Tag Archives: Ed Sullivan Show

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

Older brother me with younger brother Joel.

Years later Joel would end up playing bass in Canadian country singer Michelle Wright’s band. He and Michelle lived together, I visited them in Nashville at one point, and I went to one of her recording sessions there. Later that evening a bunch of us, including the producer who had been in a successful band in the 1960s called the Beau Brummels, went for dinner and the fellow told me about the time the Beau Brummels were on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Years ago, at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Calgary, my first wife and I were seat fillers, thanks to Michelle, which meant we’d always sit in the first or second row and sit in the seats of people who were onstage playing or accepting an award. I sat beside Sylvia Tyson for quite awhile.

The first time I saw Joel play was when Michelle and the band had a gig in Manotick, just outside Ottawa. There were about six people in the room. Since then, she’s won all sorts of awards.

She and Joel split up a couple of decades ago.

Blame The Look Of Hockey Fans On The Beatles

Things were going so well. Rinks in Montreal, New York, Toronto, Boston, Chicago and Detroit were filled with people looking like they were going to church and went in the wrong building by mistake. Fedoras, shawls, hats with feathers in them, polished shoes, diamonds, all on display in the seats above as players grunted and spit and smashed noses in below.

It was the perfect blend.

Then those darn Beatles and others with guitars and drums showed their faces, wearing longer hair than people were accustomed to, and it was the beginning of the end. As the months turned into years, jeans and ragged shirts added to the long hair and it all became the style of the day that has lasted even to now.

Hockey fans, of course, were not immune, and were quickly swept away by the look brought by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the rest, and soon, fedoras, shawls, diamonds, and hats with feathers in them were sadly put in trunks and only brought out when the kids were dressing up for Halloween.

Now, instead of looking like a million bucks, fans have taken to wearing hockey jerseys to games. It’s weird, yes it is, but they have. And NHL owners are sitting back looking at their jersey sales receipts and lighting cigars and drooling.

Blame it on the Beatles. If they would’ve shown up on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 with brushcuts and fedoras, arenas might still look like churches.

But the Forum, Maple Leaf Gardens, Boston Garden, Madison Square Gardens, Chicago Stadium, and the Detroit Olympia WERE cathedrals, weren’t they?

Postscript:

One of the things I’m most proud about is the fact that I saw the Beatles live, in Toronto, in 1966. The following is a small post I did a couple of years ago about this huge event in my life. Seeing The Beatles