{January 12, 2012}   A Musical Interlude, With The Beatles!

At the start of next week I’m going back to Cardiff and back to University. Hello to friends and exams. I’m struggling with trying to make the most of this last week at home with my family, and revising. Still I did alright today. But I could’ve done so much more… I kept distracting myself. I got distracted by my finding a Doctor Who game online (http://www.DoctorWhoWIT.com – still in testing stages, but very playable). Later distracted again by… I can’t remember what exactly but I’m left with loads of pages on cold reading, and an interview with John Simm over 30 minutes long about his favourite vinyl records. I’ve always found that whenever I find a celebrity I admire and look at the music they like, there’s a lot of crossover with my own tastes. It’s a great way to find music I like by bands I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. He’s gaga for The Beatles. Got me to thinking.

I had a GCSE music teacher called Steve. One lesson, he told us that it doesn’t matter what our musical tastes are, and it doesn’t matter what arguments we can come up with to the contrary, that what he was about to tell us was simply a statement of fact. That The Beatles are the greatest band ever. Of course that caused an uproar (I think someone mentioned Beyoncé, ha!), but even then I knew he was right. Ringo may not be able to keep a beat as well as the computers we have for the job today, and their guitars & voices may not be as constantly in tune and time as the heavily edited and auto-tuned voices of modern musicians, but you know those things have pretty well nothing to do with good music. In a world where Beyoncé trumps Beatles and where Justin Bieber is adored world-wide while Jeremy Messersmith is practically unknown (Album: The Reluctant Graveyard, Song:Any, but ‘Dillinger Eyes’, ‘Organ Donor’, ‘John the Determinist’ & ‘A Girl, a Boy and a Graveyard’ are my favourites), you could be forgiven for thinking that the golden age of music is in the past. You might even be given a pat on the back for speaking the truth. There’s no more revolutions. Plenty of gorgeous variance, but no revolution.

That’s what The Beatles did. Elvis too, but I don’t know too much about him so I’ll talk about The Beatles for now. They appeared out of nowhere as phenomenons often appear to do (they actually had about 10 years of gigs before fame though*), and changed the music world, entirely, and as far as history has been made, forever (does that make sense? I mean that the music world is still under the control of their influence. Sounds kinda creepy like that though). Despite the fact that, as before, there is essentially one reigning style of music which dominates all others in the media, there is an unbelievable wealth of variety in the music world today.

Having known musical variety pretty well all my life, with my first favourite song being the illustriously varied ‘Year of the Cat’ by Al Stewart, I’m never going to be able to appreciate artists like The Beatles and Elvis as much as the people who came before me, particularly those who knew the musical world before their arrival. The maximum level of appreciation that I can reach is low compared to those who saw the revolution of their popularity soaring and changing the face of popular music forever. I’m just a 90s child – I haven’t known musical poverty or revolution beyond the first album I got, the first time I listened to FM radio and the 1st time I heard ‘Year of the Cat’. For an 80s child, the maximum is set higher. It keeps getting higher and higher the closer you get to the 60s & 70s prime Beatles time, and for anyone born in the 50s or before, it’s mega-high!…

What I mean to say is, I cannot comprehend his level of fandom. Perhaps it’s equivalent to a single fangirl’s adoration of Justin Bieber? Except without the hormonal crush… Bah, where does this level of fandom exist without ‘fancying’ going on? Oh yeah – it’s like me and Doctor Who. I understand.


*10 is the magic number. As explained in Malcolm Gladwell’s very interesting book, ‘Outliers’, it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to gain expertise in whatever it is you’re doing, which takes approximately 10 years if you focus on it. Check the biography of your favourite celebrity. Not someone like Bieber though, someone talented by nature not nature plus technology. Chances are they’ll’ve had about 10 years between starting to practice their art/science seriously and the time at which they produce their big time hits. He talks a lot about The Beatles as a case study of this, detailing their time in Hamburg. My god were they dedicated. 7 days a week, 8 hour sessions, 270 nights in 1 & 1/2 years… When they 1st rose to fame, they had already performed live about 12,000 times. I can’t comprehend those numbers…


lucy munro-tt says:

You should be in a bookshop bound in lsumptious s leather with gold gothis lettering! Awesome blog! Xxx


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