Friday, February 7, 2014

211: The Self-Empowered Woman: Beatlemania

Dear Followers, 

Do you plan to watch CBS's 50th anniversary tribute to the Beatles this Sunday night?
Like millions of other 15 year old girls, I was glued to the Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles made their first American TV appearance in 1964.  (In fact, 45% of Americans who had TVs were watching.) At the time, I attended a private all girls high school in Southern California, where we wore plaid pleated skirts, white blouses and dark green blazers/cardigans—as well as the obligatory lace-up shoes with ankle socks.
I was a page editor for our school newspaper who was also a confirmed bookworm,  so I had no opportunity to meet—much less get to know or (gasp) date—boys. At that point in my incredibly awkward and sheltered youth, they seemed like creatures from another planet. Perhaps that’s why it was so easy to channel all those mixed-up emotions into Beatlemania.
If anyone had told me back then that I would grow up to become a journalist who lived in London, I would have been dumbstruck. And if they’d told me I would visit Paul McCartney at his Apple music office, and interview him over coffee and cookies, I’m sure I’d have fainted on the spot. But that’s exactly what happened in 1985, and I’m happy to say that (unlike many celebrities I’ve met during my career) the experience exceeded my expectations.
Sir Paul (he received his Knighthood in 1997) went out of his way to welcome me to his private office—complete with a giant Wurlitzer Jukebox. Our morning meeting flew by, but fortunately our time together was captured by my newspaper’s trusty photographer. Thanks to his good-natured willingness to spend a few hours with me, I now have unbeatable bragging rights among all my former high school classmates. Lucky, lucky me. 
Marilyn Murray Willison


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