Tom Ross: I wanna hold your ha-a-a-nd
Steamboat Springs — Wednesday night’s immensely entertaining concert at Howelsen Hill by the Beatles cover band 1964 … The Tribute took me back, way back, to the second semester of fourth grade and memories of a red-headed girl who lived in my neighborhood.
It was actually January 1964 when the Beatles’ No. 1 hit in Great Britain was released in the United States. And it was a month after that that the Fab Four appeared back-to-back-to-back on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”
Not long after the Ed Sullivan appearance, my mother received a telephone call from the mother of the red-haired girl who invited me to attend a dance party. I had watched the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan and agreed with my folks that their haircuts were outrageous.
So, I was honestly bewildered and not a little terrified when my mother encouraged me to attend the party. Somehow, the guys were persuaded to show up and listen to the new hit single “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”
It was awkward.
It wasn’t so much the notion of holding a girl’s hand that made me want to run from the room, but the lyric:
“And when I touch you I feel happy, inside
It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide … ”
I wanted very much to hide. A more appropriate Beatles song for us might have been “Help!”
I don’t think any of the girls at the party had crushes on the boys. But they were certainly further along socially than we were, and it’s a fair guess that the Beatles may have triggered some hormonal response in them.
By 1965, when “Help!” and the Beatles movie of the same name came out, I had a whole new perspective on the quartet from Liverpool. I went with friends to the Orpheum Theater to see the movie, and I can still recall how excited we were when the title song played over the opening credits.
I feel safe saying that if you are pushing 60 or have already turned the corner on that birthday, John, Paul, George and Ringo changed your lives forever.
When I returned from the 1964 … The Tribute show on the Fourth of July, I dug out a little stack of old 45 rpm records. There, sandwiched in between “Act Naturally” (a song called “Yesterday” was the B side!) and “Rain” was my original copy of “Help!”
Back in 1965, we were “Younger, so much younger than today.” But we still get off on the remarkable pop music of the Beatles.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com
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