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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

And My Brother’s Back Home With His Beatles And His Stones

Oh boy, Unorganized Hancock has a new video, filled with Sippican dining room goodness! I must shriek and rend my clothes!

Lots of Beatles remembrances on the Intertunnel these days. It’s been fifty years since they went on Ed Sullivan and put a fork in Elvis. I was just a preschooler, but I remember it clearly. My older brother was already a teenager, and a musician, and let me assure you he gathered our entire family to watch the idiot box that night, as my father used to refer to the television. I didn’t understand what the fuss was about, of course, but I know a fuss when I see one. If the Beatles on Ed Sullivan wasn’t a fuss, it’ll do until one comes along.

The Beatles didn’t cure cancer or anything, but they didn’t cause any either, so let’s not go nuts one way or the other. They were good and effective songwriters and interesting and compelling singers, especially in harmony. I don’t freight celebrities with superpowers. The Beatles’ celebrity eventually so overpowered their talents that even they started ignoring the music they were making. John Lennon seemed to think he really was going to cure cancer using nothing but his attitude, and got lead poisoning for his trouble. People should stick to their knitting.

The Beatles catalog is still useful didactically as well as for entertainment. It’s got a healthy heterogeneous helping of dross threaded through it, but plenty of it still sounds fresh coming from a mouth with a few baby teeth still left in it. If you want to teach your kid to be a busker, it’s close to invaluable.

I once tried to explain to my son how popular the Beatles were. Mass popularity is now both more straightforward to obtain but much, much harder to make universal. It’s currently no big deal to play a dump like Shea Stadium, but conversely I’ve found it quite easy to avoid every contemporary titanic pop act going for decades at a time. There was no avoiding the Beatles, trust me. I told my son that I remembered vaguely that the Beatles once had eleven songs in the Top Ten, because one slot was a tie. Try that, Justin Timberbieberperrygaga.

By the way, my kids can play these songs live, too. 

9 Responses

  1. Bwha — I loved that last line.

    I was a Elvis fan, and I didn't like the Beatles' usurping his throne. What can I say, I was ten.

    I thought the Beatles early music was the best — before they found drugs and demigod kingdom had them become — whatever they were at the end — over?

    Your sons just make me happy.

  2. Beatles ended up as elevator musak, Stones in geriatric home concerts. MoTown stayed kinda true to itself, C&W, shrug.

    Bluegrass and polkas, unsullied and never ever profane.

    My dad called it "the blapper".

  3. Hi Everybody- Many thanks!

    Velociman- If you're looking for Brownie points for being observant, you earned 'em. The Heir sang the harmony part on an overdub track, but mixed it way, way back so it's barely audible, but it's there.

    Also, he put a cute little electric piano melody in the background, of his own devising. It's easy to overlook what the big one is accomplishing sometimes because everyone just sees a ten-year-old drummer and overlooks a lot else.

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