He certainly was full of himself.
I mean, they were at a hotel. Were they supposed to forbid the maid from doing her job? Or maybe spend two weeks lying around on the same unwashed sheets?
I agree, the kids are wrong, and yet this is a thing
There is a huge difference between acknowledging historical influence in the development of music (which, you know, is not what most music consumers are focused on when it comes to what they enjoy) and enjoying a particular band. The kids aren’t “wrong” for not immediately deferring to the “expertise” of middle aged white men and deleting all their Little Nas X or Taylor Swift mp3s and listening to nothing but “good” music as defined by white boomer men.
That asshole Morrissey probably put it best…
burn down the disco
hang the blessed DJ
because the music that they constantly play
IT SAYS NOTHING TO ME ABOUT MY LIFE
So, we should really not be shocked that people who were born several generations after the Beatles made an impact maybe don’t get nearly as much out of them as the people who saw them on Ed Sullivan in 1964… It probably has nothing to say to them, which is a big component of why people often will like music.
Who knew that John Lennon (and the Beatles) was the ketchuped-hot dog of the music world?
All the big bands are controversial. Go up to any random group of punks, ask about the Sex Pistols and watch the debates unfold! Or fights…
I’m talking about, specifically, the assertions that the Beatles are “overrated,” or that they “suck”
These are actual things that my younger housemates have said in my presence
I countered, once, that nobody has to like them, but it’s objectively false that they suck
so they moved the goalposts to “overrated,” and it’s harder to argue with that
This is I think is a really valuable point. People make a huge deal about the influential music of the 1980s, the '70s, and the '60s. Sometimes the '50s although not so often. I rarely hear anything about the '40s outside of period pieces. I’m genuinely curious about the '30s and '20s and '10s and '00s and 1890s…they presumably had their own influential music but as far as popular culture goes it almost doesn’t exist.
Which is to say that most people clearly aren’t interested in influential music in general, they are interested in the stuff from their own time. And that’s fine, but then you shouldn’t be surprised that younger people have a different window, and She Loves You eventually ends up in the same category as Daisy Bell.
Which is as much as taste claim as much as it is a “technical” claim, I’d say.
Ultimately there is a paradox where we can’t just say it’s all a matter of taste and nobody is “wrong,” because the argument started when somebody said Beatles fans were wrong
Either everybody gets to say everybody else is wrong, or nobody does
I’m hoping the success of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom would spur some more interest in that era of popular music. I can recommend a book or two…
Blue People by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka)
Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues by Elijah Wald (his book How the Beatles Destroyed Rock’n’Roll is great, too)
Selling Sounds: the Commercial Revolution in American music by David Suisman (which is more a history of the recording industry)
Which I never said, but there is a contingent of Beatles fans who are pretty bullish about shutting down any criticism of the band, or denying that their fandom kind of overshadows and warps how we think about rock music.
People can say whatever they want, of course and their not wrong to hold their opinions - but it’s largely just that. The Beatles were influential, but so were lots of other bands of the time and even since, many of whom don’t get nearly enough credit for their role in the development of R-n-R. Sister Rosette Tharpe, who arguable was the first to put together the styles of music that would be known as R-n-R only got inducted into the Hall of Fame very, very recently, which is ridiculous. She should have been one of the first people inducted, but since rock music has been coded as a “white boys genre” (and the history of the genre has almost entirely been written by Lester Bangs clones) Black rock artists have been fairly marginalized in the industry narrative of how rock developed.
There is no direct line here, it’s far messier than that.
Well, I’m a boomer and I’m giggling, actually. “Some of my best friends…”
I most certainly did not vote for 45! And, were I living in Britain, I most certainly would not have voted for Brexit.
Yes, I do like the Beatles, but I like other bands before and since, as well.
Planet fuckery was well established by the time we got our sheepskin(s) and went out into the world. Remember the Cuyahoga river on fire? I was a kid when that happened. Folks older than me made that possible. I will grant you that we boomers made it worse in some respects, but, in others - since the EPA here in the US - it’s a lot better than it was.
And, no, I do not
…ridicul[e] the older ones who broke their back and saved the money to put [me] where [I am].
I appreciate everything my parents did for me. They grew up in the Great Depression and my dad was a WWII vet who served in the South Pacific. I am proud to be their child and grateful for everything they sacrificed when they were young.
The other thing about us boomers is that we’re old enough, now, that we just get amused at the criticism.
Yet again I think of another Liverpudlian from the same generation as the Beatles, John Peel, and his disillusionment in the 1990s about how he wanted to play the music he liked from the past and present, but his listeners just wanted to hear the same white boys with guitars.
As a millennial who discovered John Peel during his disillusionment, I am grateful for all the musical diversity I found because of him.
The rest of us are worth hearing.
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