Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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31 Responses

  1. Avatar Ryan says:

    If you like “Wonderwall” but not “Yesterday”, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My first thought, when seeing it was on ESPN, was to wonder if it would be an essay on such songs as Rock and Roll Part 2, Who let the dogs out?, or We will rock you… and finish with the question “When was the last time 10,000 people sang a Beatles song at once?”Report

  3. Avatar Sonny Bunch says:

    Like I wrote, that piece has its problems. But I have such a deep-seated antipathy toward the Beatles (probably because I have a deep-seated antipathy toward the Boomers and their constant push to have everything they loved deified) that I take immense pleasure in even middling takedowns like Shirley’s. We need fewer “The Beatles were great and here’s why” pieces; we need more “The Beatles were great in their day but let’s please for the love of god move on” pieces. I also sympathize with this graf:

    It happens. I’ve been told by many, many people my age that The Beatles — The Beatles! — are their favorite band. Every time, I say, “OK, that’s cute, but you don’t have to impress me. Tell me what your real favorite band is.” Inevitably, they stick to their guns.

    People my age who say the Beatles are their favorite band kind of freak me out. Not sure why. They just do.Report

    • Avatar William Brafford says:

      And all this after Paul McCartney makes every effort to become relevant to kids these days…

      (2:40 in the video)Report

    • Avatar Freddie says:

      Except that I’ve spent an awful lot of time listening to the history of popular music since the Beatles, and in fact came to the Beatles after I had consumed a lot of what had come before– and the Beatles made the best popular music that has ever been made. Not good for its day; good compared to anything you want to stack it up against. That’s subjective, of course, but then, Shirley seems to forget that when he insists that it was good for its day, he’s just saying his subjective opinion too.

      By the way, I would suggest not linking approvingly to a man who positively references Dean Koontz.Report

      • Avatar Sonny Bunch says:

        I mean, to each his own. I just have trouble deifying a band whose initial triumphs were based on boy band slush, and whose later triumphs swing wildly from brilliant to unlistenable.Report

      • Avatar Sonny Bunch says:

        Oh, also, they have the lamest drummer in the history of the instrument. Ringo Starr is right up there with the chick from the White Stripes in terms of “Worst drummer of all time in a major, well-respected act.” I give this consideration extra weight since the drums are the only instrument I’ve ever even attempted playing in a more-than-cursory way.Report

  4. Avatar William Brafford says:

    The Replacements’ Let It Be is better than the Beatles’ Let It Be.Report

  5. In fact, I’d venture that one of the most common adjectives associated with Oasis is “Beatles-esque.”

    Howard Stern once asked Paul McCartney if Oasis was a Beatles rip-off band. Paul (in his typical dry humor) said, “They aren’t a knockoff, but they’re certainly derivative.”

    As an unabashed fan of pop music I always say that The Who is my favorite band of all time but The Beatles were the best. It’s just very, very, very hard to argue with their place in popular music. I think some of their material holds up and a lot of it doesn’t, but who says it has to?Report

  6. Avatar Karl says:


  7. Avatar Todd says:

    I’m typically a fan of Paul Shirley and understand his sentiment but to suggest, as he essentially does, that music produced earlier is by definition inferior to music it influenced later is absolutely crazy. A thousand 80s hair bands and Led Zeppelin should make that painfully clear. I didn’t have to be alive in Led Zeppelin’s heyday to know they’re helluvalot (infinitely) better than White Lion. And I didn’t have to be alive in 1965 to reasonable argue that The Beatles were more musically diverse, interesting and, yes, wrote better songs than the decidedly one dimensional Oasis and, to use Shirley’s adjective, “boring.” Why can’t he just say that he doesn’t like The Beatles and that he finds it annoying when his peers claim that they’re their favorite band and be done with it? Why cherry-pick a couple of totally subjective examples (Stoker-Koontz?) to try to prove his opinion is right?Report

  8. Avatar JosephFM says:

    Man, if you’re gonna rip on the Beatles, at least don’t half-ass it. Take the piss like a washed-up punk rocker. Report