Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Beatles and Dylan

The Beatles? Search for the string anywhere now (Google, et al), and you'll see that many (all sorts) are reminiscing about where they were in 1964 when the guys first appeared on American TV (via Ed Sullivan). Some, including the WSJ, have gone so far as to rate (and recall) songs and LPs that were produced by the group over the less than decade of their time together.

Too, the WSJ told us why the fans screamed (I, for one, never knew why).


So, why are The Beatles being associated truth engineering? Good question. Let's look at that, in a brief manner.


Prior to Dylan's and the fab four's entry into the public's (albeit the younger set's) awareness, there were many things going on. Vietnam, and its issues, was mostly just coming about, say, around the time before 1964. But, civil rights and free speech were starting to become generally known.

The time, and its energies, ought to be (is usually) associated with the boomers, as they were finishing up high school about then (the first wave's leading edge, let's say). That is, the boomers were on the verge of the adulthood during a time of "dramatic social change."

And, except for their associates who were only a few years old, the boomers considered the rest (mostly over 30) were not to be trusted.

Trust? That is a crucial part of truth. In fact, where can trust be placed now-a-days?


The Beatles started innocently enough, though the female fans screamed. For instance, what is more "PG" than I want to hold your hand. Their sound was clean and crisp, somewhat like the Beach Boys had provided. Summer fun, if you would.

Yet, being Brit, the four guys had a whole new world to offer, beyond the self-indulgent scene found with the southern California hype. Actually, one could argue that the BBs were cleaned-up beats (surf bums, et al -- a healthy type of counterculture).

And, the Beatles got a lot of air time so that their songs became associated in ordinary events of people's lives. That is one way to measure their effect. Remember, we are talking long before the MP3 players and playlists. People didn't switch stations when the Beatles came on. Too, the guys kept the songs rolling out, almost hit after hit.

Why were they so popular? Well, we know that they were good musically. They had voices that were easy to listen to. And, they shared the lead in singing. So, their output was pleasant to the ear and soul; people could pick their favorite singer. Too, though, they did have a message: love, and relationships, was a frequent topic; life - work, help, Taxman, ... and, when I'm 64.

Too, they looked at many aspects of human life; say: I'm a loser; Fool on the hill; Nowhere man. There were many songs of this ilk.

But, a whole lot of their songs were cheerful, even bouncy. Rubber Soul, the album, has a bunch of tunes that can set the feet moving. The cheerful list is just too long. In fact, even the more somber tunes had an ending that wasn't morbid.

How many wore out their LPs through listening to the fab four?


Now by 1965, things were at a crux as you had the boomers off to, or already at, college and spreading their wings. Anyone recall those things related to in loco parentis? The boomers carried that out. One could point to many current situations that rose to prominence in the public's mind during the times of the boomers.

Getting back to the Beatles, when they were getting many into their movie, Help, and when Rubber Soul was getting air, a song came on the radio for which there was no precedence. For one thing, the singer was not much of one. Too, the song went on for a long time, longer than any had before. It played over 6 minutes. The public ate it up. Of course, we're talking Dylan's tune: Like a rolling stone. A message within a song became the norm.

Of course, to that time, Dylan's recordings were all related to something of note. But, his Rolling Stone tune got him the general attention of the boomers. His work had an influence on the Beatles. We have heard about some of this. But, Revolver was the turning point. Some of the later work pushed the boundaries more than others, as we did see some reflective works later: Let it be.


Then, The Beatles were no more. Much has been written about the breakup. The four continued with their musical work. But, the world was without their bright star.

Of course, the whole flower power movement had already been rolling itself up. The counterculture did not cease. In fact, the hippies have been emulated world-wide. Some U.S. States have, of late, legitimized herbaceous products that were so popular in the time of the fab four.


So, truth engineering? The main theme would be that music is a crucial part of truth. Actually, tone has all sorts of uses. What musical artists provide are tones that are associated in interesting ways using various means. When this is coupled with lyrics (language and truth is a very important subject), we have power.

Note classical music's (including opera's) continuing attraction each generation.

The Beatles dealt with the popular mind, in terms that were new, probably since they had a very large audience (boomers) and their talents kept their productivity up. But, just as the culture fractured, how could not the Beatles? Dylan was singular; and, he did adapt over the years (not that he knows how nor does anyone else - the fact of that ought to say something about truth and the difficulties in trying to establish such).

No doubt, there have been many studies about the phenomenon, called The Beatles, over the years. We have seen many artists come about who are about as popular (nameless, for now - popular meaning that they got a cohesive grab on the younger set - who are not as large the boomers).

Yet, the fab four's success was different due to the times. The breakup was over 40 years ago. How many boomers do not listen to their work, now? I am pre-boomer, myself, but I remember Ed's show. Too, I had their tunes playing via youtube as I was writing this post. Some have strong Proust-like memories associated with them.

Music and memory? They associate very well. Music and thought? I've often wondered as I see people going about shielded with their own playlist'd worldview (Try to get one of them to relate to something real? Generally, what you get is way less than 1/2 a person. It's not as bad as the text'd space draw, though.).


So, remember that I mentioned Dylan, too. We can use him and the fab four to do some analysis. I will have to look, first, to see if there has been earlier work done of the sort that I'm considering. Just as Bob, when they were interviewing him to see from whence his inspiration, could not put his finger on it (did not even think of it - must be nice to have such talent), I don't think that Paul or Ringo could tell us of their insight. Has anyone asked as they did with Bob?

Remarks:   Modified: 02/19/2014

02/19/2014 -- 

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