Conventional wisdom about the Beatles' arrival in the United States in February 1964 for their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" is that it was a watershed cultural moment---for Americans.
Beatlemania, however, had already been raging back home in England, and in the days before global telecasts were commonplace, the band's journey to the States didn't have anywhere near the same impact on the British.
Except for a certain four young Liverpudlians.
"The Americans will never understand it, but all the music we loved came from America," Ringo Starr told Pop & Hiss on Wednesday following a brief performance for media and a few invited fans to preview his upcoming tour of Mexico and South America, which opens Tuesday (Oct. 29) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and wraps with performances in Las Vegas on Nov. 22 and 23, the only U.S. stops on this tour leg.
"The country music, the rhythm and blues, the real blues—it all came from here," Starr said. "Now kids come to Liverpool and say 'Oh, this is where they came from.' But for us, it was 'We're in America--where the music came from!' It was always about the music."
Consequently, with the 50th anniversary looming of the first time the group touched down on American soil, Starr, 73, said his hope is that any celebrations will reflect "the spirit of it. It was the most exciting moment for us, to come to America."
A full report on Starr's day of activities in conjunction with the upcoming publication of his "Photograph" book containing hundreds of shots spanning his life before, during and after his tenure in the Beatles, as well as the South America tour preview, will appear Saturday in Calendar.
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