Nathan Macintosh

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The Beatles. Untold stories?


I read an article about a Beatles movie that came out recently. It is about the band's fan club secretary, and is sold as an untold story. Are there really any more stories of The Beatles to be told? Have we not heard all of the stories that we need to hear? Are there not countless books, articles and interviews done about these men? What is left?
"January 12th, 1962, The Beatles walked into my diner. Okay, this story gets crazy from here. Paul asked for a cup of coffee. I had JUST given away the last cup of coffee, so I asked him if it was okay if he had to wait five minutes. He thought about it then said, 'YES!' Oh, man. Wasn't that story great?"

I am not a fan of the Beatles. Never really have been. I like some of their work individually, but together? Don't care for it. This makes some people livid. They'd rather here you're a fan of criminals.
"You don't like The Beatles? Are you insane?"
"What are you so mad about? It's not like I said I'm a fan of Jerry Sandusky."
"THAT I could understand more. Some kids are cute. But, my god. Not liking The Beatles? Just disgusting."
I used to get into arguments with people about how I believe Michael Jackson to be better than The Beatles. This argument doesn't even make sense. They are two completely different things, but the reason it would happen is because people wanted to know who I thought was good if I wasn't a fan of The Beatles. But, in this particular case, I can say that Michael Jackson was better than The Beatles for one major reason. He was better because he owned everything that The Beatles sang. He owned the catalog! Paul McCartney couldn't hum the song Yesterday without asking Michael if he could do so. Michael owned the entire catalog!
"Michael, look. I have a concert tonight and I need... God, I hate this... I want to sing a song that I wrote in the sixties."
"Well, Paul. Let me se..."
"It's my song, for God's sake! I wrote it!"
"Sorry, I couldn't hear because the receipt for the catalog I bought got jammed in one of my many zippers. What was that?"
If I own everything you have, I'm better than you. That's just how the world works. If I own all of your clothes and you have to come to me to ask to wear one of your shirts, who's on top in that situation?

One frustrating thing about The Beatles is that a lot of people who are not old enough to have been around when they were have crazy thoughts about what they have done. These mythic tales about what wasn't around before The Beatles. I told a girl once that I didn't like The Beatles. Her response?
"You don't like The Beatles? What are you, stupid? The Beatles invented rock and roll. Without them, there would be no other bands at all."
No other bands at all? There wouldn't have been any? What else does she think The Beatles invented?
"Paul McCartney built the first guitar out of toothpicks. Bet ya didn't know that! Did you know that people had never actually held hands before The Beatles sang I Want To Hold Your Hand? Nobody had thought about it before. Then they did it and said, 'Oh. This is really nice. Thanks, Beatles!"
Why is this the only band that people have these ridiculous thoughts about? Did they help rock and roll? Yes. Influenced countless bands? Yes. But invented? Invented! Jesus. We don't say that James Brown invented dancing, yet he influenced just about everyone famous you know who dances. There wouldn't have been a Michael Jackson without him. Without Michael? No Usher, Ginuwine, Justin Timberlake. Why don't we say James Brown invented dancing? Why isn't that what's said?
"Man, I've had a crush on Sarah since grade eight. I'm gonna ask her to slow 'James Brown' at the James Brown."
"Oh, man. At the high school 'James Brown'? You're gonna ask her to slow 'James Brown'?"
"Yeah, man. Maybe it'll be to a 'dance' song."
"Is that a 'James Brown' song?"
"...I'm confused as hell."

My ex-girlfriend was a fan of The Beatles. Once we were on the streetcar, and for some reason we were arguing about them. 'Some reason' is a ridiculous statement. The reason was me, for sure. Anyway, we were talking about it and she had one of these thoughts about them.
"Look, Nathan, before The Beatles, no one even danced."
Now, before I could say anything, a guy on the streetcar jumped in.
"Look, I don't care about your guy's argument, and it's none of my business, but people danced before The Beatles."
Of course people danced before The Beatles! In the forties when people heard music, you think they just stood there?
"You know, I'm feeling something listening to this twelve piece band, but I don't know how to express it."
"I know exactly what you mean. My suspenders just blew off from the beautiful sounds that are coming my way, and my snidely whiplash mustache flew off and is now doing some kind of contortion on the floor."
"I saw that! What would you call that?"
"I really don't know. I only hope that one day someone comes along who makes it possible for myself and my kids to move that way."
"Here, here. To a better, more physical future."

I feel that people just go along with the idea that The Beatles are the best. There are a lot of people in their twenties who love The Beatles without even asking questions about them. People were told they were the best and just went along with it. 'Oh, everyone else likes them? Okay. I'll get a t-shirt.' Barely happens with anything else.
"What's the best phone in the store?"
"I'd say the iPhone 5."
"Really? Are you sure? What about that VCR-sized Samsung Galaxy? That's not the best? I'm gonna go ask around and read some message boards. Wouldn't want to make any rash decisions."
Saying The Beatles is the best band is like saying Hulk Hogan is the best wrestler or that Lil Wayne is the best rapper. That Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is the best movie. The most popular things are not always the best.

Also, why does everyone in their twenties who likes The Beatles have to dress exactly the same? Is it a special club that only people who like Abbey Road can enter?
"I think I'm going to buy this plaid shirt."
"HEAR THIS, MORTAL. THY WHO DARES BUY PLAID MUST KNOW AT LEAST TWO SONGS FROM SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND."
"What... where is that booming voice coming from? I don't listen to The Beatles, I just want some plaid."
"NOT GOOD ENOUGH! RECITE COME TOGETHER NOW OR BE STRUCK DOWN WITH CORDUROY!"

For some reason as well, The Beatles will come on in bar, and people act as if it's newer than songs that came out last year.
"Oh, man! Yellow Submarine! Wooo! Haven't heard this in awhile."
"Yeah, I liked the last song, too."
"That Jay-Z song? Ugh, so old. God, what was that, from 2004?"
"...You know this Beatles song is from the sixties, right?"
"No! It's on right now! It's now!"

This turned into rambling, but back to my first point. There are no more untold stories of The Beatles. The only ones left are the stories from the afterlife. That's it. And even is we could talk John Lennon in the afterlife, people are so hard for Beatles stories that that would be what all of the questions were about.
"Ladies and gentleman, this is unbelievable. On todays' program, we have John Lennon from beyond the grave! John! Thank you so much for joining us. First question, what was it like being in The Beatles?"
"What? Umm, it was fun, I suppose. I hav..."
"Oh, that's amazing! Tell us, what's Paul like? Does he push people hard? Is he REALLY that talented?"
"... Are you really going to ask me questions about The Beatles? I've been dead for thirty three years! Do you know how hard it was to make this interview happen? Do you have any idea what I went through to get here? There's a chain of command on this side! You think you can just fly over to the cloud that has the satellite feed? Don't you care what's it like on this side? Don't you have any questions about that?"
"... I kinda feel that the afterlife would feel that way that it does to listen to Help! on a road trip. Is that what it feels like?"
"That's it. I'm outta here. I hope all of my messages of peace and love never got through to anyone and that you get hit by a bus."

Twitter @nathanmacintosh
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