Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekend reading

- "Were The Beatles bad for us?"

I admit that it took a sizable hit of the herb for this idea to pop into my own head, as I have willingly participated in celebrating the Fabsters almost from the time I was able to walk. But what if The Beatles ruined it for us? What if their very existence has stunted our societal and cultural growth? What if their re-writing of the pop music template has prevented other forms of pop music from ever taking shape, much less connecting with a mass audience? What if their personalities, their style, their sense of humor, hadn’t been given the mass attention by which to become a part of our culture, known the world over?

What if the current musical climate – the preponderance of musical acts all devoid of subtlety, melody and originality – is their fault? It’s like they came, took all the fucking good ideas, and we’ve been left with five decades of rotting table scraps?

- "Instant Expert: how the world caught Beatles fever"

The US television host Ed Sullivan saw a crush of Beatles fans at Heathrow Airport when the group returned from Stockholm in October 1963. He offered The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, top dollar for a single appearance by the band on his Sunday night variety show, but Epstein wanted three shows at bottom dollar but with top billing. The first show, on February 9, 1964, is a milestone in pop culture and launched the British Invasion.

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