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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, December 08, 2005


What does it mean, do you suppose, that the two that survive were the jolly ones? David Yaffe asks, is there anything left to say about the Beatles? My answer would be that quite a bit more than was necessary has been said about the phenomenon, and about the individuals, but, remarkably, the music has not only endured, but has gone on to mean something important to two subsequent generations. John would have been 65 this year, the 25th anniversary of his death. He'd have been closer in age to my mother than to me. And yet, when trapped in the car with me and my iPod, it is Beatles songs that my children turn to, and, interestingly, it is the material from "Help" backwards that they favor-- they are not impressed by psychedelia or the pseudo-intellectualism of "Sgt. Pepper". They like the early stuff, and I am struck each time I hear those songs by how much The Beatles were John's band back then. It's been 25 years since I pulled into the driveway on Springville where A. was living. We'd spent the weekend in Boston, as I recall it, and we heard the news on the radio just as I was pulling in. I can't recall if that was the same night that her "Subpoena Powers" paper blew out of her hands, and we stayed up all night re-typing it, but I think it was. Frankly I think "Imagine" is a truckload of tripe, as unsatisfactory a way to remember the man as "My Way" is as a monument to Sinatra, but neither Sarah Vowell nor I can control the way the media wants us to remember things-- I'd go with "I Feel Fine", or "I Should Have Known Better", but what do I know? A quick Google yield a list of one guy's top 40 Lennon songs, which is a nice way to remember.  Posted by Picasa

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