Good Times for Beatles Fans

Nov. 13, 2000 -- Roll up for another “Magical Mystery Tour” — and if you don’t know what that means, you’re not a fan, so you might as well stop reading right now.

The group split up 30 years ago, but it’s a good time to be a Beatles lover.

With The Beatles Anthology now riding high on the best-sellers list, a CD of their 27 No. 1 hits hitting U.S. stores Tuesday, and an official Web site launched today, it’s 1967 all over again.

On TV this Friday, ABC will air a two-hour special, The Beatles Revolution, a look at how the greatest pop group of all time changed the world. The special features interviews with some of society’s most influential people, who describe how the Beatles affected their lives.

“Look, the Beatles invented U2 in so many ways,” says Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band. “That would be hard to explain in a sound bite, but it was the first music I heard on the radio.

“And even though as I grew up I learned to disagree and fight with their kind of hippie idea of love, as in ‘All You Need Is Love,’ for a moment in my adolescence, I was happy. It was there.”

Elvis Costello Waits With Fans

You usually don’t hear Bono speaking so highly of the British. But Bono doesn’t think the quintessential British rock group is really British. “In Dublin, we think the Beatles are Irish. I think they’re all from Irish families, certainly three of them. Liverpool is the second capital of Ireland.”

Other luminaries who share their Beatle memories: filmmakers Cameron Crowe and Milos Forman, Simpsons cartoonist Matt Groening, designer Tommy Hilfiger, comedians Tim Allen and Eric Idle, ice cream makers Ben & Jerry, author Salman Rushdie, and musicians Phil Collins, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Richards and Pete Townsend.

One of the diehard Beatles fans lining up at midnight Sunday at London’s flagship HMV record store for the first copies of the greatest hits album was Elvis Costello, who has recorded extensively with Paul McCartney.

The HMV store had hoped to be besieged by hundreds of fans, but there were few signs of Beatlemania — just 15 had turned up by midnight despite the offer of a special certificate for the first 350 buyers.

But the fans did try to bring back memories of the the Fab Four’s 1960s heyday by running and jostling to get the first copy of the album 1, a compilation of the group’s 27 No. 1 hits.

“Well at least we’ve managed to create a bit of mayhem,” said an HMV spokesman.

First in line was Japanese Naoto Ito, who seemed unsure what he would do with his certificate. “I guess I’ll keep it so when I retire I can look back on how much I liked the Beatles,” he said.

The store is like holy ground to true-blue fans. Back in 1962, Brian Epstein used the store to make a demo disc by a new band he was managing — the Beatles.

ABCNEWS.com’s Buck Wolf, ABC Radio and Reuters contributed to this report.