What If...The Beatles Were a BAD Thing?

Forget that I'm presently stoned and you, more than likely, are not. Let me run this past you.

The Beatles are the single greatest rock band in the history of humanity. Their brief eight-year run yielded more gold (and platinum) than any other band that has ever existed, before or since. Their music not only sold in the millions, it shaped an entire generation and has left an impression on all generations since. They single-handedly changed the language of pop music, creating the very template from which all other pop music springs.

Forty years have not tarnished our love for their music. When their albums are remastered and re-released, people who already own the music rush out to buy a copy. When iTunes finally makes their music available in digital format, those who just bought the remasters and those who already own these same songs immediately feel compelled to hit iTunes the very day the Beatles' music becomes available.

The Beatles were so damn great that their very existence is celebrated by millions five decades after the band struck their final note. They were so damn cool that even a grave misstep like the "butcher block" version of Yesterday And Today have come to be celebrated, with copies of said album fetching top-dollar.

Okay, now lemme run this past you...What if The Beatles were a bad thing?

I admit that it took a sizable hit of the herb for this idea to pop into my own head, as I have willingly participated in celebrating the Fabsters almost from the time I was able to walk. But what if The Beatles ruined it for us? What if their very existence has stunted our societal and cultural growth? What if their re-writing of the pop music template has prevented other forms of pop music from ever taking shape, much less connecting with a mass audience? What if their personalities, their style, their sense of humor, hadn't been given the mass attention by which to become a part of our culture, known the world over?

What if the current musical climate - the preponderance of musical acts all devoid of subtlety, melody and originality - is their fault? It's like they came, took all the fucking good ideas, and we've been left with five decades of rotting table scraps?

It's kind fun thinking about what might have happened musically if The Beatles had never existed. Something would have had to fill the gap after Buddy Holly's tragic death cut short a brilliant career. Without The Beatles' influence, would there have been heavy metal? Would music have gotten heavier at all? My initial hunch is yes, but that the journey from Buddy Holly to Black Sabbath might have taken a few more twists and turns, making for a more enjoyable trip.

See, The Beatles are their own language. What would we have turned out like without that language having shaped all of us in some way? It's like removing one or two of your favorite colors from the crayon box. Take them away and you suddenly realize how dependent upon them you are, but what if you'd never had those colors to choose from in the first place? You'd have made due with what you had.

I love The Beatles, but I have to say that if the music that new artists would be making today was better as a result of them never existing, I'd be okay with it. As a kid, I was surrounded by great new music and movies and cartoons - all of it featuring The Beatles. That was all fine and good, or so I have always thought, but what would I have enriched my life with if they hadn't existed.

Hell, come to think of it, they ceased to exist before many of their hugest fans these days were even born. Can you imagine being so great that the tidal wave you set in motion during your existence is still knocking people down 40 years later?

That's a big fucking wave. A big, BAD FUCKING WAVE. We think that wave was a blessing, a cause for celebration, but what if it actually fucking destroyed us? What if it did such a great job at doing so that we don't even realize it TO THIS DAY?

Damn, that's trippy. Boo ya!

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility


  1. I think that the beatles created a huge jump for us all in music. It's not that they jumped too far too fast so we can't improve our style of music, it's just that they had made such an inprovment that we don't know where to start on our road to newer hights. We've all lost our imagination for creating better beats, styles and funks, and that's put us in a pause which is seeming to last a long time.

  2. I agree that the Beatles were a bad thing. I've blogged about it here: http://kinacerecords.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/the-beatles-were-a-bad-thing/