campus replay Marquette experienced a night of Beatlemania up close on Sept. 4, 1964, when the Fab Four spent the night at the Coach House Motor Inn, now Mashuda Residence Hall.
A ticket to ride The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1964. Dr. Phillip Naylor remembers lugging his Webcor reel-to-reel tape recorder DRIVE MY
into the living room of his family’s home in Evanston, Ill., and placing the microphone in front of the television. “The Beatles captured the imagination of a country at an important time in our history, and I knew it would be special,” says the history professor who launched Marquette’s popular History of Rock ’n’ Roll course in 1998. Fifty years after singing All My Loving and I Want to Hold Your Hand to 73 million people who tuned into the variety show, the Beatles’ appearance remains a seminal moment in music, television and pop culture history. Hearing Sullivan’s introduction: “The Beatles! Let’s bring them on” is one of Dr. James South’s childhood memories. Like nearly everyone else, the associate dean for faculty in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences got caught up in Beatlemania. He wore a Ringo wig, carried around drumsticks and collected Beatles trading cards. “Once you let the genie out of the bottle, there was no putting it back in,” says South, who wrote an essay for the book The Beatles and Philosophy: Nothing You Can Think That Can’t be Thunk. “For me, the pure joy in their music made me feel good and expanded my ways of thinking about the world.” The group’s appeal spanned generations, a credit to the band’s ability to evolve. Their songs about young love gave way to more philosophical lyrics on albums such as Rubber Soul and Revolver. Before altering the music landscape and triggering a cultural revolution, their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was tonic to a nation in need. Just 11 weeks earlier, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. “The country was still in shock over the assassination,” Naylor says. “You have these guys coming in, and they are fresh and funny and they’re all good musicians, and they The Beatles spent the night on the seventh floor of the Coach House Motor Inn, which is now Mashuda Hall, a home for freshmen and sophomores on campus.
produce some wonderful music that makes you feel good. They provided therapy for the country.” South agrees. “The elements fused together to make this an iconic moment. It was magnetic,” he says. “It gave Americans new hope and reintroduced a relationship between Americans and England that had disappeared.” The rise of the Beatles, South adds, occurred within the context of an emerging post-WWII context in which there was suddenly a youth market the band could tap. “For 200 years, who the hell wanted to be like England?” asks Bruce Cole, curator of the Jean Cujé Milwaukee Music Collection at Raynor Memorial Libraries and instructor of an honors seminar on the British invasion. “All of a sudden, England was where it was at.” Everyone wanted to be like the Beatles, including Cole, a drummer. Cole joined a