The Beatles. We love them. We idolize them. We've heard of them.
Is it embarrassing not to know that much about The Beatles? I generally think if you make people feel bad for lacking knowledge about an area of pop culture, you're insecure about something in your own life. On the other hand, they're the most famous.
The following is a timeline of what I do know. Should I be ashamed? Or should you google "The Beatles" if you're so concerned and then go to therapy to reflect on what your anger is really about?
195?-Present - The Beatles have a pun name, yet are regarded as extremely hip and cool. This positions them in a paradoxical place in music history.
Early 1960s - The Beatles practice music for 10,000 hours, which is what they are known for. This is how they became alleged geniuses, and why Malcolm Gladwell is obsessed with them.
Around 1962 - The Beatles replace their drummer with a different drummer, and fragile men everywhere wonder for the rest of their lives if they are the Pete Best in any given personal or professional situation.
August 15, 1965 - Fifty years ago this Saturday was the Beatles' concert at Shea Stadium. I read that on a calendar, and I found out on Wikipedia that the concert was "the first major stadium concert." Good job, Beatles! You got this!
All 1960s - In the sixties, there was a Beatle Mania, in which ladies were freaking. They were screaming. They were fainting. They don't call it a mania for nothing.
1960s continued - During the mania, many women were crushing hard on the Beatles, and most had a particular preference out of the four. My impression is that Paul McCartney and John Lennon were the most popular, with Paul being the mainstream hot choice and John being the artsy hot choice. I think George Harrison was considered more alt, and I think Ringo Starr was underrated.
1962-Present - Ringo is awesome. He's the weird one who some people don't get, but is actually unique and cool. He's the Miranda on Sex and the City or the Shoshanna on Girls. And the fact that people debate whether or not he's even good at drumming just makes him more of a complex, non-boring character.
1965 - The hits started coming and they didn't stop. People walked down the street singing, "Paperback writer...paperback writer..." Everyone immediately started playing "Twist and Shout" at weddings and said, "We're going to play this song at weddings forever." When teens were in an angsty mood, they threw "In My Life" onto a record player and thought about their emotions.
1969 - The Beatles have an album where they're crossing the
street road on the cover. People are loving it. (It's called Abbey Road, right? It is. Right? Forget what I said above, I feel humiliated. And I googled what year it came out.)
1950-1970 - Liverpool. Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool... What is there to say about Liverpool? Something was happening there with music, in addition to it being in England.
1969 - The hits continued! Remember "Help!"? Remember "Strawberry Fields"? Remember the happy George Harrison one, "Here Comes The Sun"? Remember "Hey Jude"? When it comes down to it, what the Beatles really did well was have so many hits.
1970s - The Beatles somehow stopped being a band. A little murky on what exactly went down.
1980s - Sadness warning. Seriously. Please discontinue reading if you don't want to think about something depressing. Okay, I warned you. John Lennon died. In a horrible murder.
Present Day - All these years later (like 50? maybe more?), Paul still sings. He appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman when I interned there, and said while walking by me and a group of staffers, "Hey guys. And gals." Most recently he released a song with Rihanna and Kanye that you've probably heard. It goes something like "four five seconds to Monday, and it's six more hours to Tuesday, and I went back home on Monday, Monday and Tuesday, Monday and Tuesday."
Now and forever - People need to stop blaming all their problems on Yoko Ono.