Latest posts by Michael Gerber (see all)
- From Faith Current: “The Sacred Ordinary: St. Peter’s Church Hall” - May 1, 2023
- A brief (?) hiatus - April 22, 2023
- Something Happened - March 6, 2023
Been saying it for years, glad Mr. Richards agrees. Around 2:20 of this interview with Hunter S. Thompson. Just a little something for the next time you’re having the old Beatles vs. Stones debate.
A more interesting statement might be “There’d be no Beatles without [fill in the blank]”. Here are some possibilities, in no particular order of importance:
The skiffle phenomenon of mid-1950s Britain
Phil and Don Everly
Ivan Vaughn (who arranged the meeting of John and Paul at the Woolton Village fete)
Julia Stanley Lennon Dykins
Jim McCartney and the death of Mary McCartney
The Hamburg experience
Different–though yes interesting–point, JR. I think you could make a case for all of those items.
My point in posting–and if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already hip to it–is that the idea that The Beatles were a “boy band,” that they weren’t somehow hard enough, or couldn’t play live, or any of the other tired things rock fans always say, is mostly bullshit. It’s bullshit because it takes the group out of its time–what contemporary artists were thinking about, not to mention what was possible to get on the radio.
Putting “Carol” next to “Crazy Train” and finding it wanting is meaningless. And pop culture does this constantly, because the new stuff is what makes everybody the money. New=better is, along with aiming everything at the 16-24 demographic, pop culture’s most tragic self-mutilation, and why our culture–though fantastically abundant, well-educated, and impossibly rich–will leave much less of worth to history than it ought.
Richards’ statement also reminds us that the “getting into suits” decision wasn’t really a choice. “I’m not Paul”-era Lennon was particularly enamored with this fallacy–believing that, somehow, if they had just rocked HARD enough in their leathers, the whole music business would’ve eventually come around. That’s revisionist nonsense; not only were the ’63-64 Beatles a unified package (music and presentation), the cleaned-up Beatles were threatening enough.
All the bands who chose not to sell out were given that wider palette by the people who “kicked down the door.” The Beatles created the modern rock business, and it will take another Beatles to remake it in the post-internet age.
there will be an answer/let it… bleed?
John nailed that one in the Wenner interview.
J.R. Clark, that was an interesting list of influences on the Beatles. I wish to add Larry Williams to the list. Lennon covered Bad Boy, Slown Down, Dizzy Miss Lizzy.
Here’s the original Slow Down