By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
To be fair, a little background. I have always had a built-in hype chip. This chip makes me impervious to most things that ever reach frenzied and ballyhooed 'it' status – at least for a little while. For instance: Still haven't heard Arctic Monkeys, have never watched the British version of The Office, have never read anything by Dave Eggers, and wouldn't dare put on a pair of Diesel or Seven jeans. The chip has its downfalls. I know this. It's bitten me in the ass a couple of times. I never got around to listening to Radiohead until well after Kid A was a smash, for example. I readily admit the chip probably keeps me from beautiful things.
That said, has there ever been a band with more smoke blown up its ass than the Beatles? You understand my dilemma. The chip wouldn't even let me spin a Beatles record in my youth, and now that I'm old and 30, the chip still gives me a painful jolt anytime I think of listening to the copies of Revolverand Abbey Road I finally got around to downloading off someone else's hard drive. When I do decide to ignore the chip, press on and listen anyway, I still come out the other side scratching my head a bit. What, pray tell, is all the hubbub about? 'Mr. Mean Mustard'? 'Rocky Raccoon'? Some of it even seems like an elaborate hoax.
Also, no matter how hard the chip may have tried, I've heard all these songs before. You know where? Commercials. Baseball games. Elevators. Hotel lobbies. Restaurants. Doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms. Banks. In short, the Beatles aren't the Beatles anymore. They've been co-opted.
I know what you're thinking, and yes, I have listened to the albums after smoking the right kind of weed, and no, that didn't work either. Even the sweetest hydro grown in the closet of a Colombian smack smuggler couldn't get me past the fact that I associate 'Tax Man' not with great guitar tone, clever lyrics and a head- bobbin' back beat but with H&R Block commercials (even though it may have never been used in one). 'Yellow Submarine' isn't an aloof ode to cutesy in my book; it's something I've seen a shitty cover band attempt. And attempt. And attempt.
There are some who feel that if you don't like the Beatles then you don't like music. Most reasonable people would agree that this is bullshit. Some chefs feel the same way about truffles, but if I had to guess, I'd say some pretty knowledgeable eaters still think they smell like a spent baby diaper. Who knows? Maybe one day, when I'm older and thirty-er, I'll come around. There's no denying 'Yer Blues' rips the roof off, or that, before the acid set in anyway, there's never been a slicker-lookin' outfit. The chip might soon be out of voltage. When it is, I'll finally be able to 'get' the Beatles. Oh, and to finally watch this SNL 'Chronicles of Narnia' rap everyone keeps telling me about. –- Brian McManus