Did the Beatles have an effect on your life? On culture and society? Did you have a favorite Beatle? If yes, who and why?

12 thoughts on “Did the Beatles have an effect on your life? On culture and society? Did you have a favorite Beatle? If yes, who and why?

  1. February 1, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Absolutely. It thrust this whole new culture into the conscious of our whole family. My parents finally caught on, and didn’t like it. The hair thing, the on-stage gyrations. In retrospect, it was the seminal moment for the mass culture to start changing.

    1. February 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      The Beatles looked for new directions for their music and their lives; and because of their fame, they acted as Pied Pipers for many members of a generation that too were looking for the new and unconventional. With the teachings of sitar master Ravi Shankar and meditation guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Harrison introduced the Beatles and thousands of followers to Indian music and culture. Paul McCartney helped open the Indica Gallery in London that was an outlet for contemporary art and literature. John Lennon, working with Jonathan Cape, created a book of comical illustrations and verse, showing that poking fun of the establishment was “cool.”

  2. February 2, 2014 at 6:41 am

    There are some things that sock you in the gut.
    Make you choke up a little in the back of your throat.
    It’s inexplicable, but somehow familiar. This is the effect the Beatles had, and continue to have on me.
    They are part of a collective, universal memory — one that I believe goes back farther than 50 years.
    I used to bemoan the fact that I was erroneously born in the wrong decade (the ’80’s). I missed Beatlemania altogether, and had to carry the torch on my own it seemed. I was teasingly called “Beatle” in the 7th grade, an outcast among many ‘N Sync obsessed throngs of girls, whom I thought were all obviously misguided and missing the point.
    Now, looking back, I realize I was wrong. I wasn’t alone. I was fortunate to have a Mom (with two fellow Beatlenuts) that imparted this love to me, fanned the flames, and showed me how alive their legacy is and always will be.

    I was telling my my Mom a few months ago after I watched “Living in the Material World,” that it is at once delightful and bewildering to approach the Beatles from an adult lens. By this I mean, that I find my childhood crush has morphed into something else altogether different, and I don’t quite know them as I used to. It’s a joy to get to know them, and fall in love all over again.

  3. February 2, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I discovered radio, WABC NYC, Cousin Brucie, fellow Beatles fans, learnng to dance, the British invasion and a reason to create stories and plays and scrapbooks thanks to meeting the Beatles through “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” in 1964. My favorite was George because my girlfriends had claimed the other boys, and I liked George’s introverted personality (as opposed to Paul and John’s more “out there’ confidence) and played over and over again…”Do you Want to Know a Secret?”

  4. February 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I first heard the Beatles on a friend’s radio on my high school bus. I was captivated immediately! It was such a fresh sound, mesmerizing and personal in a way that my previous exposure to music hadn’t been. It was also very cool and “groovy” to share my adulation of the Beatles with peers.

    Our parents didn’t know what to make of them and some were kinda fearful that their kids would be unduly influenced, especially by albums such as Sgt Pepper”s Lonely Hearts Club Band which reflected the Beatles’ exposure to psychedelic drugs. What a masterpiece that album still is! I will never forget how stunned and upset my teen brother and I were when we first brought that album home and played it in earshot of our Dad. He removed it from the house! We were heartbroken and more convinced than ever that adults just “didn’t get it.”.

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  6. February 7, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Interesting to read comments from people who were teenagers in the US. In the UK, until the Beatles arrived, American popular music and singers dominated and I was a great Elvis fan. British singers like Cliff Richard and Billy Fury seemed weaker versions to my 14-year-old self. Then the Beatles changed all that and we were on the map too. Their popularity spawned many other groups, particularly those based in Liverpool, as if the very fact of their location made them better musically. Most have now been forgotten but there are some exceptions, including Gerry and the Pacemakers. It seems the Beatles began the era of the ‘boy bands’, where there had been mainly solo singers before (with some exceptions, like the Beach Boys).
    And as a counter to the Beatles’ clean and tidy image, anti-establishment groups like the Rolling Stones then gained popularity. If the Beatles had never existed the music scene may have travelled a very different route.
    My favourite Beatle was John, where most of my friends chose Paul. John seemed less ‘pretty’ than Paul and had more character, so it seemed to me at such a young age!

  7. February 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

    My first experience of the Beatles is significant because it marked the breakdown of some connections with my father and the end of following blindly to my elders.

    The Beatles triggered one of the few times my father was ever “mean” or “dismissive” to me. My father and I were bonded through music –he taught me his deep love of music while we listened to 45’s together (current and old songs) as he went about his chores with me as his helper.

    Then the Beatles arrived in America to upset the “apple” cart. I sat with my older sister on the floor of our living room to watch the Ed Sullivan Show to get closer to the television console. There they were – the FAB 4 in all their glory – and my ears, my heart, and my pre-teen self were moved. My father walked into the room and walked symbolically right in front of the television in between The Beatles and me, blocking my view. He said, “They will never last.” That’s all he said and kept on walking. My father was always such an upbeat person, and ALL kinds of music had been our shared link – so this was shocking to me. I don’t know if it was the long hair, the screaming girls, or the fact that my adoration was shifting to another entity, but my father’s response caused me to lose a tiny bit of respect for him. That generation just didn’t get it, the 50’s repression just wasn’t going to hold anymore, and things were gonna change – even goody-two-shoes-ME was going to rebel a little!

    I joined a girls Beatles group a few weeks later where we lip synched and air-guitared to all the Beatle songs. I can’t remember who I was in the group – I’d like to think it was George, because he always intrigued me. In high school, my best friend tutored and grilled me on distinguishing the lead voice of EVERY Beatle song (a skill that remains and should be included on my resume even today). The Beatles followed me to college (ask my dorm neighbors how much they heard me play the album, All Things Must Pass, day after day), caused me to pull an all-nighter in 1973 going to see ALL the Beatle movies playing at a cinema in Harvard Square, followed me to grad school where I couldn’t function after hearing of John Lennon’s death, followed me to my wedding (where Beatle songs were played on a cassette tape at my reception), followed me to parenting where I bonded with my daughter (Beatle-nut generation 2) over their music and through 2 live concerts of Ringo & His All-Starr Band. Who else are linked to my key relationships, to all my life’s experiences, to the identity of our generation, to the social upheaval of the 60’s – who else but The Beatles?

    It’s more than music.

  8. February 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    It was 50 years ago today (or thereabouts!), that the Beatles stepped off the plane in the US and into history! They played on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964. I remember watching that Ed Sullivan show the night that he introduced the Beatles to his screaming audience! We, as a family, sat there and watched in disbelief! I wondered if all those girls in the audience were paid to scream because I didn’t believe that the Beatles were known yet in the US. My brother closest to me in age—just a couple of years older—was ecstatic, our oldest brother was ambivalent if not a bit hostile since he was at the time the rhythm guitar player in a very popular and lucrative SF Bay Area rock & roll band, The Skyliters.  Dad was a bit insulted by the Beatles, and Mom liked them. In fact, this might have been the time when Mom asked Dad, “Gee, Johnny, when did you become such an old fogey?!” I remember her asking him that at some time early on and it was definitely when we were listening to “pop” music. I was only 11, pretty ignorant of music, and just went along with my closest brother’s opinion (with great enthusiasm!) mainly to defy the older generation! That night though, The Beatles and their innovative “sound” actually opened my mind and heart to music. I’ve thought since then that they were pretty much responsible for giving me my love of music. LOVED Paul!

  9. February 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I was babysitting when I saw them on the Sullivan show. I didn’t have much of a reaction. I was much more impacted by Simon and Garfunkel. Maybe the Beatles were too cheery for me. I was always impressed by anyone who could tell whether it was John or Paul singing. My favorite Beatles’ songs while they were still a group were Hey Jude and The Long and Winding Road. Decades later I really appreciated them more.

  10. April 25, 2014 at 9:18 am

    The Beatles were on at the Hammersmith Odeon near my school. It was the last day of term so we finished early and went over there. We managed to get right in to the auditorium, not that there was anything to see! after we got chucked out we were lurking around outside and who should draw up in a black lime but George Harrison. My friend Elaine went right up close to the car and declared that he had pink lipstick on! We also saw Ringo Starr running past backstage but I never saw Paul my hero that day. We also met Mal Evans the Roadie who actually chatted to us. Incidentally that day we also met Jimmy Savile there and he was creepy and not at all interesting to us, so we just had a brief conversation but why talk to him when the Yardbirds were there. they were actually quite pleased to be seen talking to a bunch of 12 year olds and gave us their autographs. We followed them in the subway and they didn’t run from us. they sounded good too on stage.

  11. May 11, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I saw the Beatles live twice on stage. You had to queue up for tickets and to get really good ones you had to get there very early, or even queue overnight. i wasn’t allowed to do that (well I was about 12). Also my mum said that she had to go too! Not because she was a fan but to supervise! So I got 2 tickets for us, my friends who were allowed to queue got better ones, and I had to sit with my mum. When the Beatles cam on everybody screamed, but I wasn’t allowed so i had to just sit there. it was so boring, you couldn’t hear anything, couldn’t see anything because everyone was jumping up and down. it was terrible and my mum didn’t enjoy it either. It was a bit like being the only one sober at a party.
    The following year I was allowed to go a bit earlier as my friend was there with an older sister. Another school friend also wanted tickets but she wasn’t allowed to queue at all, she asked me to get them. of course my mum was going too. so I was mean, I got tickets with Teresa and her sister and got two for my mum and Anna, further back. So they had to sit together and i could scream in peace, as it was the only thing to do! i had a much better time, but to be honest the Beatles were only on about 15 minutes and they really weren’t that good live. Needless to day Anna never forgave me!

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