So, You Think The Beatles Sucked, Eh?
on 7/30/2006 (21)
I was sitting quietly, nursing a Boca Java hazelnut latte like a frigiding Fed Ex driver on a hot overnight Christmas morning, when I overheard a bunch of teens talking about music.
|Strawberry fields forever? Signs point to yes. |
At some point the Beatles came up, and several of them sharply exclaimed "The Beatles suck! I can't stand that crap!"
I stirred my cuppa Joe mistily, mulling over the fresh aroma of roasted bean goodness, Abbey Road, and the effect of the White Album on Man, God and the Universe, when I couldn't contain myself any longer.
"The Beatles didn't suck"
I blurted, being careful to measure my vocal tone and intensity
One Dorkus Americanus looked up quizzically
I took a long thoughtful sip, and paused for dramatic effect like Neo in the last scene of The Matrix part 2.
"I said, the Beatles didn't suck. They defined the times they lived in. Saying the Beatles sucked is like me saying to you that Mariah Carey sucks, or JZ, or Weezer, or Kelly Clarkson sucks."
And that is the truth of it. The reality is, music is an inextractible part and product of the times it is embedded in. Just as Scott Joplin defined the 1920's, and Glen Miller the 1940's, the Beatles defined the 1970's. Music is both cause and effect. Musicians both write songs about events that are happening around them, i.e., war, trends, technology, and in turn also contribute to social change by becoming the voice and anthem of a new generation. Every generation is different. Music is self sustaining that way. Musical instruments change, and become more complex and evolved. Scott Joplin was unplugged. He had no other choice. Glen Miller didn't have any electric guitars in his band. That would come 10 years later with Les Paul. The Beatles couldn't start their own web page and offer sample downloads like bands do today.
Each one of us in stuck in time like a fly in amber. We cannot escape. We are held hostage to the events that occur in the same time frame in the world around us. In order to truly understand The Beatles, one had to be alive in the 1970's. Same with any point in mankinds history. You can dig up artifacts from ancient Rome, but you cannot possibly get the true, real feel of what it was like to be an ancient Roman.
Feeling flushed with victory, not to mention a heady dose of caffeine, I crushed my empty styro cup like a Vegas handle man.
"We think you suck now too."
I looked up and smiled softly. Now that I can deal with.g/tds/go.php?si
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