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There are not many bona fide WWYW's—Where Were You Whens, that is—moments that are almost universally recognized as “game changers,” when everyone alive at the time remembers where they were and what they were doing when “it” happened. In my lifetime, there have been but a handful. Where Were You When JFK got shot (Mrs. Hasler's fifth grade class). WWYW when the twin towers fell (doing my morning show on the X and telling people, “Uh, you might want to turn on the TV”). WWYW Neil Armstrong walked on the moon (playing fast pitch baseball on a hot summer day).

There's one WWYW that's unique, though, because we were all in same place when it happened. We were all at home watching this event transpire on television. We were watching what one could argue, in retrospect, was the one of the true starting points of the '60s. It was Feb. 9, 1964, and we were watching the Beatles conquer America on The Ed Sullivan show.

The Van Dykes watched, you betcha. Mom, like millions of females of all ages, thought Paul was pretty darn dreamy. Dad didn't say anything, so he obviously hated 'em. Little bro Tom drank the Kool-Aid on the spot and became an instant fan. I thought they were OK, but … I had reservations. I was horribly concerned that all the hoopla surrounding these funny looking cool cats was going to take major thunder away from my band, whom I had recently discovered and fervently adored—the Beach Boys.

My premonition was dead on. The Beach Boys were indeed made irrelevant for a time in the musical tsunami that quickly followed the Beatles on Ed. All of a sudden, the British Invasion was on. Not just the Beatles, but the Stones, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Yardbirds, the Searchers, the Zombies, the Kinks, the Who, Herman's Hermits and more. Many more. All of a sudden, American pop groups were invisible. After a solid dose of Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, and Paul Anka from '60 to '63, this invisibility was totally understandable. And deserved.

In March '64, what happened at the Top 40 station in Fresno (KYNO!) was happening around the country. Beatlemania was in full tilt fever mode, climaxing in a way that radio folks could barely believe. In an unprecedented display of pure puerile popularity, The Effing Beatles had not just claimed the No. 1 spot on the charts (with their breakthrough single “I Want To Hold Your Hand”), they had also claimed the entire Top Five! To those of us music crazed 11-year-olds at the time, religious followers of the weekly Top 40, this was earth-shaking stuff. I mean, the top five? All Beatles? (the other four tunes—“I Saw Her Standing There,” “All My Loving,” “She Loves You,” “From Me To You”). What the heck was going on here? Was the world going absolutely bonkers?

The answer, of course, turned out to be yes.