When it was sixty-four

Baradwaj Rangan

‘A Hard Day’s Night’ turns 50 this July. It’s a great ticket to ride back to a swinging era…

How does one truly get the Beatles? This isn’t about their music, which, like any music, doesn’t belong to any single generation, even the one that it was birthed in. We do, after all, listen to Mozart today. This is about the gargantuan, fireworks-going-off-in the-head phenomenon of it all – the fevered anticipation of the next release, the buzz of being wired into a pop-culture moment, the feeling of communal ownership, the heartbreak when it’s all over. As someone born in the nineteen-seventies, I’ve never had this with music. The iconic bands of my teens – U2, The Police, Dire Straits – were big, but they weren’t that big. Michael Jackson, perhaps… But even he wasn’t “more popular than Jesus.”

I guess I’m trying to say that one way to…

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