With The Beatles/Without JFK

November 22nd, 2003
40 years ago today, that watershed recording over yonder was released in Great Britain. Inasmuch as we folks in the U. S. had more immediate concerns on that particular day, not a single individual over here took even the slightest notice of the issuance of a second LP from an oddly named English pop group called the Beatles. But, we would, we most surely would...
Two and a half months later, most EVERYONE in my age group had themselves a copy of the retitled and modified American debut album from the Liverpool quartet, "Meet the Beatles", and I certainly was no exception.

Not to downplay the awful tragedy that took place half a world away in Dallas that very same day, but ever since I learned of the actual release date of "With the Beatles" several years back, I've been intrigued by what some might call the karmic balance of the two events. JFK's assassination was arguably the single darkest cloud to hover over our nation in that troubled and turbulent decade, and the first real rays of sunshine to peek through that oppressive cloud were provided by much of the music on this very recording.

So, go ahead, turn on your TV and watch those anniversary remembrances of that rueful day we all lost a President to a burst of hitherto unimagined violence. Take a moment and ponder, if you would, those long-ago events, events whose ramifications are still being felt to this very day. But then stop, stop and consider that the very same day the world lost a great leader, it gained back at least some small measure of timeless joy in the songs of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr.

No, I'm not saying it was any sort of even trade-off. I wouldn't ever think of making such a crass value judgment. But if you'd care to look around for a positive on this mournful day, this is it. And, as they say, you know that can't be bad!...

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