I was surfing the web a few months ago when I came across the photo above. It was taken by a high school senior, and I imagine it is her in the photograph. The image spoke to me instantly. I love art, and to me, this photo captures so much of what is nostalgic about The Beatles, yet at the same time I feel it illustrates how they are forever steeped in the spirit of youth. I see an iconic record album in the hands of one of the young people of today. The album itself, like The Beatles, belong to another time, yet their music and their message are so powerful that they carry on almost a half a century (and several generations) after. I believe this photo encapsulates that concept in imagery.
It also reminded me of another experience I had while attending a Paul McCartney concert in Philadelphia in August of 2010. I sat next to a thirteen year old girl and her father, and the young girl was noticeably excited, to the point of giddiness. I glanced at her father, who smiled at me and forewarned that I should expect screaming and crying throughout the show. I replied that it would only add to the authenticity of the experience, meaning, what would a Paul McCartney concert be without screaming teenagers? It just sort of goes with the territory. I then asked the girl, who had already started telling me how she loved The Beatles, what exactly it was about them that she loved. I remember her response as if it were yesterday, “The Beatles are awesome because no matter what mood I’m in, or what I’m feeling, they have a song for it, and they make me happy”.
As an adult I suppose I was looking for something more profound, but looking back with so much time to reflect on what she said, I realized it’s profoundness was in it’s simplicity. I agreed with her, and although I could probably try to over-articulate some deeper meaning, what’s better than happiness? Children – and teenagers – seem to have an invaluable inborn sense of wonder, which – if we allow it – will always keep us grounded, reminding us of the joy, excitement and magic that exist in our world.
According to Apple Inc., in the Fab Four’s first week on iTunes they sold 450,000 copies of Beatles albums, in addition to two million individual songs. According to other sources those numbers have since quadrupled. Not too shabby for a band that broke up over forty years ago.
I read an article published only a few days ago by Zach Morrison, a columnist for The Daily Toreador, who said:
“Of all the music that the world has listened to since the age of music as a commercialized industry began, no one, and no group, has ever come close to the influence The Beatles had”.
Bold statement, but nonetheless true. Of all the behemoth popular music artists since the advent of radio and recorded music; Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley just to name a few, none have left a footprint as immense, with as broad an appeal as The Beatles, and it’s quite likely none ever will.
Image courtesy of Mary Robinson – www.maryrobinson.carbonmade.com
For other thoughts and suggested reading on The Beatles, click here