THE BEATLES: It Was 50 Years Ago Sunday They Taught the World to Play
When Joe Walsh sat down to watch The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, February 9th, 1964, he had no idea how much it would impact his life. That was the night The Beatles made their debut on the variety show and Walsh tells us “a major part of me deciding what I wanted to do” happened that night. And, not only did Walsh go onto play many times with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, but he became Ringo’s brother-in-law in 2008 when he married Ringo’s sister-in-law, Marjorie Bach.
Two future members of Styx were also watching that night — James “JY” Young in Chicago and Tommy Shaw in Montgomery, Alabama. Both guitarists agree that it was The Beatles who inspired them to pick up the guitar, and the screaming girls also helped.
George Thorogood also tuned in that night in the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware and he says, “The whole world just went BOOM! for everybody. Since that day it has never been the same.”
Future Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell was watching in Florida and seeing the girls going crazy made him realize that learning how to play the guitar was “the thing to do.”
CBS will mark the milestone anniversary Sunday night, 50 years to the day and time of the Sullivan broadcast, with The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It features numerous artists paying tribute, including Ringo’s brother-in-law, Joe Walsh.