50 years too late but I've been struck down with acute Beatlemania this week. I've just finished a marathon session of reading 'Revolution In The Head' whilst listening to the entire Beatles discography (yeh I've got eight weeks off work) and now I feel slightly institutionalised by my own obsessiveness - feel alarmingly like that kid in the 'curious incident..' book, so this post is me taking tentative steps back into the real world - a splurge of thoughts so I can go to bed with a clear head
#1 HOLY SHIT. From Love me Do to A Day In The Life in seven years. Transpose their career to now and if they split up today they would have formed in 2005. So like, when Arctic Monkeys were first releasing demos, when Bloc Party were last good. Throw in the fact that McCartney was 27 at the time of their split and it just makes my head spin
#2 Looking at their school photos almost brings to mind some kind of divinity - here's 100 normal lads from Liverpool, John Lennon amongst them, all grew up in decent enough suburbs. Except, hang on, he can toss off a song in less than an hour that will be treasured and pored over 60 years later. Oh and he can repeatedly do this over and over again for years, Until the point where something like 'Imagine' or 'In My Life' represents like 1/600th of his output. Give anyone else a lifetime and they would be nowhere near able to do that. Will any songs from 2012 be consistently heralded until 2062 and beyond? Where does such a gift originate?
#3 It's like you can't step far enough away from The Beatles to gain an objective insight into how important they were. We kind of exist in the space that they created, other bands gravitate in their orbit. Their body of work reminds me of Shakespeare's in some ways, its kinda the DNA of where we are now. Could that ever happen again?
#4 I cycled to Strawberry Fields yesterday and got talking to a childhood friend of Brian Epstein who was putting on an exhibition nearby (Epstein left him dozens of rare artefacts when he died) - I actually wound up going to the Cavern Club that night with this guy and a couple of friends to see 'The Cavern Beatles' (who were 10000x better than anything I imagined) - rarely have I witnessed first-hand such a diverse range of people from all over the world so unanimously joyful - like 60 year old Norwegian guys and groups of Spanish tourists as well as locals and groups of cruise-ship passengers from LA all completely losing their shit. Really, a remarkable evening.
#5 None of this leads to a satisfying 'conclusion' or anything, and I'm well aware that nothing I'm saying is new or original. I guess the sheer scale and weight of their brilliance only just hit me recently. All you can do really is simply 'enjoy the music' - but it somehow seems insiffucient. What they did seems too big to grasp and it frustrates me somehow!
Questions to consider anyway:
Would many of you guys consider them to be your 'favourite' band?
They've been culturally ubiquitous for our whole lives and we aren't really in a position to 'discover' them for ourselves; has this prevented you from gaining a personal appraisal of them?
What's your favourite song / album and why?