The products were licensed by “Seltaeb, Inc.” My No. 5 son (age 12) was 9 years old when we visited the museum and he witnessed me standing in thrall of these objects. He, in his typical smarty-pants fashion, immediately understood how the word “Seltaeb” was formed, and asked if I did; it is, of course, a clever rearrangement of the letters in “Le Beast.”

The ‘splanation: Seltaeb was established hastily around 1963 because the Beatles’ brain trust didn’t understand how to do licensing. They asked a guy named Nicky Byrne to take it over. Byrne, who once said he’d been “sitting around doing nothing for half of 1963,” also knew nothing about licensing, and got the job mainly for being known as a “posh bloke” who threw great parties.

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