Ain't got nothin' but love babe: the Beatles invade America<p> Whether you're old enough to have lived through Beatlemania or young enough to know only that one of these guys went on to play in Wings, Martin Goldsmith offers new twists on a fascinating subject in <b>The Beatles Come to America</b>. In this reflective account of the Beatles' explosive arrival on the U.S. music scene in 1964, Goldsmith digs into the tale with such attention to detail that its freshness seems never to have faded. Discovering what went into designing the stage set for the Beatles' first appearance on <i>The Ed Sullivan Show</i>, for instance, makes clear how portentous that broadcast turned out to be.<br /> <br /> The story is put into a personal context as the author inserts himself into the narrative, both as a teenager bearing witness and an adult now looking back with some perspective. The opening pages, for example, take us along on his pilgrimage to Liverpool on a recent summer day. Where the Britney generation might see an unremarkable urban panorama, Goldsmith finds evidence of miracles a street called Penny Lane, a dank reliquary in the shadows of the Cavern Club and, briefly but gloriously, bonds with a couple of Russians drawn on their own <i>hadj</i> to the center of Strawberry Fields.<br /> <br /> This magic blows through the book, past delightfully obscure anecdotes and insightful reflections that present the Beatles as both a tonic for the malaise that followed the Kennedy assassination and a harbinger of the feminist revolution. When the Fab Four, a little bewildered at what they had just unleashed, wave goodbye to America and fly back home, Ringo wonders, &quot;How in the world are we ever going to top this?&quot; Even the four &quot;mop-topped lads&quot; themselves had no idea how lasting their appeal would be. In the last chapter, Goldsmith takes us back to where it all began, to an epiphany so unexpected and yet so appropriate that we are left wondering how it could have been any other way than it was a world changed, forever and for better, by song. <i>Robert L. Doerschuk of Nashville is the former editor of Musician magazine.</i> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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