It was fifty years ago today.
The world was introduced to the first Beatles single and the first James Bond movie on the same day. Both “Love Me Do” and " debuted Oct. 5, 1962. The world was in the early stages of a major transition, though few knew on that particular October day how momentous the changes would be.
Both The Beatles and Bond in 2012 have stood the test of time, but while the Bond films barely changed the formula of Dr. No in the subsequent 21-going-on-22 feature films, the Beatles instigated change and innovation continuously throughout their catalogue of over 300 songs. Even 5 decades after Love Me Do and 4 decades since their break-up as a band, and the subsequent premature deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison, the Beatles' influence and popularity are still huge.
I can still remember sitting on the livingroom floor, barely 2 feet from the TV screen, mesmerized, on February 9, 1964, as Ed Sullivan introduced the "lads from Liverpool" to a screaming crowd of young fans in America for the first time. I was nine-and-a-half years old and I was personally changed forever. I knew something extraordinary was happening, and not just to me, but to the whole world. Without knowing why, really, I felt thoroughly exhilarated listening to the exuberant renditions of "All My Loving," "'Till There Was You," and "She Loves You." My optimism about life as a human being soared. Music and love, love and music... I began taking piano lessons in earnest and had my first infatuation with a girl named "Judy" shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, somehow, with my father and best friend, "Cookie," in tow, I was able to see Dr. No in a movie theater, even though for 1962 (I was eight), the movie was pretty sexy and scary (Remember Ursula Andress in that bikini and that damn tarantula crawling up Bond's naked chest?! I don't remember if there was even a rating system as such back then.) But as fascinated as I was by this unflappable, irresistible, and invincible British spy on the big screen, played flawlessly by Sean Connery (There never was any other James Bond to me.), it turned out to be the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming that really captured my adolescent mind and developing sensibilities during the heart of the Sixties.
The Bond in the books was flawed, at times actually shaken (not stirred). He sometimes needed the help of others, and he made mistakes. He was human, in other words. James Bond also was an expert on body language (a pre-saging of what would become a professional calling in adulthood for me), and he was an intensely sensate being, enjoying the pleasures of fine food and drink, and of course, of love, Eros and sex (And unlike in the movies, James Bond in the novels fell in love and had his heart broken a few times.). The enjoyment and indulgence of those sensory pleasures also become a permanent part of my personality ongoing, and here's something I discovered in recently re-reading the novels decades later - it turns out that James Bond, in "Thunderball," actually even went to a spa and did a Dr. Schulze-like cleanse, including a vegan diet, body work and hot-and-cold-showers, all regular parts of my health maintenance process today!
So, The Beatles and James Bond, one a group whose musical message was "All You Need Is Love", the other a secret agent with a license to kill who loved all things physical and sensory - not at first blush a likely combination to become harmonizing influences on the same individual.
Yet, here I am.
You see, we create our own reality from our inner intentions and state of being, and from whatever beliefs we may still be holding onto, as well. I know that "love is all you need" and that there's "nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be." I also love fine dining, great sex and a good, extra dry martini.