February 13, 2010

A Guy's Perspective on The Beatles and Their Appeal

Last night I posted a tweet about something that has bugged me for a while, but I have mostly tried to ignore it. The tweet was "It's kind of sad (and/or annoying) that a lot of women/girls seem to like The Beatles for a much different reason than us guys like them for." Then I got off of Twitter for the night, and away from the computer. Today I was surprised by the number of replies. So, I guess I should elaborate on what I meant. Remember, I'm just giving my male perspective on the way I see things. Hopefully there are some other guys who feel the same way.

When I first discovered how great the Beatles were it was because of the music. It surpassed anything before or after, even to this day. It wouldn't have mattered much to me if they all looked like Woody Allen (just for an example) or whatever, I would have still been a big fan. I became a guitarist and songwriter because of the Beatles! Before I even had a guitar, or knew a single note, I bought a huge Beatles songbook that had nearly every song in their catalog. The price of this book wasn't cheap, but I really wanted it. The songbook was all about the MUSIC - no pictures or any thing else. As I learned more about them I found that they had wit and personalities, as well as talent, so that was a bonus.

So, we fast forward many years and there's this thing called the internet. A place where you can find other fans of whatever it is you like. Like most fans, I would search for information and articles about the Beatles, and visit forums, etc. I have never been much of a forum dweller, but I signed up for a few and tried to participate a little bit. After a while it seemed like there were way too many "gushy" posts about how "cute" this Beatle was and how "gorgeous" that one was, and all this creepy stuff. Obviously, these posts were coming from girls/women, and as a guy, I didn't relate to it. Sure, there were posts about the music and other important and interesting stuff, but it wasn't really worth weeding through. Soon, I left those places and never returned.

Now we have Twitter. One good thing about it is you can control what you're exposed to a bit more because of choosing to follow or not follow certain people. But even with that, I still have to weed through the occasional gushy, slobbering stuff. And the same thing with Tumblr and the like. Actually Tumblr is worse because most people, like myself, post photos there. I found it a good place to find and share pictures that are rare and most people haven't seen before. I know, it's your Twitter or Tumblr and you can post what you want, but some of the comments are enough to make a male Beatles fan sick.

Of course, I am not saying all females are over the top with gushiness, I just said "a lot". At least it seems like a lot after a while. If I wanted, I could find some female musicians, actresses or models to get all gushy and slobbery about, but I know most people wouldn't want to hear about it. And I'd probably feel creepy doing it.

So, what am saying with this long rambling post? I'm just trying to say the Beatles were much, much more than their looks, and it's sad (and annoying) when it appears that some forget that and just talk about the physical part. I think the gift itself is much more important than the gift wrapping!

For the most part, guys are fans for different reasons than girls, generally speaking. I know there are different aspects to the Beatles greatness, but if they all "looked like Woody Allen", their female fan base would plummet, while their male fan base probably remain around the same.

I don't know, maybe a lot of the girls should just turn their attention to the Jonas Brothers. They are young and still have their looks, they're all still alive, most are unmarried, and who really cares about the music anyway, huh?


jayelgee1 said...

I'd like to elaborate a bit,too. I was 12 when Beatles arrived.Hey, they don't call it sex,drugs and rock n roll for nothing, and at the start, the Beatles were a "boy band." But because of them and other musicians, I too learned guitar and got their songbooks and so on.As we girls began to date real guys, and as boys signed on to the Beatles, it became all about the music and always has. That's not to say that I still don't love Paul and of course Yoko's exhibit of John's stuff at the NYC annex of the RnR Hall of Fame brought tears to my eyes. But there are many guitar playing women like me who are serious about their music. Just think of how emotional guys get over athletes and you can understand women's feelings about whoever their RnR loves are. It's all part of the experience, and it's great.
I really enjoy your tweets and your blog.

Amy said...

Oh, I see you found a picture of me ;) Shh.

The cuteness is more fun to talk about. I know about cuteness. The more intellectual stuff, I love it, but I don't know as much as others so I keep my mouth shut on all that so I don't look stupid.

Forgive me.

Lennon Ray said...

Dear Mr BeatlesLane,

I'm not going to lie to you and say that my attraction to the Beatles is solely for their musical ability.However, My parents and grandparents pretty much spoon-fed me Beatles my entire life...and it was something I always enjoyed... WAY before I even had the ability to comprehend that they were good looking as well. So my initial attraction to them WAS through their music.

I admit that has sort of changed ever since I rediscovered them on my own a while ago- the day I stopped regarding them solely as "my parent's music" and eventually it grew into something I genuinely connected to as an aspiring musician to this day. Not that I totally disregard their brilliant music,but I'm just more aware of the fact that they were all extremely handsome and witty and hey, why not celebrate that? But only as long as we give an equal if not more amount of praise for their musical abilities that never have and NEVER will be topped.

However, I get what you're saying.Those girls are the reason why the critics just LOVE to compare The Beatles to the Jonas Brothers.And as a Beatles fan,nothing is more annoying than that.To compare the most influential rock band of all time to ANYONE is already in itself quite a claim.But to THEM?!? of all people?!? I understand their reasoning for the comparison is, that like the Beatles, the Jonas Brothers also are attractive young boys who have screaming young girls in their audience.But you know what's funny?throughout every comparison,they all seem to leave out the most important part: True Artistry.Sure, the screaming girls gave the Beatles their start,but when that ends (and it DOES end... just ask any of the boy bands from the 90's) it was true artistry and dedication to the music that allowed The Beatles to sustain their success and to create their legacy as the greatest rock band that ever was and ever will be.Not one "boy band" in recent years has been able to do that yet.Eventually they all become nothing but a passing fad.

So, I've learned to deal with the fact that there will always be a "Jonas Brothers" out there that will come along and get compared to The Beatles.But while the rest have all faded, there are STILL young girls out there who are "gushing" over the looks of guys who are now either dead or old enough to be our grandfathers. Instead of looking down on that how about celebrating that? Do you think 50 years from now there will be girls "gushing" over the Jonas Brothers? Didn't think so...


One of the young girls who should just turn their attention to the Jonas Brothers (but doesn't!!)

Jude Fox said...

I'm a female, and I also appreciate The Beatles for their music. I discovered them, like you, via sheet music that my dad had around the house. It's how I learned to read music and play piano and guitar, and also how I learned what worked best in composing a pop song. I was about eight years old. It wasn't until years later that I even saw a photo of them.


Greetings! I had no intentions on actually following any particular blog at this time because I myself am new at it. I decided to thumb through some of the blogs checking out blog titles compared to blog address, to see if they were typically one and the same. Then I ran across you.....! Me and the wife are going to surprise my daughter of age 12 by taking her to see "RAIN : THE BEATLES TRIBUTE" here in South Bend. She said she doesn't like old people music, lol! Kids! But she's going anyway, she just doesn't know it yet. The wife has come up with the perfect idea. We're going to tell her that we're going out for dinner for her birthday, since Im leaving state for a job and will not be home in June for her real birthday. By the time she realizes whats happening, LOL !
Yes, enjoyed the thought, but some of the comments did ramble on about guitar stuff. I took lessons for 1.5 yrs and the only thing I learned was "On Top of Old Smokey".
Sorry I got long winded, guess its the preach in me!

James Peet said...

Hi, I just stumbled upon your tweet. I'm not really a big tweeter or twit but found your blog very interesting. As a male, the music comes first but there is an appreciation of their look, and a feel for the "aesthetic" element to their whole presentation. If you think about how cool they looked in January 1964 when they were in Paris, and later on in Washington a few weeks later. Then the cool "Revolver" period and later in 1968. They were visually striking and that, coupled with magical, compelling and intelligent music was a force that was nigh on impossible to resist!

I'm more of the anal, "spend all afternoon listening to Strawberry Fields Forever in mono and then stereo looking for differences" type of fan, just to clarify. I like the looks, too, though!

Anonymous said...

The beatles, apart, were not the sum of their parts. They were musical geniuses, as a group, on many levels.

Malcolm P. MacPherson

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Diana said...

So what if the guys look good and nice and handsome.
It wouldn't harm anyone as long as their music is great.
Why did we listen to their vinyls -to look at the album cover,you think?