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The Beatles as therapy

Editor’s note: Mr. Caraco wrote this on Paul McCarthey’s birthday, June 16.

It was the summer of 1963 as I remember. We started hearing the music on AM Radio. A music professor would have picked up on the rhythm & blues influence. An expert would hear Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers in their songs. But, what we heard was something different, exciting and fresh. The end of Elvis Pressley. It was a new era. The soundtrack of the Baby Boomers.

Then came Nov. 22, 1963. Our young, dynamic President Kennedy was martyred. It was an emotional kick to gut. We were sleep walking Thanksgiving just six days later, wondering what on earth could we thankful for. Christmas did not seem right the following month. Terribly similar to 9/11, we were under emotional siege and just wanted to feel right, normal again.

The announcement soon came: The Beatles were to be on The Ed Sullivan Show. If you’re too young to know what broadcast TV was like, with just two or three channels and a mono speaker, the entire nation watched Ed Sullivan on Sunday evenings. This was huge. And a pall was lifted Feb. 9, 1964. The mourning period was over, and we could smile again. They gave us so much and they could not have known what it meant.

So once more, in these times of a feckless president, a dangerous pandemic and civil unrest, they come back to me as therapy. As George put it, “All Things Must Pass;” and Paul, “Let It Be”; and John, “Imagine”. We still need them. They are so much more than a band that made the big time. They are therapy for our wounded soul. All you need is love, love is all you need.

FRANCES CARACO

Johnstown

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