The Beatles Still Exert a Pull on the Hearts (and Wallets) of Rock-and-Roll Fans the Group Lives on in Books, Recordings, and Digital Reunion
Kirsten A. Conover, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
Renata Greene remembers back to 1963: She was in third grade and her grandmother sent her and her sisters a record called "Meet the Beatles."
"We wore that record out," she says with a grin. "I still have it. Now, my nine-year-old son loves the Beatles."
Ms. Greene is one of scores of longtime Beatles fans who have gathered here at the Hard Rock Cafe's Cavern Club to celebrate the Fab Four's newly released "Live at the BBC."
The album has struck the tuning fork of Beatlemania.
Thirty years after the group's famed appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, renewed interest has people humming familiar tunes of "Yesterday."
Helping to remind them:
* A slew of new Beatles books have come out, including a comprehensive encyclopedia, "ultimate recording guide," photographic history, "lost" interviews, and even a travel guide for the Beatles' London.
* Beatles conventions held in Stamford, Conn. (Dec. 2-4) and Los Angeles (Nov. 25-27) drew thousands of fans.
* The first Beatles record to be played live on radio - "Love Me Do" - fetched a world-record price of $17,200 a few weeks ago at a London auction.
* Beatles cover bands are emerging, notably in New England where Brad Delp, former lead singer of the arena-rock band "Boston," has formed "Beatle Juice."
* The film "Backbeat," now on video, has sparked interest in early-Beatles intrigue.
So it goes that the Beatles are not only still popular, they are still profitable.
"The Beatles: Live at the BBC" is the first Beatles release in 24 years. The record has also opened the starting gate for a spate of "new" never-released Beatles material to come.
"People have waited so long for an authorized Beatles release. I'm pretty excited about it," says Tom Tiger, a longtime Beatles fan and a talent scout for Warner Brothers Records. "The Beatles are the ultimate pop masters. You can still hear their influence everywhere."
What can you expect from "Live at the BBC"? Basically a taste of the Fab Four as a young band from 1962 to `65. The double album features 56 songs recorded during BBC radio appearances.
Thirty of the songs were never recorded for albums, such as "Too Much Monkey Business," "Lucille," and "Don't Ever Change." Most of the others are cover songs, such as Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," and Ray Charles's "I Got a Woman." As Greene notes, "The Beatles have influenced so many musicians; this collection shows that they were influenced too. …