This photo-heavy coffee table book explores what happened to America in 1964 when
The Beatles exploded as a cultural phenomenon after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. From that moment forward, anything
British became the vogue, including (obviously) music, fashion, film, and even cars. The author, a well-known biographer who has tackled subjects as diverse as Jack Kerouac and Pink Floyd, provides an upbeat sort of overview of what has come to be known as the British Invasion.
Following on the heels of
The Beatles, as Miles notes, a stream of British bands invaded the US shores including the Yardbirds,
The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, and many more. The Avengers, the first English-produced television series to be shipped across the Atlantic, appeared on television, and fashions revolved around the mini-dress and Twiggy.
But Miles gets lost in some of the details here. He says John Paul Jones became the bass player in
The Yardbirds. Wrong. Jonesy, later to play a significant role in Led Zeppelin, appeared on a couple of Yardbirds singles but that was it.
He points to The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" as a 'template' for singer/songwriters of the time, including Paul Simon. This is untrue. Certainly Paul had heard the song but hardly used it to base his own compositions on.
Still, this is a fun book and just looking at the pictures is illuminating. Miles captures a wonderful moment, this British Invasion and how it impacted America on virtually every level.