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Sun Oct 26, 2014, 01:21 PM

Shaving Ed's Sullivan

…..bliss the moment arrived
Apparition, four brown English
Jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
wit thin guitar
Lennon the captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
-- Allen Ginsberg

It’s been said that enough has been written about The Beatles to fill a book. (Maybe two.) I’d like to take a minute to add four paragraphs to that inventory. In the Liverpool of the late 1950s, each of the four young musicians were practicing, learning, and experimenting with sound for entertainment, and song for communication. Across the ocean, the Eisenhower America was the traditional dysfunctional family: layers of discontent, malcontent, and a search for meaning, all covered with an impenetrable icing of Father Knows Best, with Ike playing golf.

A generational shift in 19sixty brought a promise of fresh air children, with JFK and the best and brightest versus the five-sided beast. The Bay of Nixon, the Berlin Wall, and even the Cuban Missile Crisis were scary, indeed, but the Life Force was bringing collections of college students out of packed phone booths, and making statements at Point Huron. But Dallas turned out the light, and another darkness shined on America.

“Like a good little news organization, we sent three cameramen out to Kennedy airport today to cover the arrival of a group from England known as the Beatles. However, after surveying the film our men returned with, and the subject of that film, I feel there is absolutely no need to show any of that film.”
-- Chey Huntly; NBC Evening News; 2-7-64

Hindsight is 20/20, it is said -- but! 50 years later, I think that Mr. Huntly was wrong. You simply can’t believe everything you hear on the news.

Lennon & McCartney had a shared song-writing genius. With the synergy of the group’s music, they took over the American airwaves. Their manager, Brian Epstein, would make them more presentable, with suits, to the older generation. But within a year’s time, a growing number of American youth recognized them as coming from the wrong side of the tracks, with a more serious edge beneath the bright, cheery songs of puppy love and heartache.
While our corporations were thinking of “New!” Beatles paraphernalia to sell, an updated witch hunt took place.(Much of it as the result of but one of Lennon’s answers to a reporter.)

“Psycho-politicians are using the
Beatle music to hypnotize American
youth and prepare them for future
submission to subversive to
subversive control --
A systematic plan geared to
making a generation of American
youth mentally ill and emotionally
-- Rev. David A. Nobel; Communism, Hypnotism, and the Beatles

Hindsight, I know, but again: you can’t believe everything that religious “leaders” try to sell you. By the mid-60s, capitalism had rewarded the Beatles to an extent that they were in control of their careers, and living how they wanted to. And they were changing the ways in which young people thought. And the Power of Ideas is always more of a threat to a system of subversive control than are clothing, hair, and music styles -- unless those clothing, hair, and music styles speak to the Power of Ideas, of course.

In 1967, they released the album “Sgt. Peppers” and the single “Hey, Jude/ Revolution.” In ‘68, the Beatles released “The Beatles,” a double-LP known ever since as the “White Album.” These were two intense years in American history. Any serious student of that era has to take the Beatles’ influence on our society and culture seriously.

Rev. Noble was so moved as to publish a book titles “The Beatles: A Study in Drugs, Sex, and Revolution.” In my opinion, while his description of the group was a bit more accurate than the “communist threat” bit, he might have benefited from dropping acid and listening to their new releases while wearing headphones. Then he might have appreciated “Back in the USSR.”

“The Beatles are Divine Messiahs,
The wisest, holiest, most effective
Avatars (Divine Incarnate, God Agents)
that the human race has yet produced ….
I declare that John Lennon, George Harrison,
Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr are mutants.
Prototypes of a new race of laughing freemen.
Evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed
with a mysterious power to create a new
human species.”
-- Timothy Leary

It’s hard for a historian to fully appreciate an era that she or he did not live through. And that holds true for the influence of the Beatles. Their music has held up remarkably well, and for those of us on this forum of a certain age, individual songs bring back associated memories. I am hoping that some of our DU tribal elders will take a moment to remember, and then share with us how some of that era’s changes in thinking became manifest in their lives.

Thank you (you have a nice face),
H2O Man

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H2O Man Oct 2014 OP
sabrina 1 Nov 2014 #1

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:24 AM

1. I missed this when it was posted. It was posted on the birthday of a young person

very close to me who died suddenly, perhaps 'drug related' on Sept 9th of this year. He was a musician. I miss him.

Thank you for the post.

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