"Eddie had a certain kind of showbiz swagger for a 15-year-old"
August 15, 2016 3:36 AM   Subscribe

If you wanted to see the Beatles when they came to DC in 1966, you could stand outside their hotel to catch a glimpse. Or, you could impersonate the opening act.
posted by hawkeye (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Cool story, bro.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 AM on August 15, 2016

I remember the Beatles coming onstage, and hearing, “Close your eyes, and I’ll — AHHHHHHHH!” because the rest of the show was just screaming.

Pedant mode: 'All My Loving' was never performed live after 1964.
posted by Coda Tronca at 4:50 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

What a great story! Those guys had some imagination to pull that off.
posted by jabah at 6:01 AM on August 15, 2016

Fantastic story! But a movie about this would suck.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:29 AM on August 15, 2016

Why would it? I mean unless you want to set it in the present day, and the kids get picked up by security about five minutes in, handed to the police as a terrorist threat and disappeared. The rest of the movie would be just the band playing the concert.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:46 AM on August 15, 2016

Reminds me of infamous football prankster Karl Power, who lined up with Manchester United before a big game for their team photo without them realising.
posted by Coda Tronca at 7:05 AM on August 15, 2016

John being a prick to them lends just the right air of authenticity to make me think they really are remembering it all correctly - except for the "All My Loving" thing, but I'll give them that one.
posted by yhbc at 7:14 AM on August 15, 2016

My favourite part of this is the credits-roll epilogue: where the members of the real Cyrkle and the fake Circle ended up in their lives after this episode. Based on outcomes alone, It's not all that obvious who is who (I deliberately mixed 'em up a bit):
  • Editor at National Geographic
  • Attorney, adjunct professor of Law
  • Business author and speaker
  • Advertising, commercial jingle writer
  • General surgeon
  • Bankruptcy attorney
  • Advertising, commercial jingle writer, record producer
  • Owns a concert-sound-engineering business
  • Commercial farmer
  • Master chef, actor in tv commercials
Neither group was ever going to be the Beatles, but the Circle successfully pulled off their caper, the Cyrkle got to open for Fabs, and Paul Simon wrote their hit song.

All ten of these guys had their moment of 'fame' -- and then moved on.

That's rock and roll.
posted by Herodios at 7:14 AM on August 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is beautiful.
posted by egypturnash at 7:21 AM on August 15, 2016

I really want this story made into a movie directed by Cameron Crowe.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 7:24 AM on August 15, 2016

But a movie about this would suck.

They kind of made it, which maybe you're referring to: I Wanna Hold Your Hand." It was flawed, big third act problems, but I wouldn't say it sucked. Been a while since I've seen it but I remember it having a frenetic charm, and the few clips I just watched bear this out.

It wasn't (far as I can tell) actually based on this story, but there's a fair amount of overlap - enough that I bet the seed was somehow planted by this story floating around.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:27 AM on August 15, 2016

Yeah, if someone tried this today, they'd be shot.
posted by SansPoint at 8:15 AM on August 15, 2016

Been a while since I've seen it but I remember it having a frenetic charm,

That is true. Robert Zemeckis' first feature. High energy, weaponized charm, with a bunch of winning performances. Some of the actors went on to successful if relatively low-key careers while others got out, to my disappointment. The woman in the clip dirtdirt links is Susan Kendall Newman (Paul Newman's eldest daughter) in one of only three acting roles she ever did onscreen before moving on to other things.

I haven't seen it in maybe fifteen years myself, but I suspect I could probably happily watch it about every six months for the rest of my life. For some reason, it occupies the same kind of artistic real estate in my head as The Blues Brothers: they are both rambunctious music-centric films from my childhood that I was barely aware of at the time but which I have become inordinately find of as an oldster.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:41 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Great story.

In 1966 I was still too young to attend a rock'n'roll show (although I know a girl a year younger than me who claimed to attend the concert in question) - that wouldn't happen until late the following year, when I saw The Strawberry Alarm Clock, Buffalo Springfield and The Beach Boys at Constitition Hall. However, earlier that summer I discovered rock'n'roll and in fact, the first two 45 rpm 'singles' I bought, the beginning of my record collection, were 'Paperback Writer' and 'Red Rubber Ball'.

There was no YouTube, no VH1, no color TV.

The last is not actually true - there certainly was color TV in 1966. We didn't get one until January 1967, when my dad put together our first, a Heathkit. (And boy, you can't imagine how much we were looking forward to seeing 'Star Trek' in color!) At that time, there was a top-40 show called Hullabaloo on TV, which had shifted to color by 1966. I'm not sure when it was broadcast, but I've seen the DVD where the Cyrkle appeared, and that show was in color. They played 'Red Rubber Ball' and only had three members initially - the fourth wasn't added to the lineup until their second album, 'Neon', which featured the incredible 'I Wish You Could Be Here'.

Fun fact about The Cyrkle I read online somewhere - they did a reunion concert in 1986, as part of Hands Across America.
posted by Rash at 9:49 AM on August 15, 2016

“So you wanted to meet us, now you’ve met us.” Clearly Lennon had seen this kind of shit before. He might have done it himself at one time.

Great story! And in a way The Cyrkle had a hit pretending to be Simon and Garfunkle ... and many early Beatles hits were covers of US artists (selling us back our own music with value-added) ... so it's got that deep subtext going for it.
posted by Twang at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2016

This is glorious!
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:38 PM on August 15, 2016

I like the part where they make themselves believe they're in a band called Circle so they can tell everyone they're not lying. So much lawful goodness gone wrong.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:36 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

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