I WANT TO HOLD YOUR (Invisible) HAND (of Fame)


Read between the timelines to see the Invisible Hand of Fame at work:

  1. The Beatles experienced huge popularity on the British record charts in early 1963, but record companies in the United States did not immediately follow up the Beatles’ successes in the United Kingdom with releases of their own, and even once they began to do so, the Beatles’ commercial success in the US continued to be hampered by other obstacles including issues with royaltiesand public derision toward the ‘Beatle haircut’ “. (Please note: before media told the Yank public what to think about it, The Beatle look was a negative; Beatlemania was by no means a foregone conclusion when ze Germans first gave the Fab Four those haircuts.)
  2. It was nearly a year before a five-minute news story about Beatlemania in the UK, shown on the CBS Evening Newson 10 December 1963, led to a teenage girl making an airplay request to a local radio station, which in turn sparked a sequence of events leading to the rush-release of the single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and the group’s commercial breakthrough.”

In greater detail (and please note the dates involved):

3. “NBC was the first American television network to run a story on the Beatles. The network’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” ran a four-minute story on Monday, November 18, 1963, at 6:53 p.m., with Edwin Newman doing the voice-over of film of the group and its fans. This was followed by CBS-TV’s five-minute story, which first ran on the “CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace” on November 22, 1963. The story was rebroadcast on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” on December 10, 1963. There is no record of ABC ever running a story of the Beatles until 1964. The concert footage used by the networks was taken at the group’s November 16, 1963, performance at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens.”

 4. “In late 1963, Sullivan and his entourage happened also to be passing through Heathrow and witnessed how The Beatles’ fans greeted the group on their return from Stockholm, where they had performed a television show as warmup band to local star Lill Babs. Sullivan was intrigued, telling his entourage it was the same thing as Elvis all over again.” (Wow, what a lucky coincidence… Sullivan just happened to be passing through Heathrow at the same time as The Beatles! It’s just like a movie! Cue: sound of screaming. Sullivan: “What’s that racket?” Sullivan aid: “It’s The Beatles, sir! Fans are screaming for The Beatles”. Close up: Sullivan, as light bulb goes off)

5. “The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Sundays in February 1964 to great anticipation and fanfare as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had swiftly risen to No. 1 in the charts.”

Well, what notable geopolitically-earthshaking event happened on November 22, 1963, with which to put this light-hearted Global Distraction in context? And, yeah,  I’m also implying foreknowledge.

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