The Beatles: A Young Person’s Introduction
The Beatles. That name alone means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some people remember the sweet catchy love songs of their youth, some remember the screaming girls, and some even remember tripping out to the wild sounds of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Without a doubt, The Beatles are one of the most, if not the most, influential groups of people in not just music but possibly human culture as a whole.
But these four men are most significantly tied to the 1960’s, and while their influence is almost immeasurable, only a few people grew up with their short 7-year career. While I’d consider myself a massive Beatles fan, I did not grow up with their music in the mainstream. I got it from my parents, and if you weren’t shown their music growing up you might not have had the same sort of connection that I did.
So as a 20 year-old, what do The Beatles mean to me? Well, I have always been a music aficionado; listening to indie and lesser known music from browsing sites like rateyourmusic. As much as I love some of the incredibly niche and unique music I have found, The Beatles have never lost their magic. I’ve always admired their knack for catchy songwriting without sacrificing good lyrics and creative instrumentation.
They have always had pretty much a spotless discography for me. While corny, their early era has so much charm and energy to it like John Lennon’s fun, heartfelt scream sings on their classic cover of ‘Twist and Shout’. And don’t even get me started on their later psychedelic era of sound because Magical Mystery Tour is one of my favorite albums of all time due to its unique use of state of the art (for the time) equipment and experimental production techniques.
The Beatles Message: Love
The Beatles aren’t all just music to me. I think they have a message that really resonates with me. What is that message exactly? Love! If there was one word to describe them, it would be love. The Beatles wrote love into a spectrum in a way that I think this very powerful and important word should be described.
Whether it’s the raw sexual energy on a track like `I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’, or the all encompassing universal love connecting everyone on a song like ‘All You Need is Love’, they have peeled back this word and explored all of it’s crevasses. I think this incredible love for people is what has kept me going in these difficult times and The Beatles have only reinforced it.
The Beatles: A Survey
While I love sharing my personal feelings on one of my favorite bands, I don’t think I’m the only one who has been touched by this band. There is a whole group of people around my age that have similar but wholly unique feelings about what The Beatles mean to them. That is why I sent a survey to a group of people my age so that I can find out how a band from the 60’s affected these people.
The first question I asked these young fans was how The Beatles music affected them. Whether it was emotionally or artistically; I wanted to find out. A responder described the therapeutic aspects of their music. “I listen to the Beatles whenever I’m either having an anxiety attack, as a way to calm me down, or just good, chill vibes to have in the background while working or being with friends. I am personally a fan of their more psychedelic dreamscapes painted with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
I feel this response really resonates with the message The Beatles were trying to send in their music. It’s very interesting to see this message of finding balance and peace through art still lives on today in young people.
The other question I asked in this survey is “What do the Beatles mean to you?” This responder shot for a more historical approach commenting on their legacy. “The Beatles to me are a paragon of creativity and pushed the boundaries of contemporary music, which inspired me and many others to attempt the same thing.” This really speaks to the history of music, to not only say that their influence was felt on bands previous, but are still having an effect on the music and artists of the modern day.
Through these responses I was able to gather an interesting perspective from young fans. They really do seem to feel the overwhelming cultural presence they have had, and not only recognized said cultural influence, but these people have also taken this to heart and had it affect their daily lives. While the responses from my friends who are Beatles fans are important, I think seeing what complete strangers think is also important. That’s why I took to the streets to ask young people on Dickson Street near the University of Arkansas to find out what people think. Watch my video here.