Fifty years ago, John, Paul, George and Ringo made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan. I watched it. Everyone alive at the time watched it. Oh, their warbled “oooooooohs!” Oh, their hair!
They were, as it turned out, musical geniuses as well as heartthrobs, which is why every generation since knows every lyric to every song they ever wrote. Sadly, the Fab Four is down to two in real life, but the next best thing — about 200 archival photographs tracing their careers, along with special art, music and theatrical events — is coming to downtown North Little Rock tomorrow with about a million special events starting Saturday and continuing through April 19.
“The British Invasion Fifty Years Later,” images from Retro Images Archive, will take over Argenta, with exhibits at Greg Thompson Fine Art (“John Lennon and Paul McCartney”), the THEA Foundation (“George Harrison and Ringo Starr”), Pennington Studios (“Ed Sullivan — the British Invasion”), The Joint (Magical Mystery Tour: The Beatles Films”); Mugs Cafe (Beatles graphics), the William F. Laman Library Argenta Branch (“Meet the Beatles”), and the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, where the exhibit is titled (what else) “Yellow Submarine.”
The Art Connection will feature “Beatlemania,” work created by young artists. There will also be walking tours (noon April 12 at the U.S.S. Razorback Submarine, 2 p.m. April 12 at Thea), a film festival at The Joint (4 p.m. April 14, 8 p.m. April 15, 6 p.m. April 16 and 6 p.m. April 17), a 1960s-themed “Tales From the South” at Starving Artist Cafe (5:30 p.m. April 15, tickets required); British Invasion IMPROV at The Joint (8 p.m. April 16) an all-Beatles tribute with The Libras, featuring guest Arkansas musicians, 8-11 p.m. at the Argenta Community Theater (tickets required); the British Motor Club of Arkansas at 406 Main St. noon-3 p.m. April 19, barbecue and karaoke at the Inland Maritime Museum (3-6 p.m. April 19, tickets required); and the finale, the Argenta Arts Foundation Awards Event at the ACT (tickets required).
Whew! By the way, Gov. Mike Beebe is honorary chairman of the exhibition.
All exhibitions are free; ticketed events will benefit the Argenta Arts Foundation.