Ten years ago, Faith Cohen realized something odd—there was no holiday to honor the Beatles, her favorite band. So the Indianapolis photographer launched one, but a question remained: Did the Fab Four really need more recognition? Based on the response since then—Global Beatles Day has been recognized by Amazon, Corona beer, Elvis Costello, and Peter Tork, the recently deceased member of the Monkees—evidently there was an appetite for it. “It’s more of a holiday just to say thank you for all the changes and so forth that they brought,” Cohen says.
Cohen initially promoted GBD on social media. Eventually press around the world picked it up, and fans (and marketing departments looking for a hook) took it from there. Cuba held a Beatles film festival last year. Amazon used it to drive Beatles music sales. In 2013, Corona added GBD to its “365 Days of Corona” campaign, built around a coaster for every day of the year. Locally, Tinker Street has created a GBD menu with a Let It Beet appetizer, Octopus’s Garden salad, and Sgt. Pepper’s Steak. The Kurt Vonnegut Library presented a lecture on the similarities between the writer’s and the band’s philosophies, and Lily & Madeleine posted a cover of “I’m Looking Through You” on the GBD Facebook page.
How to celebrate? Cohen suggests introducing kids to the music, screening A Hard Day’s Night, or buying a Beatles album for somebody. She has heard of fans who listen to the Beatles all day or dance to the albums they loved when they were young.
Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Timequake inspired Cohen’s idea. In the introduction, he says that an artist’s mission is to “make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit,” and that the Beatles were the only ones to have pulled it off. “I thought that, you know, there’s all these stupid holidays everywhere,” Cohen says. “There’s Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Eat Cottage Cheese Day, and I just thought there should be a holiday, a global holiday, because their impact was so global—musically, culturally, psychedelically, all aspects.” She chose June 25 to honor the group’s performance of “All You Need Is Love” in 1967 on the BBC—the first global satellite broadcast ever, watched by 350 million people. “It was a wonderful message that the Beatles chose to send to the world,” Cohen says. “It’s one example of the Beatles making the world a happier place.” And thanks to her, if you’re a Beatles fan, it’s getting better all the time.