Did People Hate the Beatles?

something that just occured to me. no one really likes popular music. or so it seems.

do you like the backstreet boys? britney spears? ricky martain? I am sure you can find ALOT of people who hate these “artists”… I guess me included.

still britney spears is (the?) most popular artist right now, selling the best or nearly so. she is wildly popular, selling millions, but everyone hates her.

is this new? I hate to imagin that my generation made up something like this aditude, I try not to credit my generation with makeing up much of anything.

were the beatles generally hated like this? if I was walking around in the 60s… would most everyone I meet hate them with a burning passion, like people do with the back street boys?

when exactly did it become the ‘in’ thing to hate things because other people liked them?

in conclution… the back street boys really are no good… and the beatles really were good…

Depends on your generation. Many older people “hated” Elvis. People of the targeted generation did not. Same thing applies today. The targeted audience (7-14 yr olds), love Brittany, while the parents do not. Although the Beatles were targeted towards my generation, I personally did not like them. I was into Led Zepplin. Another example: When I was 17, I loved Bob Segar. My mother, however, referred to him as “that guy who screams”. It’s all realtive.

IIRC, the Beatles were not hated the way Brittany Spears is today. Sure, the older folks weren’t into them but they were considered “gentlemen” of the genre so parents weren’t too resistant. Also, they were liked and respected by older (college age and above) kids as well as by teeny boppers. The performers you mention seem to be strictly teeny bopper fare.

I believe the main agruement against the beatles is when they claimed they were bigger than Jesus.

A number of people disliked the long hair, the hysteria, and some of the other periphery of the Beatles. And of course, not everyone liked their music.

I think it’s safe to say, though, that Beatles music will be played and enjoyed by significant numbers of folks long after the enetertainers mentioned in the OP have faded into (well-deserved, IMO) obscurity. In our culture of ubiquitous communication, the “flash in the pan” performers can still make a big bright flash, even if they don’t last too long (remember the Spice Girls?).

Spears may be selling lots right now, but compare that with what the Beatles did, and how long they did it. For example, an album selling a million in the release week, with half a million advance orders–that’s sight unseen, sound unheard, advance orders. At the time (‘65), a remarkable feat. Perhaps still unmatched? Taken in the perspective of their day (numbers adjusted for inflation, population growth, etc.), the Beatles’ popularity probably overshadows that of today’s artists by a long shot.

I think it was a lot harder for the “no good” acts of the 60’s to get the publicity so prevalent today. And I would say that it’s the publicity that’s responsible for much of their apparent success of modern acts, as well as for making them known to large numbers of folks who (have the good sense to) hate them

Lyllyan is right on. Britney, BSB, etc., are not targeted toward even anyone as old as college age. Thus, in my circle of friends in our late 20’s, we hate them, even though we may like other new bands.

Young teenage and pre-teen girls seems to be the focus for the above mentioned “bands”.

Most questions about music and other art forms do best in our Cafe Society forum. I’ll move this thread over there.

James Bond hated the Beatles - He said so in one of the early movies (forget which).

I never “hated” the Beatles, but I was indifferent to them at the time they were most popular. It is only later that I realized how really good they were, and not only in comparison to groups I really hated, like The Rolling Stones. At least three of the Beatles were really talented composers. I listen to their music now with not only a sense of nostalgia, but a sense of loss. I’m glad Paul is still composing.

Reaching back into my memory, the older folks hated the Beatles because they were unkempt – all that long hair (look at the photos, though – their hair was neat. And the wore suits!!). Their music was filled with what they saw as screaming and nonsense (“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”). More sophisticated types saw weird changes in tempo and key, and either loved it or hated it. But the biggest problem was that they were – different. See Allan Sherman’s song “Pop Hates the Beatles”.

That was Goldfinger. The line was something like “One does not drink Lafitte Rothschild at a temperature of less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.” (said just before Oddjob karate-chops Bond unconscious and covers the girl with gold paint).
Which makes it really bizarre when Paul McCartney did the theme for the Bond film Live and Let Die only seven years later. (Although he did throw in the worst Bond lyric ever with “In this ever-changin’ world in which we’re livin’”.)

There were critics who panned the Beatles for a while at least. I’m sure by the time of Sgt. Pepper they had ingested enough drugs to believe they were the vanguards of the New Age of Aquarias, but still.

They were considered over-hyped and mass marketed, and at the time, their hair cuts were considered awful. Most places in the US were pretty clean cut – look at the high school year books – the 70’s were the ‘long hair’ times in the main stream where things got really grubby. In the 60’s, black leather still meant nazis, so they cleaned up their act a bit with those silly looking suits.

One thing I have noticed is how the recording quality actually seems to go down over the years, “Meet the Beatles” isn’t too bad, but “Let it Be” sounds terrible.

People didn’t hate the Beatles the same way they hate Brittany Spears. She is a basically talentless tart, where the Beatles were doing something totally new, and they did it well. They were skilled lyricists, musicians, and they were cutting edge. Brittany is just a bit of fluff that won’t be remembered beyond her navel.

My parents were in their mid-40s when the Beatles came to the U.S., and they loved 'em. My mother still listens to them on the oldies station. Then again, my parents were pretty open when it came to music: we had everything from Irish folk songs to classical to swing playing on our hi-fi.

I think part of the difference that exists between the two (Beatles and Brittany or Beatles and N’SYNC) is that at the time the Beatles were “rock and rollers” and not “pop” stars at all as are the groups and individuals mentioned here.

They engendered fear more than hate from some different groups and individuals. I remember one church group in my hometown that wanted to blackout Ed Sullivan the evening that they were to perform. I also remember the local principal at the high school announcing that anyone coming to school with hair like the Beatles would be sent to the barber.

Brittany, et al. are not new. They merely put their own package around what everyone else is doing, much like what was being done prior to the Beatles (remember American Graffati was set just one year before the Beatles hit the U.S.). Before the Beatles hit the U.S., there was nothing like them. Compared to everyone else on the music scene at the time, their music was undiscplined, their hair was undiscplined, their humor was undiscplined.

Were they hated? I imagine, but I believe it was a hate that grew out of fear of a new form of rock and roll. Not like the bland dislike of the current crop. Hating Brittany is like hating Lesley Gore because you thought her songs were predictable and uninspired.

The Beatles’ music, in the early years, was still relatively simple and unsophisticated. Some of the more sophisticated musical ears didn’t see much value in it, but it would be a bit much to say they were hated. A few years later, when John Lennon said the group was more popular than Jesus, and then when they went to India to study with the Marharishi Mahesh Yogi, they became a good deal more controversial. But by then their music was far more sophisticated, so the group that disliked them originally had grown to respect them (although perhaps grudgingly).

Other than Elvis, I can’t think of a figure from the rock and roll era who was really HATED.

Interestingly enough, though, even some of the earliest songs (for instance, I Want To Hold Your Hand had a harmonic structure far surpassing anything else that was going on in pop music at the time.

I’ll go even further: Not long ago I was listening to the Decca audition portion of Anthology I, and it’s astounding to me how good they were even in January of 1962. The vocals, Harrison’s sparse but powerful guitar break on Three Cool Cats, are all great. Hell, even Pete Best’s drumming sounds good. I can only assume the reason that Decca turned them down was because they were too different.

I wasn’t around in 1964 so my understanding is entirely second-hand but it seems as though dislike in America of the Beatles fell into four camps:

  1. Reglious fundies - But they pretty much think any music that’s not in a hymn book is satanic;

  2. Older people - However, on the whole, they didn’t really despise them like Elvis and the other early rockers. Instead, they were more dismissive since enough acts had come and gone in the previous ten years (e.g., Rickey Nelson, Fabian, etc.) so as to make them think of the Beatles as the latest incarnation of the pop music species known as the “Cute-boy-singer-loved-by-teenage-girls” (except there were four of them, their hair was “long,” and they were British);

  3. Young musical snobs - Into “real” and “authentic” music like Dylan not the Beatles’ “kiddie pop fluff”; and

  4. Teenage boys - Because the Beatles fell in the aforementioned “Cute-boy-singer(s)-loved-by-teenage-girls” category, their music, like “Teen Beat” magazine, slumber parties, and the color pink, was seen as strictly off-limits for any young male trying to assert his masculinity. They instead preferred “ballsier” and blues-based British Invasion bands like the Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds.

Is this picture pretty accurate? Can someone who was a teenager around 1964 clue me in? (BTW, I can’t stand Britney, BSB, N’SYNC, et al., and am surprised it’s hung on as long as it has.)

My grandfather still hates the Beatles. Seriously, one time we were sitting around talking about something when he chimed in with “You know what ruined this country? The Beatles”. His feeling is that all of the drug problems would have never happened if it wasn’t for the Beatles. I started to mention Gene Krupa and the other Jazz artists who were using drugs long before the Beatles but stopped myself. I was never going to convince him otherwise. He was about 80 years old when he said this (approx 2 years ago). I would imagine that his feelings weren’t unique among his age group.

Many hated the Beatles when they first came out, but after time, some songs like “Yesterday” and “Michelle” won over some grandparents and naysayers who grudgingly said, “well…that song is ok but…”
However, having already committed to hating them, it was hard for a lot of people to admit they might have been too fast to judge…I was a huge fan and they had a couple of songs I didn’t particularly like all that much.
I think the Beatles, like any fad or popular notion, will have people who hate them for no other reason other than simply other people like them. I would guess if a supreme diety ever came down from the heavens and presented the world with eternal peace, health and happiness, some old goat in the background would say, “so where was He last week when I sprained my back and lost $30 at the track…”

I beg to differ. That turn of phrase is clearly more tolerable than the line from “The Man with the Golden Gun”:

Love is required whenever he’s hired
He comes just before the kill…"

Egad. And Lulu on top of it. I also find “So he strikes – like THUNDERBALL!” to be pretty grating.