Saturday, July 18, 2009
I know I'm not alone in feeling this way: Isn't it strange to come across a reference to John, Paul, George, or Ringo which describes them as "ex"-members of The Beatles? Doesn't that label strike such a piercingly false note? Of course, strictly speaking, it's accurate: The Beatles are indeed no longer together. Thus it's hard to fault journalists and music writers for employing the terminology. Though when they do, I wonder if there isn't a measure of cognitive dissonance at work. Think about how deeply embedded The Beatles are in our culture. They're here, there, and everywhere, continually manifesting themselves in different ways (e.g., album reissues, Rock Band, numerous books, etc.). It's almost like we enter this world with an innate knowledge of them. The cumulative effect of these signposts is a reinforced image of The Beatles as a band not broken up, but of the present, in the moment, and still vigorously active. The term "ex-Beatle" clearly doesn't square with this idea.