Letter: Everyone joined in
It was in my junior year at UMass Amherst that about 30 of us crowded into our housemother’s little apartment to watch her tiny black-and-white set. There had been so much excitement on campus leading up to this well-publicized performance that probably 90 percent of the 5,000 students were glued to a set somewhere on campus. As the Beatles performed, our little group was somewhat reserved outwardly, but I’m sure those internal screams would have been a mighty roar. We were too cool, too blase to show the thrill we were really feeling.
Their performances over the following weeks increased the excitement that became nearly palpable throughout the campus. One afternoon on my way to class, I was passing through the Hatch, the student union cafe where 100 to 200 students gathered at any given time. In those days, our background music was provided by a mere jukebox on which the Beatles could be heard playing nonstop with an occasional “Moon River” thrown in. As I stopped to greet some friends, “I Saw Her Standing There” came over the loudspeakers. When the Beatles got to the “Oooooh” part, every voice in the place spontaneously joined in. I think it was the most unity I had ever felt with a group (other than at football games) until that time.