Singer Cyndi Lauper remembers shrieking by a highway near New York’s Kennedy International Airport as the Beatles’ limousine rolled by; popular disc jockey “Cousin Brucie” Morrow reveals how he helped recover a favorite medal snatched from Ringo’s neck by a frenzied fan; humorist Roy Blount Jr. dissects the lyrics to “When I’m Sixty-Four”; and photographer Henry Grossman takes us into the audience of The Ed Sullivan Show—where the Beatles first performed in the United States—and then on tour with the band.
The Beatles Are Here! explores the emotional impact—some might call it hysteria—of the Fab Four’s February 1964 arrival on our shores through the voices of those who witnessed it, were swept up in it indirectly, or, born too late, came to love the band after they broke up. Writers, musicians, fans—including Fran Lebowitz, Billy Joel, Renée Fleming, Lisa See, Pico Iyer, and others—describe in essays and interviews how they were inspired and changed by the Beatles. Conceived as “a scrapbook of madness,” in John Lennon’s famous words, this collection arose from writer Penelope Rowlands’s own Beatlemaniac phase, when she was one of five screaming girls captured in an iconic photograph that has been published around the world—and is displayed on the cover of this book. (The stories of the girls, who found each other again 50 years later, are also part of this volume.)
The Beatles Are Here! is a celebration of the myth, the reality, the phenomenon, the era. Where did the Beatles take us, what did they deliver us from, and finally, what do they mean to us now?