Monday, December 6, 2010

Understanding the Beatles

The thing to understand about the Beatles is that they were, indeed, mostly hype. The ultimate successful p.r. campaign. The critic who early on called them “70% hype, 25% hair, and 5% lilting lament” was more on than I’m sure even he would later admit. The Beatles were a good rock band, with personality and a unique look. They also had a great ability to churn out a mass number of new pop songs, which fed the hype. Time/space.

It’s to the Beatles credit that they struggled heroically to live up to the publicity, continually reinventing themselves in the process. Thanks to help from George Martin, they seemed to succeed at this. Their art appeared to be revolutionary. In some studio technical aspects it partly was.

When they did stadium shows, the Beatles noticed that the crowds weren’t there for the music. They were there for the event; for the show. The show! The would-be promoter can’t lose sight of this, or fully believe, about the art he creates, his own hype.

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