…my stomach hurt. Always.
A friend of mine once said, “I’m glad I found out you were cool before I knew you hated the Beatles. Otherwise, I might not have become friends with you.” Hate is such a strong word…that fits like a non-kid glove. I can barely stand that guy because he LIKES the Beatles. I don’t have a lot of friends.
Why do I hate thee, oh Beatles sound? Let me count the ways:
1. No guitar playing that is worth a crap.
2. The lyrics are made of sap. “My guitar gently weeps…” Get a new one. The sap is draining out of the wood and that’s a problem.
3. The drumming is suspect, mostly because it barely exists.
4. The song writing defined a generation…of drug addicts.
5. They’re all so cute…not at all. Not one. Not that it matters because I’d pick Motorhead over them any day, and they ain’t Victoria’s Secret models. (Ace of spades! Does that come in a fuschia demi?)
I actually wish I could turn on the classic rock stations and not get the hurls when I hear “Hey, Jude”. It would make weaving through rush hour much easier. (Though much less interesting. Keeping two hands on the wheel while heaving and frantically grabbing for the radio dial is such an art form.)
There are people who feel that they grew up with the Beatles. They are able to document their lives by the way the Flub Four’s music developed. From the bubblegum peg pants to the psychedelic furs to the maudlin death throes, it reads like a person’s life---a person with a big f-ing ego and mirrors over his bed that he never gets out of.
I’ve seen documentaries about the Beatles, when forced to watch at gunpoint, and success was hard won for them, having done a few years in German taverns before exploding into the global zeitgeist. At times, the success of their magnitude made them feel overwhelmed. I understand all that. But here we have a band that made it huge, only to discover that many of the people who like that “sound” are the same people that hate big corporations and men like Ray Kroc, a self-starting guy who revolutionized the fast food industry. It’s not like the Beatles walked away from all that money. And their “revolution” involved tacky clothes and too many drugs. Ray just made us fat.
Could America have survived without the advent of The Beatles? Would we even know of true icons like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Motley Crue it they hadn’t come along? (Okay, not Crue, but they did a better version of “Helter Skelter” than the Beatles.)
If there had been no other way for rock & roll to “come together” than the presence of the Beatles, then I guess I can find a way to live with it. I have to anyway. At times, though, I fantasize about a Beatle-less world and my heart flutters. No more strawberry fields cluttering up my mind’s landscape. No more wondering if I’m invited on some magical mystery tour bus. No more claustrophobia setting in on a dank-smelling yellow submarine. I don’t know anyone named Eleanor Rigby, Jude, or Prudence and I’m not sure I’d want to know them. Are they strippers? If so, what do they do for a day job? Are they day trippers? If so, what do they do at night?
The fact that I can make that many Beatles references off the top of my head when I hate the sound of them like hot sauce on an open wound tells you something. Big Brother has been in the house all along, and he wears acid-pop culture pants.