On February 9, 1964, while sitting cross-legged on the floor at my grandparents' house, I watched the Beatles' American debut on the Ed Sullivan show. To my uncomprehending relatives the four young men from Liverpool, with their moptop hair and British accents, could have been from another planet.
Those early tunes were popular, simple, and catchy. Anger, complexity, and other musical influences would come later along with civil rights, war protests, free love, and LSD.
At the time Ed Sullivan probably didn't realize that he was introducing what would become the greatest rock band of all time. Some events, like the invention of the transistor and the publication of Silent Spring, have acquired significance because of what followed. It's now called "the night that changed America," but of course, no one knew it at the time.