Tonight, I had the Tom Hanks series The Sixties on. I was watching the episode about the British Invasion.
I was a young kid when it all happened. It’s always fascinating to watch the crazy girls screaming.
Because, I have a sarcastic wise guy sense of humor, I decided to play with the idea of a British Invasion. Because I think all of us need the two S’s Sarcasm and Satire.
Think about it. The kids were among the first Baby Boomers. I wonder what percentage of their Dad’s fought in World War II.
Can you imagine a concert with all sorts of British groups.
The screaming seventeen year old approaches her father. “Dad, I want to go to the British Invasion Concert.”
He looks askance at her. “British invasion? We stopped that nonsense with Paul Revere. I put my life on the line and helped to save their bacon in the war. British invasion indeed.”
Then, you get the standard teenage cry, “Dad! You know nothing about the future and what my generation will do.”
“Why don’t you start with your homework, young lady?”
Stamps her feet. “Dad, there having all the cool British groups.”
Dad is shaking his crew cut head at cool in this context.
“Well, I remember the British being cool and reserved.”
The daughter is anything BUT cool (at least by temperature). “Daddy, you have to let me go, all the major groups are coming.”
Dad is losing patience with his princess. “I only have to do what is right for you, young lady. I make those decisions, not you.” Dad is a little curious though.
“What are the names, of these groups?” (Gangs are more what go through his mind. Dad’s a cop).
“The main ones are called the Beatles.:”
Dad can only think of the Japanese beetles wrecking his garden. “You reminded me, I need bug killer to get rid of the Japanese Beetles in the garden. Always knew I didn’t like nothin’ Japanese. Fought them in the damn war.”
The daughter is wide eyed, thinking her father plans to murder the Beatles when they arrive. “Dad, but they are so great. They are gonna be on Ed Sullivan tonight.”
“Don’t believe it! Mr. Sullivan would never allow such foolishness.”
“Oh and Dad, other groups are coming too. There are the Rolling Stones, The Who, the Animals and the Dave Clark Five.”
Now Dad is wide eyed. ‘If you see Rolling Boulders, I mean Stones, it means avalanche and you run. I dealt with those fighting in the mountains in Italy. If you’re smart, young lady, you’ll run. As for the Who, well who are they? The Animals aren’t getting near my little girl. The Dave Clark Five? You know I restrict your dating, but five of them? That does it. I’m calling my friend in customs!”
Dad gets on the phone and calls his friend. He’s ashen faced when he gets off. His daughter is still standing still obeying instructions.
“The Japanese Beetles really are gonna be on Ed Sullivan. This I gotta see.”
“Oh Dad, Beatles, BEATLES.”
“Is that what they teach you in school nowadays? Spelling really HAS gone by the wayside. Kinda like new math. What the hell are they teachin’ you kids anyway? You certainly don’t have permission to go out with them. Animals, Dave Clark Five indeed.”
His daughter figured telling Dad about her boyfriend, Johnny Palermo was probably not a good idea at the moment.
Ed Sullivan came on and the screaming for the Beatles began immediately. The daughter started screaming. Mom just looked on and smiled, only saying about the Beatles they were cute.
“They need haircuts, and all that screaming, what for?” Dad could only grumble under his breath or the women in the house turned on him. Dad kept shooting looks at the picture of his son in his Marines uniform. “Thank God Tommy ain’t here to see this spectacle,” Dad muttered again.
When, the Ed Sullivan show ended, Dad looked over at his daughter and said crossly, “You think you’re going to any of those concerts, think again.”
“Dad, I’m going. Johnny already has tickets.”
Mom smiled, Dad went deeper into cop interrogation mode.
Before their daughter could answer, Mom answered for her. “While you’ve been riding around in your patrol car, Eileen’s been seeing a boy in her school and by the way I like him.”
“I need Johnny’s last name so I can look him up.”
“It’s Palermo,” his daughter smiled.
Dad’s face went many shades of red. “I fought Italians in the war! My baby dating one of them? I forbid it! You break it off.”
Mom stared him down. “You’ll do no such thing. I like him.”
“No daughter of mine is gonna be Mrs. Palermo!” Dad snapped.
And now the punch line. “Tommy, since you are already angry I have something else to tell you. The British invasion is just the beginning. The British musicians spoke about getting many of their musical ideas from Blues and Rhythm and Blues. Stock up on cold cuts, because Eileen and I are not going to be here over the summer.”
“Where are you gonna be.”
“Alabama and Mississippi. The British singers got Eileen and now me interested in helping these poor people gain their rights.”
Dad may be slower than most cops, but light dawned on marble head eventually.
“So the British invaders like Nigger music? I wanna know why I can’t arrest them for corrupting morals.”
“Because you can’t Daddy. The world is changing.”