Meet the Beatles

I saw a big box of Beatles in a store the other day.

I saw a big box of Beatles in a store the other day.

It was a video game that puts people on an electronic stage with the Fab Four and it is built around their legendary sound.

The downside is that the experience is actually just another over-hyped fad that puts non-musical devotees in a co-ordination test with little — check that — no connection to musical talent.

The upside is that a new generation will meet the Beatles, however inadvertently. Those of us old enough to remember these guys on Ed Sullivan met them a long time ago. The Beatles arrived amidst an enormous amount of fanfare as the lead assault team in the British Invasion which reshaped popular music in the ’60s.

The Sullivan show was a front seat to the hysteria which greeted the Beatles when they came to North America and a whole generation of very young teenaged girls broke eardrums with one long scream.

This was hardly the time to take the Beatles seriously because every generation is plagued with untalented teen idols. But the Beatles were different.

These guys were not the ’60s version of the Jonas Brothers and that became very evident by 1965 after the Beatles shed their early teenybopper material and began to flex their musical muscles.

That’s when people began to see the depth of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting machine and the music reflected their genius. George Harrison was no slouch in the creativity department either, but he lived in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney. Meanwhile, Ringo was a competent drummer in the Beatles.

The Beatles redefined popular music in the mid-’60s when they brought a sharper edge to the ’60s sound which had been seriously neutered by the Bobby Vinton and Pat Boone years in the early part of the decade.

This kind of syrupy crap on the radio was in serious need of extinction and the Beatles were just the guys to push them over the cliff.

The Beatles were young, brash, cocky and irreverent and a whole generation well beyond the boundaries of the initial teenybopper female fans embraced them. Few if any parents shared the same sentiment about them.

At first the Beatles shared the limelight with Herman’s Hermits, Dave Clarke Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers and other lightweight artillery in the British Invasion. But soon it was very evident that the Beatles were in a league of their own.

The first time that I noticed that the Beatles had moved well ahead of their British brethren was when I heard Eleanor Rigby and realized, even at 11, that these guys were unlike anything that I had heard on the radio. Here was a band that had quickly evolved well beyond their “Yeah Yeah Yeah” roots into a much more significant sound.

There was nothing typical in the lyrics to Eleanor Rigby. This was a bleak song about invisibility and profound loneliness and it got my attention even at that young age.

After that, the Beatles led popular music wherever they wanted and built a library of music that will reach centuries beyond them. So, if a kid plays an idiotic video game with Beatles music, at least he’s exposed to timeless classics.

And everybody needs to meet the Beatles at some point in their life.

Jim Sutherland may be reached at

Just Posted

Body of deceased man found in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

Police haven’t yet determined cause of death

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read