People who hate the Beatles

Michael Gerber
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Paul with tongue out


My 2c: People who hate The Beatles should really be hating all the musicians that came after The Beatles. It’s not James Joyce’s fault that nobody’s topped Ulysses in that form, nor is it The Beatles fault that Revolver still kicks ass when it comes to the three-minute rock song form. I like Amy Mann, but my being bored with The Beatles doesn’t make her music better than theirs. It just makes me bored with The Beatles, and especially receptive to something else.

It’s a drag, but there it is; maybe it was a coalescing of talents that hasn’t happened again, or a lucky juxtaposition of historical things (including recording capabilities), but art isn’t like computing power—it doesn’t increase linearly just because we get bored with, say, Picasso. “Dude, Picasso fucking sucks.” And the only reason that people don’t say that (at least after the age of 16) is that what Picasso does isn’t considered popular art. If something is popular art, then everybody feels that their opinion on it is valid. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.

So there!

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  1. Avatar swolan wrote:

    Gerber doesn’t seem to “hate” The Beatles — ennui is not abhorrence.

    I was sort of “over” The Beatles when Abbey Road was released. Good work, to be sure, and there was the sense of completion of the phenomenon known as The Beatles, so there was inherent interest, but pop/rock was offering seemingly more daring, less polished and so more “authentic” stuff. About every decade I’ll listen to The Beatles and rediscover the freshness and solid musical qualities of the music, as well as discovering aspects that I hadn’t been attuned to before. This is one of the aspects of their enduring appeal: “Hey, listen to that. That’s really good, isn’t it?” Gerber’s boredom with The Beatles may yield to the delight of rediscovery…

  2. Avatar Michelle wrote:

    I’ve found that people who hate the Beatles tend to follow it up with: “I prefer the Monkees.” Even Michael Stipe, lead singer of the legendary band R.E.M., said that in an interview when he dismissed the Beatles as “elevator music”. It was a monster Rolling Stone interview almost on the level of John Lennon’s 1970 interview, covering a lot of topics, and all readers wanted to write about in their letters to the editor was his stated dislike of the Beatles, and their unanimous disappointment in what was always a highly respected artist himself. I found it very amusing that they wouldn’t let him get away with this one little comment in a wide-ranging interview. John himself had no problem with music fans who criticized the Beatles – but no tolerance for musicians who did so. Indeed R.E.M., like most bands who perform and write their own music, would not exist without the Beatles. Stipe and R.E.M. later covered John’s #9 Dream.

  3. Avatar Pidpoo wrote:

    I knew I was indeed old when, as a fan of the early, then later Beatles but the monkees in between, I heard where mtv running the Monkees on syndication the that late eighties renewed them. I’m shocked on record forums to see so many threads and comments on the Monkees who were in their day were dismissed by older Beatles fans yet outsold them. Davy was my first concert in 68, but every one knew Monkees had talent but were a manufactured bubble gum group, called such as older mid sixties groups like Beatles evolved into psychedelic, studio rock.

    Michael Stipe, however, should have loved the Beatles as he completely borrowed John’s singing and vocal style and lyrics type emphasis, especially on Beatles revolver album. I will however emphasize that by later decades of twentieth century, Beatles music was playing on elevators and redone on Muzak across the world, John’s and other Beatles songs as watered down instrumentals. Elevator music and separate style of Muzak is long gone now, as original artist music is played now in restaurants And no music played
    In elevators now don’t think. Stipe is the type of younger or other artist Lennon would have destroyed as he did Jagger for downing the Beatles in their later rough time. As solo John said, he could insult Beatles or Paul m but wouldn’t let others do it around him. He would have cut stope down to size, lol.

  4. @Michelle, people who cannot tell the difference between The Beatles and The Monkees are not to be trusted with important decisions. “Five-star Michelin restaurant or Denny’s — let’s go to Denny’s, it’s cheaper!”

  5. Avatar Pidpoo wrote:

    @Michelle, REM with Radiohead opening was the last new act concert around 98 or 99 I saw and in open air concert, now place long closed. I saw many popular acts there in eighties and nineties including Julian Lennon, but husband took me later to a smaller club type concert by act I wasn’t familiar with.

    @Michael, you WIN the entire comments section with your Monkees/steak comment, said with the same fervor of all older boomer music fans in sixties. As I was 9yo when they came out, though, I must say the show was funny, the bat mobile like car great And Batman was in in 66 as well, their 66 show look was early Beatles look but by 67 they went psychedelic and made some good records. I still have the Monkee dolls in boxes and old monkee devoted mags imitating Beatles monthly sixties mag and old 45s and lps but nothing all records. My friend had the cereal box puppet imitation of Beatle cereal low up dolls. There were cereal box records as well and bubble gum cards like Beatles had. I saw Davy and later Mike in concert. Monkees were Beatlemania for my age group. The Monkees concert to see was the SC one with Hendrix opening for them and screams drove him off stage where he fled to England soon afterwards.

    Michael, I think you, or maybe someone else said here, said you have or recommended the Beatles mono album set (vinyl or mono? It’s in mono, I think). If you have that set in mono, put on your security system, because I thought it was too expensive then and didn’t buy and finances tight then and it is rare now and I’m coming to get it. LOL. It is THE big Beatles set in mono to have. Several albums in mono are rare now, like mystery tour, I read, as stereo finally more common by then. Stereo albums cost more then and audio systems began moving that way and were more affordable. I really need to get into my unorganized Beatle collection to see what all I have, as have read some of the swirl variation issues rare, so recently I lucked up on a used record store up on an orange swirl Beatles 65. We all thought stereo was modern then but I understand now that mono has better sound quality on most or earlier albums.

  6. Avatar Michelle wrote:

    @Pidpoo, me and my siblings watched the Monkees TV show all the time in the summer. It was fun. They did have some good songs, usually sung by Micky Dolenz (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”, “Steppin’ Stone”) or Mike Nesmith (“What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round”). The Monkees were mockingly called The Prefab Four. Fun fact: Mike’s mom invented correction fluid, aka Liquid Paper.

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