Why The Beatles Were Bad
Saturday, 25 November 2006
It was whether you were a fan of ‘The Beatles’ or a fan of ‘The Rolling Stones’. It was that simple.
The end of the 1950s ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ era, had a shift, such that if you were a ‘rocker’, you generally liked ‘The Rolling Stones’, and if you were a ‘mod’ you liked ‘The Beatles’. Prepubescent, good, and white girls were usually in with ‘The Beatles’, gathering around ‘Dansette’ record players and ‘Radiograms’ to listen to the new ‘Pop’ music on ’45s’, while boys liked ‘The Rolling Stones’.
Sure, that is an over-simplification, for example, boys seemed to either like football or music, and the division between ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Rolling Stones’ was not merely about gender, but about attitude, clothes and youth identity and culture. This ought to give you the gist of what it was like in broad terms back then.
To this day I think ‘The Beatles’ were fake and that they are an over-rated pop group. They were in existence from what, 63 to 70 — 7 or 8 years? And they went from ‘She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah’ to ‘Revolution No.9’. It was a mess.
The main thing is that they had zero ‘street cred’ and they were merely the first to be exploited. If there is one thing that can be said about ‘The Beatles’ is that they were manufactured through-and-through. This is why I say the Beatles were bad; because of ‘The Beatles’ we have the record business, the teen-pop marketing machine, the fashion tie-in, the posed magazine photograph, and the cheeky interview.
The crowds of screaming teenage girls invented by Sinatra’s people and groomed by the Presley camp, were simply moved on to the next thing — and this tradition continues yet.
On the other hand, by contrast, ‘The Rolling Stones’ have continued — they still tour, they still sell lots of recordings, and they stuck to what was honest and truthful — themselves and their music.
‘The Beatles’ tried to be ‘cool’ and failed. They themselves turned their backs on the crass merchandising and the pop industry they had triggered into being. They even refused to accept their gongs from the Queen (what happened to those ideals, SIR Paul Mccartney??).
One would have expected more from each member after the split. Either in a pop music way (with hits) or in a serious progressive artistic creation. Neither happened.
Mccartney formed ‘Wings’ with his sad-looking wife, and launched with the worst and most childish gibberish ever imposed on the public. Lennon was even less talented, and his child-like endeavours were even less-well received than Mccartney’s. Ringo Starr did children’s TV voice overs and Harrison had a decent enough career away from the others.
- From their solo careers, it is patently obvious that ‘The Beatles’ were a creation. Whatever talent they may have had musically was early, manipulated and short-lived.
Probably the most amazing time in the history of music is the mid 1970s — when people could record on cassette tape from cheap radios and music centres, when synthesisers appeared, when types of music merged, when Progressive Rock was invented along with Punk, when the music business felt threatened by illegal taping, bootlegs, and the independents.
‘The Rolling Stones’ went onto even greater success, they exploited the laser shows, the big stadium gigs, the new instruments and recording techniques. The solo careers fitted the expectations and qualified ‘The Rolling Stones’ as a band of talent. Compare that with the same period for the solo careers of each ‘Beatle’! ‘C Moon’? ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’? ‘Hi Hi Hi’???
Like so many manufactured pop bands, ‘The Beatles’ were short-lived and essentially cheap-throw-aways. They were cartoons, they were hairstyles, their songs should have been thrown away too; they are pop and therefore worthless.
George Martin was very talented musically and he managed to take whatever was chanced upon and make something of it. He has milked that cash cow long and hard ever since — and is a crashing bore as a result. It is a great pity he cannot take the credit he is due. On the other hand I wish he would just leave it all alone to fade away as it really should.
I am not advocating ‘The Rolling Stones’, but I am trying to correct the rewriting of history: people seem to have forgotten the ‘Stones vs Beatles’ thing. People seem to have forgotten that ‘The Beatles’ were not cool.
Sorry world, but ‘The Beatles’ were made out to be more popular than they really were. They milked the media machine dry. They had no competition (unlike the world today). Their fanbase was preteen girls.
We were cool; we didn’t like ‘The Beatles’ in our neighbourhood. Boys went on to like Led Zeppelin, Cream and Jimi Hendrix — album bands, and girls filled the vacuum left by ‘The Beatles’ with ‘The Bay City Rollers’ a couple of years later.
Pop acts like ‘Sweet’, Alvin Stardust, David Essex, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Leo Sayer, ‘Bony-M’, Gary Glitter, The Osmonds, The Jackson Five, David Cassidy and ‘Abba’ took over the pop scene.
Girls and the preteens were the ones buying pop — they listened to (and recorded) the BBC pop chart every week. Teen Boys refused to have anything to do with pop music — they NEVER watched ‘Top of The Pops’ — they watched ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ and ‘The Tube’.
Now you know why ‘The Beatles’ were bad — they had little talent individually and musically, they were pretentious and fake and created all that is pretentious and fake in the pop world. Time to step out, stop believing the bullshit and hype, stop following the revisionism, let the truth be told! ‘The Beatles’ were bad!