Your Band Sucks And Why The Beatles Are To Blame!


Your band sucks.

We've all seen the t-shirts or the bumper stickers.  But not one single person actually in a band has ever seen the words scrawled in rehearsal space restroom and gone, "You know, you're right!"

If they had, maybe we wouldn't still be worshiping The Beatles some 50 years after the fact and the world would be full of great, iconic music that owes zero debt to a bunch of old-time rock & roll stars.

Instead, everybody just chuckles and wonders what band could suck so hard as to lead someone to etch those three famous words onto a toilet seat upon which a thousand sweaty asses have parked.

Sadly, the only the only two cats left who can say "Not us!" are Paul and Ringo!

Everybody else, whether they be Skrillex or Ray Lamontagne, is still making music that owes at least some debt to the Fab Four.

And we wonder why music sucks these days.

Don't get me wrong, like most human beings of a certain age with functioning ears, I adored the Beatles from the first moment I knew of their existence.  Of course, they were long gone by that time, but you'd have been hard-pressed to tell the difference if you were to walk into a record store in the late '70s (when Capitol Records issued a number of crafty compilations meant to introduce the band to a new generation), or the late '80s (when the band's British configurations were released on CD stateside, replacing our U.S. versions), or earlier this year when the U.S. versions were re-issued.

Thing is, it seems every generation that the Beatles are introduced to is immediately left comatose, unable to do anything but emulate the band's obvious genius instead of coming up with something of their own.  Even as folks like Kanye West and Trent Reznor continue to push the envelope (or so music critics would have you believe), nobody has yet to completely stray from the pop template that the Beatles didn't so much invent as perfect.

That's right, they perfected it.  So why is it that we can't recognize that fact and just move on from it?  We should have created something in the last 50 years that would make the Beatles sound as quaint and "old timey" as a Victrola, but we haven't and THAT is a major problem.

I mean, our entire growth as human beings has been stunted by the fucking Beatles.  It's laughable that we live in a world where a band as dangerous and sinister as the Stones once were is now touring in celebration of their 50th anniversary.

No rock band should ever celebrate their 50th anniversary by actually PERFORMING.  Trust me now, believe me later, but nobody really wants to see or hear a 70-year-old Keith Richards play "Satisfaction".  Oh sure, we go to the shows out of some dumb sense of wanting to be near something that has such a bad-ass rock & roll swagger to it.  We get to wear the t-shirt, brag on Facebook that we "saw the Stones this weekend", but all we're really doing is participating in this dull charade meant to distract us from, you now, creating our own magic.

Try as they might, Big Star, Cheap Trick, and Badfinger were never as big as The Beatles, but their worldwide status owes a grea debt to the band because, let's face it, they weren't doing anything that different from what the Fab Four had done.  In normal instances, if your cool new band set out to create a sound that the Beatles had already made, and better, someone might ask you why, but, as you can see, nobody has asked the question.

The result, of course, is 50 years of music that remains stuck in the past.  While Lady Gaga may be the first to work with puke as a medium, it's all smoke and mirrors, mere slight of hand meant to distract you from the fact that she's doing absolutely nothing new musically.

And yet new bands are born every day, each owing a debt to the Beatles, even as they emulate their favorite Velvet Underground or Stooges records which, at the time, were meant to be a reaction to The Beatles increasingly slick pop mastery.

After all, the band that had, in one single glorious performance, alienated every grown-up on the planet with their long hair and devil music was now penning songs like "When I'm 64" and sudenly everybody's mom and dad liked them.  Well, why wouldn't they?  McCartney had written the song at the age of 16 while still in his skiffle band phase. Once rock & roll came along, he rightfully left such music in the dust and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Beatles were great.  I can't imagine my childhood without them, but here's the thing - they weren't actually a part of my youth.  They were gone by then.  It was only because there was nothing else as good that generation after generation has been fed such a steady diet of Beatles songs.  Don't get me wrong, they're great songs, but, for our own good, it's time to move on.

It's time to stop emulating what has already been done better and start creating things that haven't been done by anyone before.  I know that's a tall task, as there are still only 12 notes to play with and only so many ways to arrange them, but that shouldn't stop someone somewhere from creating something that changes the world that owes absolutely no debt to The Beatles.

Is such a thing even possible?  I don't know, but the next time you or some other musicians sets out to write a new song, it'd be nice if even just one of you asked "Has this been done before?" and if the answer is yes (be honest), then don't fucking do it because we absolutely do not fucking need it.  You want to be John Lennon or Paul McCartney, then come up with your own song and make the world imitate you for 50 years like a bunch of idiots.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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