Thursday, July 07, 2011

"Love, love me do"

Welcome one and all, or should I say the 3-4 people that I know of that read this blog, to the 75th edition of my...well blog.

I figured today I'd talk about my favorite rock n' roll band ever: The Beatles. Why the Beatles? Why not the Beatles.
I'm not going to attempt to persuade you one way or the other to like them, but I'm going to briefly discuss why I love them.

There's been I'm sure, countless upon countless articles written about the Beatles, each one probably better at discussing how great they were according to their technical writing skills, musical influences, and other things of that nature, and they probably did it with fancier terms and $10 words/phrases. I'm not going to do that. I'm simply going to tell you what they mean to me and how there music makes me feel, how it touches my very soul.

The Beatles are my favorite rock band ever because of so many things they did, and did well. They were truly the sum of the whole, rather than the sum of their parts. Meaning, while each member went off and had their own successful solo careers, made hit albums and tons of money, I feel on their own that they didn't make the type of  impact they did when they were together as the Beatles. Some may scoff at that, but I think history's already shown that to be true. I'm not trying to say they weren't  influential or didn't have anything worth talking about in their solo albums. Just that on their own, they didn't make the same impact they achieved as a group.

To put it in the proper perspective, or my perspective, in the 6 years they were together as a successful recording group(not counting their years together in the club circuit) they literally influenced millions. They list of bands, past and present that were influenced by the Beatles is very, very long.
For example, Heather and I used to be friends with this couple that were into heavy, goth, and industrial metal. They were huge fans of Type 0-Negative, and in turn, made Heather a huge fan of theirs to this very day. Well, one night, this guy(from the said couple) got really drunk. This wasn't too unusual because he was always getting drunk and usually would turn into an angry drunk. Well on this night, while we're all sitting outside on a cold winter or fall night beside a roaring fire, Type 0-Negative or some other industrial band was playing in the background. I don't know how, but the Beatles were suddenly brought up during our discussion on something or other. This guy, for some strange reason, goes into a drunken tirade on the Beatles were "fags", and they were a stupid boy band that no one listened to anymore. Now, I usually don't speak up during drunken tirades, but because this idiot had the audacity to call my beloved band "fags" really pissed me off! I then started to pick on his musical choices, saying that the industrial music he was listening to was nothing more than noise, and that it wasn't even music; just a bunch of screaming and shouting without any depth or meaning. He got further pissed off by that comment, and then tried to ask me if I was a musician,and what did I know about music or even making music.I replied that while I wasn't a musician and didn't play musical instruments, that I'll still knew enough about music to judge that what he was listening to wasn't music at all. True, I shouldn't have said all of that, even if I believe that to be true, but he was way of base in dismissing the Beatles as simply a gay boy band. Suffice to say, the friendship ended after that night. He did call and apologize the next day, explaining that he "really did like the Beatles too", he was just being a drunken idiot, or something to that effect. So yes, I've ended friendships over the Beatles. It sounds silly I'm sure, but I just felt he was way off base. I was too heated about it all, and didn't make the points I'd later want to make after I had time to think about the whole thing. Isn't that funny how that sometimes happens? You get so flustered during the heat of the moment, that you only realize what you want/should say, but only after you've had time to think about it for awhile.

Anyway, when Heather and I both got home then  the things I'd wished I'd said came to mind. I wanted and wished I had pointed out the fact that the very bands he liked, including Type 0-Negative, were very influenced by the Beatles. I wish the lead singer of Type 0-Negative, Peter Steele(RIP) had been there and set the idiot straight. His band's covered a few of the Beatles' songs. I guess that makes him a fag too.
For that matter, artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Petty, Alice Copper, Sting, Peter Collins, and countless others were also influence by the Beatles. Does that mean Ozzy's a fag too for liking the Beatles? I guess so then huh?
Back to the main thing I was talking about, the Beatles were undoubtedly very influential.  Look at Sgt.Pepper, Yellow Submarine,The Magical Mystery Tour and all of there other concept albums they made. Look at how they're still cited as valuable works of art that are still relevant today. If you don't believe me, head on down to Las Vegas where the The Beatles' Cirque du soleil Love show is still running after 5 years. I'm surprised there aren't any amusement park rides with Beatles' themes around.

I guess the main thing I want to express, is how their music truly and honestly touches my very soul; Music does that to me you know. It probably does the same to you when you listen to your favorite artist on the radio or on your iTunes. We can't explain it in words, the feeling that we get when a song does something to our soul, or insides. To paraphrase a quote from Paul Heyman, It's akin to experiencing a spiritual orgasm.
That's what the Beatles' music does to me, as well as other favorite rock bands of mine. Whenever I hear "Because", or "Help!", "Lucy in the sky with diamonds",or "The Sun King", it gets my imagination going, and fills my soul with joy. Good music does that to you.

Now I'm going to give my two cents about the long-standing debate about who's the better band: The Beatles or the Rolling Stones.
This is a debate that's raged on for years, and will still continue on until either both bands are forgotten or the world ends.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, it breaks down like this for me:
Sure the 'Stones outlasted the Beatles in terms of still operating today as a band. I don't know how fate or history or things would have worked out if the Beatles would have been allowed to continue on to today; excluding John Lennon's assasination and George's death from cancer, what would it be like if the Beatles were still around?
I don't know, but I think even they would've fallen victim to becoming living parodies of themselves, much like the Rolling Stones have become. You don't believe me? Look at the 'Stones now. When was the last time they put out not just a hit album, but an influential one at that has survived the test of time? For me, that's probably their 1981 album Tattoo You. Other than that, what else have they really contributed to the rock and roll landscape lately?Sure they're almost as famous for the drugs they took as they the music they made, especially Keith Richards(how is that man still alive?). But what else?
I'm not trying to say that didn't influence anybody, because they did, but would the 'Stones still be viewed as successful as a band if they only lasted 6 years vs. what, 40,50?

I'm not going to say that in 6 years' time that the 'Stones didn't have a huge catalog of hit albums and singles by then, but I don't think they'd be as famous and revered as they are now if they'd only being around for 6 years. But the Beatles are, and they still continue to be. What does that tell you?  Also here's this little factoid to chew on: you know who had the most hits between the two? The Beatles. Don't believe me? Look it up, and you'll see I'm right.

I don't want you guys to think I'm hating on the 'Stones or anything; for me they come in 3rd as my favorite rock band ever. They have a bunch of songs I love like: "Playing with fire", "Moonlight Mile", "Monkey Man", "Can't you hear me knocking", and my all-time favorite song of theirs; "Give me shelter". Damn do I love that song! That's one of those songs for me, that I could literally listen to over and over again everyday and not get sick of hearing it. And trust me, with the limited selection of classic rock hits on my two rock radio stations, that's pretty much what happens.

So to wrap to things up; the Beatles are my favorite rock group, IMHO the 'Stones wouldn't have been nearly as successful and famous as they are now if they only had been together for 6 years, and listening to good, soul-moving music is like achieving a spiritual orgasm. Yeah, I think that just about hits all the point I wanted to make.

In future blogs, I think I'll list my top 10 favorite rock groups. I could easily talk about the top 5 right off the top of my head.

Here they are in case you were wondering:
  1. The Beatles
  2. Led Zepplin
  3. The Rolling Stones
  4. The Doors
  5. Pink Floyd
Just please don't try to get me to nail down the other choices; It's too painful, and there's way too many groups to choice from. But they do include the following:

  • Cream
  • The Allman Brothers
  • The Who
  • Aerosmith
  • Jimi Hendrix Experience
and many, many more in the running.

Okay that's it, until next time.......

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