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Thread: The Beatles appraised

  1. #151
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    People born in the '60s or later were not the generation that were old enough to appreciate the Beatles first hand. That would people of my generation, born from 1948-1952 who would be 12-16 when the Beatles hit.
    Yes, but it depends what you mean by "appreciate first hand". I certainly had a first hand experience of the group when they first hit, just not the same experience as a 12-16 year old. I was 4 in late 1963. I accompanied my father to the shops when he bought Please Please Me for my mother for Christmas.

  2. #152
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    People born in the '60s or later were not the generation that were old enough to appreciate the Beatles first hand. That would people of my generation, born from 1948-1952 who would be 12-16 when the Beatles hit.
    As a little tyke, I saw A Hard Day's Night and for a time after that assumed Ringo was the leader of the band. A truly great acting performance. The rest of them are basically winking at or mugging for the camera.

    Years later, when I was old enough to walk the streets of NY on my own, I passed the shop where I sometimes would buy comic books. As it was a perfect summer day, the shop had a stand set up outside featuring some of its journals of higher learning. One of these had a banner headline in thick black letters reading, PAUL MCCARTNEY IS DEAD. I became quite depressed, wondering why the talented ones always died young -- first Mozart, then McCartney.

    About 8 or 9 months later I was at the house of a friend who had an older sister who had left a fan magazine on the floor. This learned journal had an article all about clues that McCartney was dead, such as, only he is crossing Abbey Road barefoot. Finally, I read that if one played Strawberry Fields backwards, one could hear the band singing, "I bury Paul". I thought, Why don't they see if he gets out of bed in the morning? Suddenly it dawned on me that this article, and the whole story about McCartney's death was bunk, and at that moment I entered the adult world.

    So, yes, I was a little too young.

  3. #153
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post

    "Outdated"? Hardly.

    The covers would have a modern appeal for my grandchildren. It's quite subtle to figure out, but they can tell immediately.

    And a lot of these generation gaps are the result of the same old qualms I remember against my parents' music. Also peer pressure.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  4. #154
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Legitimate questions.

    I remember Beatlemania in terms of the songs, all of which sounded fresh, exciting, different, etc. at the time.

    Other groups? Sure.

    Mid-60s:

    There were the Byrds, whose success was partly due to covering songs of Dylan using sounds pioneered by The Beatles.

    The Mamas and the Papas: Some great songs, but even then I knew that only Papa John played an instrument, and wrote most of their material.

    Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Great catchy arrangements. I really thought they were a Mexican band (LOL).

    Donovan: Flower Power and fascinating production and arrangements. Interesting songs.

    There were bands from the 60s that never did it for me: The Rolling Stones and The Animals were sloppy garage bands with lousy lead vocals, Herman's Hermits were truly goofy, The Beach Boys were trite and bubble-gummy.

    Starting sometime in 1967 or so there were a great many excellent bands that were releasing albums, but practically all of them owed a debt to the groundwork laid out by The Beatles in one way or another.

    There were exceptions, of course: Simon & Garfunkel drew from The Everly Brothers and the folk tradition, The Mothers of Invention were highly imaginative and inventive in their own right.

    But for every "original" band, there were a dozen that were following the path of the Beatles, whether it was The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Buffalo Springfield, The Small Faces, and even the Rolling Stones (who trotted out their garage version of Sgt. Pepper).

    Yep, I'll give ya Jimi Hendrix and the Doors; but even those artists were influenced by artists that were in turn influenced by The Beatles.

    BTW, "People who were born in the 60s or much later often have gotten the idea that they were leaders in other areas too." Those people got ideas like The Beatles being leaders in other areas because they were leaders in other areas.
    I'm glad you have this glow around the Beatles and everything they touched. It couldn't have happened to better and more hard-working songwriters of that time and category.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  5. #155
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    People born in the '60s or later were not the generation that were old enough to appreciate the Beatles first hand. That would people of my generation, born from 1948-1952 who would be 12-16 when the Beatles hit.
    Yes, later folks got their info second hand.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  6. #156
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luchesi View Post
    Yes, later folks got their info second hand.
    I think it's probably true that I got my information about Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Satie, Debussy, Roussel, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev second-hand.

    Do I have revisionist opinions about them too?

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  8. #157
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Legitimate questions.

    I remember Beatlemania in terms of the songs, all of which sounded fresh, exciting, different, etc. at the time.

    Other groups? Sure.

    Mid-60s:

    There were the Byrds, whose success was partly due to covering songs of Dylan using sounds pioneered by The Beatles.

    The Mamas and the Papas: Some great songs, but even then I knew that only Papa John played an instrument, and wrote most of their material.

    Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Great catchy arrangements. I really thought they were a Mexican band (LOL).

    Donovan: Flower Power and fascinating production and arrangements. Interesting songs.

    There were bands from the 60s that never did it for me: The Rolling Stones and The Animals were sloppy garage bands with lousy lead vocals, Herman's Hermits were truly goofy, The Beach Boys were trite and bubble-gummy.

    Starting sometime in 1967 or so there were a great many excellent bands that were releasing albums, but practically all of them owed a debt to the groundwork laid out by The Beatles in one way or another.

    There were exceptions, of course: Simon & Garfunkel drew from The Everly Brothers and the folk tradition, The Mothers of Invention were highly imaginative and inventive in their own right.

    But for every "original" band, there were a dozen that were following the path of the Beatles, whether it was The Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Buffalo Springfield, The Small Faces, and even the Rolling Stones (who trotted out their garage version of Sgt. Pepper).

    Yep, I'll give ya Jimi Hendrix and the Doors; but even those artists were influenced by artists that were in turn influenced by The Beatles.

    BTW, "People who were born in the 60s or much later often have gotten the idea that they were leaders in other areas too." Those people got ideas like The Beatles being leaders in other areas because they were leaders in other areas.
    I agree about the pervasive influence of the Beatles. Eric Clapton and Duane Allman reached back to the old blues guitar tradition and and eclectic mix of other influences, but the Beatles were the first rock band to make eclecticism so central to their work, which had a big influence on Clapton and Allman, of course.

  9. #158
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    I think it's probably true that I got my information about Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Satie, Debussy, Roussel, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev second-hand.

    Do I have revisionist opinions about them too?
    I would very much appreciate talking to someone who was exposed to those composers at the age of 13 or 14. What would've been their experience? And then what were their changing views as they matured.
    My concern is what the listening experience actually was - it's probably lost. And further, what was their actual influence early on and before they disbanded? What are the unique influences today, this many years later? And the drama of those years can't be suitably shared (for various reasons).


    Reminds me of when I read from people who actually knew Schoenberg when he was struggling, I got a much more sympathetic and thorough picture of his aims. There's just no substitute.

    I've been meaning to say, you're such an interesting poster. We're lucky you found us.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  10. #159
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luchesi View Post
    I would very much appreciate talking to someone who was exposed to those composers at the age of 13 or 14. What would've been their experience? And then what were their changing views as they matured.
    My concern is what the listening experience actually was - it's probably lost. And further, what was their actual influence early on and before they disbanded? What are the unique influences today, this many years later? And the drama of those years can't be suitably shared (for various reasons).

    [...]

    I've been meaning to say, you're such an interesting poster. We're lucky you found us.
    To your last comment, thank you.

    To your first, if you mean exposed to the composers I listed, I can describe some of my encounters when I was 13/14. But before I do, there may be someone else eager to share.

    To the other part in bold, you've switched to asking about The Beatles, yes? I can only relate the experience of my older brother, who reached the age of 13 by 1966. His attitude to the Beatles is the same as mine, and I don't think it has changed since then.

  11. #160
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    I think it's probably true that I got my information about Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Satie, Debussy, Roussel, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev second-hand.

    Do I have revisionist opinions about them too?
    I'd guess your opinion is different from contemporaries of those composers.

  12. #161
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I'd guess your opinion is different from contemporaries of those composers.
    Just take Beethoven. I'd guess my opinion matched the opinions of some of his contemporaries and was different from some others.

  13. #162
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Just take Beethoven. I'd guess my opinion matched the opinions of some of his contemporaries and was different from some others.
    This discussion began because the idea of Beatlemania was said to have been exaggerated, or that The Beatles have been over-rated as an influential band. My point was that only if you had lived through that period would you know just how impactful The Beatles had been, and how new their music sounded at the time.

    Your opinion on Beethoven does not figure into that discussion.

  14. #163
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    This discussion began because the idea of Beatlemania was said to have been exaggerated, or that The Beatles have been over-rated as an influential band. My point was that only if you had lived through that period would you know just how impactful The Beatles had been, and how new their music sounded at the time.

    Your opinion on Beethoven does not figure into that discussion.
    And the point of my post #156 was to point out to Luchesi that just because "information" is second hand, doesn't mean opinions based on that information are invalid. It does, therefore, relate to whether the opinions of those who came late to the Beatles are invalid because they are based on 2nd hand information.

  15. #164
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    And the point of my post #156 was to point out to Luchesi that just because "information" is second hand, doesn't mean opinions based on that information are invalid. It does, therefore, relate to whether the opinions of those who came late to the Beatles are invalid because they are based on 2nd hand information.
    If the second-, or third-, or fourth- hand opinions are that The Beatles were not that innovative, or impactful, or influential, then their opinions are not informed from the real time experience of the band's impact. Therefore, I do not consider them accurate.

  16. #165
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    If the second-, or third-, or fourth- hand opinions are that The Beatles were not that innovative, or impactful, or influential, then their opinions are not informed from the real time experience of the band's impact. Therefore, I do not consider them accurate.
    I'm not sure why this is such a difficult point to make. Luchesi thinks that those who came after the Beatles have secondhand opinions that are 'revisionist' - in particular, those that esteem the Beatles higher than he thinks they should be esteemed. I merely countered with the obvious point that we here at TC all came after the event of Beethoven, but if we esteem him highly, it's unlikely that we'd suffer the charge of revisionism.

    Actually, if we accept Luchesi's contention, it doesn't matter what the opinion is, pro or con: if we were too young for first hand experience, our opinion doesn't count.

    Tell that to Woodduck re his opinions of Wagner.
    Last edited by Forster; Sep-28-2021 at 22:58.

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