The Beatles!

Nov 8, 2021 10:55 PM

A story about the most talked about rock and roll band of all time and what they’ve meant to me in my life.

I have a vague memory of being 3 years old and hearing the infectious harmonies of 4 mop topped british boys from Liverpool. The song was “Love me do” and it became my favorite song as a child. Later I discovered “I wanna hold your hand” and “8 Days a week” and of course “Octopus’s Garden” and “Yellow Submarine”.  “A Hard Days Night” and “Help” were also favorites. 

Many years later I’d forgotten about those early days of Beatles fandom. My cynical teen years turned me away from the “pop” sounds of the Beatles and towards the more sinister sounds of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and the true “rock” bands (this is the perspective of my, admittedly, ignorant teen self). 

Then, I was introduced to the “later” Beatles. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" became an instant favorite. “A Day in the Life” “I Want you (She’s So Heavy)” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” also saw heavy rotation. The White Album absolutely blew me away. Then it was Abbey Road, and Revolver. Soon, I was immersed once again in Beatles music that I couldn’t stop listening to.  

That covered approximately a decade of my life, from 1983-1993. 

Today, I love the Beatles more than ever, and I’m happy to have found my perfect Beatles album. It was man years ago now, while on the road touring, riding with another band we were touring with at the time. We all sang every word to Rubber Soul at the top of our lungs. It’s the one album that to me seques the “pop” version with the “experimental” version of the band. Norwegian Wood and You’re Looking through are major highlights to me.

I never could have imagined all those years ago I’d have young aspiring musicians of all ages who are experiencing the same journey with the same band. I’ve been teaching “Here comes the Sun” for 20 years, and I still find aspects in it that I never knew before, or that still amaze me (like the 11/8, 4/4, 7/8 bridge section!). I’ve been teaching “Daytripper” for the same amount of time. You might think I teach these songs because they are familiar to me, but if you know me and my teaching style, you’ll know nothing could be further from the truth. I’m always looking for new and exciting songs to teach. No, I teach these songs because my students still ask to learn them, because they still listen to them and they love these songs.

Many many many music theorists have debated the reasons for The Beatles absolute domination of popular music for what is now a 7th decade. There are many theories, but no real answers as to why this music continues to draw each generation of new music fans in. A new documentary is due to be released any day now with the same amount of fanfare as you might expect from a Beatles project in the 60’s. It’s awesome to know we are still connected in this way. I feel very thankful that I get to teach this music that I love so regularly.

Finally, I was speaking with one of my teenage students about this topic on the weekend. I said something like “ya know, The Beatles aren’t just super popular. They’re really really good too.” She said, “Ya, it’s kinda like Shakespeare."

That analogy absolutely blew me away. I can only hope that young people everywhere will still be listening to and appreciating The Beatles in the year 2522.

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