In Praise of The Beatles
The Beatles, the musical group, not the beetles that comprise the order coleoptera (which I would rather comment on), need no endorsement from the likes of me, but, for reasons I will make clear in a moment I have gained an appreciation of them, and their music I did not have prior to today. It was always easy listening background music to me - there seemed to be little if anything to excite or offend anyone. That they were the physic sought by young people of the sixties, and a great many that could no longer be considered young, is without question.
Last Thursday I purchased a CD from a thrift store titled “Beatles 1’, a collection of 27 of their songs that climbed the popularity chart to number one. Until today I tended to relegate their music to the ‘teeny-bopper’, pop culture genre, and have always preferred grittier offerings from The Rolling Stones and other groups. I still do, but, I now recognize that beneath and beyond the “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” and all the other wonderful, catchy phrases there was/is something more substantial.
So, on a dull, drizzly day as I repotted Edelweiss ‘Matterhorn’, various Iris, Lilies, and too many Pulsatilla vulgaris (Heiler hybrids) I slipped ‘The Beatles 1’ disk into my CD player. The songs are arranged chronologically for the most part and I was amazed, when I glanced at the ‘liner notes’ (I’m obviously an old LP player) that all the songs were recorded during the 1960’s! That’s 50 years ago, isn’t it? Can’t be, my math must be wrong. The sun is in retrograde motion. I can’t be that old. The songs can’t be that old. It’s like something from the movie ‘Brazil” - “They’ve gone metric’.
Damn, except for a few of the earlier offerings which seemed to target the pre-teen audience, I find the music enchanting, meaningful, and likely to still be quite relevant, especially to young people struggling to make sense of their world, many years from now, Those halcyon years when I aspired to be a Paperback Writer living peacefully in a Norwegian Wood While My Guitar Gently Wept.
Regardless, this is now, and forever, but as I load an old pirated tape of rare, early ‘Pink Floyd’ into my cassette deck and continue with the transplanting I tip my moth-eaten, Venice West Cafe, black beret to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and praise the goodwill and celebration of life their music engenders everywhere.
Let It Be, Let it Be.