Armando Macias had just turned 5 when his family gathered around the television on Feb. 9, 1964. The Beatles were going to be on the Ed Sullivan Show.
“I remember we were watching our black and white TV.” Macias said, “It was all of us; even my parents that weren’t into rock and roll, were watching Ed Sullivan that night.” Seven of them gathered in the small house in Phoenix. “It was exciting for everybody.”
Sun City Grand residents Hal and Penny Taylor were dating. They watched with her parents and her sister and boyfriend. Penny was 24 and excited they were going to appear on the show. She said her mom was forward-thinking and thought they were amazing.
The Macias and Taylors were part of the 73 million who tuned in that night.
“Like everybody else we were hearing about the rock and roll group that had just come from England” said Macias. “It was the novelty of The Beatles.” A Peoria resident, Macias recalls his parents took him and his four siblings to the drive-in theater to see the Beatles in their movies, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help.”
And the Beatles sound was the first music Macias introduced to his three sons. “Since they were old enough to listen to music and appreciate it, that’s what they heard.”
Throughout the years Macias said he bought about eight albums, but because they got scratched, he threw some away.
“Over the years, the best thing about The Beatles music is, you never got tired of it,” he said.
Penny Taylor said she went skiing with her boyfriend Hal, and they were playing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on the chairlift. “I was crying on the chairlift because I thought he wasn’t being nice to me like in the song; he wasn’t holding my hand.”
After they were married, The Beatles came to Denver and Penny didn’t get to go to the concert, but she and her sister were part of the screaming crowd lining the streets when they passed through from the airport. “We waved at them as they were going by.
“They were such a phenomenon when they came through,” Penny added.
A big rock ‘n’ roller, Hal said the music was quite a bit different from what most of them were familiar with in the ’50s.
And then there were the haircuts.
“In the ’60s and ’70s, hair got much, much longer and The Beatles with their hairstyle, basically set the style.” Hal let his hair grow long. “I was like every other guy.”
Macias was 11 when the group broke up. “Everybody was upset and sad over it.”
But, he said, the group’s music is timeless. “I’ll be listening to The Beatles music ’til the day I die.”