Monday, February 10, 2014

The Beatles: Grammy Tribute of The Night that Changed America

Thoroughly enjoyed the Beatles Tribute "The Night That Changed America" on CBS last evening.  What a terrific final celebration of all that was launched on that Ed Sullivan debut half a century ago. Like so many families across the nation, ours was curiously observing that premier around our 19-inch Sylvania black and white TV set in 1964. We didn't realize it that night, but It truly ushered in a new era.

Favorite performances from last night:

"Don't Let Me Down" by John Mayer and Keith Urban.  Tasty dual guitar work.

"Yesterday" by Katy Perry. Normally have little complimentary to say about her talent, but this was surprisingly poignant and heartfelt. Thought her "Mama Cass Elliot" attire was refreshingly odd, too.

"Let It Be" by Alicia Keys and John Legend. Two of the purest voices in pop with a reverential yet hopeful delivery.

"We Can Work It Out" by Stevie Wonder.  That playful, funky harmonica break was just perfect for this optimistic ditty.

"As My Guitar Gently Weeps" by Joe Walsh, Guy Clark Jr., and Dave Grohl. Screamin' guitar combo at the end was hair-raisingly good.  And D.G. pounded the skins as if his life depended on it.

"Yellow Submarine" by Ringo.  Such a celebration of whimsical peace-making. Having a giggle in the face of tumult.

"Birthday" and "I Saw Her Standing There" by McCartney. Pure, unfiltered power-pop joy.

Special admiration also noted for all the back-up band members, especially Kenny Aranoff on drums, and Peter Frampton and Steve Lukather on guitars.  Perfecto.

Of all the crowd reaction shots, the two I'll remember are: 1) Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, bopping around with happy abandon; and 2) The innocent, genuine excitement of Dave Grohl's 8-year-old daughter that so fully recaptured the essence of that night 50 years ago.

If you saw the broadcast, what were your faves/thoughts?

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