What kids think about the Beatles

This. I owe my parents and grandparents a great debt of gratitude for contributing to my musical tastes as a kid. From my father I developed an early taste for classical, esp. Mozart, although I also remember wearing out at least 2 (maybe 3) copies of Bizet’s “Carmen”. My grandfather, who was a pianist, arranger and band leader was constantly playing Scott Joplin rags, Fats Waller stride tunes, Teddy Wilson, Duke Ellington, etc. And my Mother had the foresight to make sure she had decent selection of Elvis, Beatles, and Beach Boys vinyl on hand and introduced them to me early (I also wore out the Beatles Red and Blue albums at least once).

The whole idea of of calcified generational tastes is alien to me. Granted, my parents never got the whole punk music thing but my mother, at least, could appreciate the DIY aesthetic and political activism of groups like The Dead Kennedys, even if she hated the actual music.

Nowadays, the generational divide has nothing to do with music. The fragmentation of mass media and easy downloadability of music ensures that anybody, anywhere can listen to anything anytime they want. Kids can sample from the best of the best from any era, anywhere in the world. It’s the universal jukebox and it’s a VERY GOOD THING.

But this highlights the true generational divide, today. The internet. Kids growing up today have the world at their fingertips and instant communication at all times. This is the real revolution and it’s effects are still shaking out.

Compared to this, music is child’s play.

There was a great Dennis the Menace cartoon once where the father is in the foreground putting on an LP of the Brandenburg Concertos, and behind him Dennis is scurrying out the door, saying, “I’m going over to Mr. Wilson’s and listen to some Fats Waller!”

Right scene, right song, even right year, but… wrong movie and songwriter (unless they lifted the scene). In the scene you remember, is the songwriter reading Variety and explaining the headline “STIX NIX HIX PIX”? If so, the scene you described is from James Cagney’s 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy about George M. Cohan.

For starters, Connie Francis wasn’t “your” generation. Close, maybe, but she was born 8 years prior to the beginning of the Baby Boom. (CF was born in 1938, the BB began in 1946).

Secondly, the Beach Boys, Beatles, etc tended to make their biggest songs before the age of 30. So when a kid today listens to an “old geezer” like Paul McCartney sing Yesterday, they’re listening to a twenty-four year-old. So, what’s the big deal? In the 60’s you had kids listening to music written and sung by people slightly older than they were. Nowadays, when a 17 year-old pops Revolver in the CD player, he’s listening to songs written and sung by… people slightly older than he is.


There was never a great Dennis the Menace cartoon. :wink:

This is some boomer wanking at its finest.

And nuts to that who thinks music today sucks. He’s a little kid, what does he know?

My post is my cite.

He knows what he likes…that’s all that matters.

I beg to differ. There were at least two.

The beatles weren’t ‘geezers’ when they wrote their greatest hits - so when you listen to them today, they may be old “today” - but the music is still that of young men.

The only thing that ‘generally’ dates music is style (due to instruments or recording studio stuff) or content… 60’s anti-authority music sounds dated as compared to “love, love me do”.

Good music is good music - regaurdless of when it was written, and the best music transcends genre and generations.

My kids (7 and 5) love the Beatles. We started them easy, with Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love. Then we got them the movie, Yellow Submarine, and they love it all, even the trippy songs. I have the Beatles Red and Blue albums and they play those all the time. They run around the house singing Sgt. Pepper. My son rocked out a couple of nights ago to Eight Days a Week–he’s 5 and he knew most of the words. Kids know quality. :slight_smile:

Growing up in the 70s, I listened to WCBS-FM, NY’s oldies station, with my parents. My younger sisters and I still love doo-wop. It didn’t matter to me that it was my parents’ music–it was great.

Recently, my son’s preschool had a graduation performance of Rock through the ages. The sang along with songs, beginning with Rock Around the Clock, going through songs of the 60s, and 70s (hitting the Beatles, the Supremes, the Jackson 5) to disco (the BeeGees), to a rap song about friendship, which their teacher may have written. They sang Springsteen! One of the teachers made a copy of the CD for all of them, and my son still plays it. He loves that old stuff. If it’s catchy and fun to sing, why not?

Me too! Except it was more the early 90s for me. Even though it’s not really “my” music I still feel a hint of nostalgia for songs like “Walk Like a Man” or “Sherry,” or “Barbara Ann.” And I remember one of my first tape cassettes when I was young was a Supremes greatest hits.


I think this is the biggest thing. Boomers never really let go of the idea that the music you like to listen to when your’e 16 has to be some huge defining factor of your identity and an expression of rebellion against your parents.

But it hasn’t really been that way for a while. Kids have all sorts of creative outlets now thanks to the internet; they don’t have to reject old music to form an identity.

The “Why are kids listening to old music?” topic comes up on this board every few months like clockwork, and it’s always a case of someone looking at the pop culture landscape like it’s still 1968 and a kid listening to, for example, The Beatles is making some big social statement. Kids today just don’t think like that anymore. The question only becomes irritating when it turns into a “Hurrrrr music back then was so much better that’s why” thing.

Like pulykamell says, eclecticism in one’s musical tastes is what’s valued now. Especially that, via illegal downloading, all the music in the world is at one’s fingertips.

(Onnnne oohh onnnne! The greatest hits of the 50s, 60s, and today!)

(Today tending to be a new Rolling Stones release off Steel Wheels, Travelling Wilburies or a Bruce Springsteen cut.)
WRXP’s not bad these days, but I miss the classic DJs. With the Radio Voice.

Didn’t they summarily fire people like Cousin Brucie all of a sudden one day? That was sad.

The Beatles fucking rock. Fuck the generational relativism.

It didn’t dawn on me until I was well into my 30’s that the hard rock I was listening to in the 70’s was based on blues rifts of long ago. It’s not like it was some kind of secret but I didn’t consciously seek it out. Now I listen to a lot of blues… and swing, and rock, and jazz… I love music. I love the ability to explore music on the internet with no limit. The word limitless actually applies.

With the advent of MP3 technology and a car stereo with a USB port I now have the ability to store over a thousand songs in a device the size of a nickel. I’ve been hunting down every song I ever liked. Instead of spending hours cleaning records, queuing them up and then hitting the record button at just the right time I just throw a disk in my computer and walk away. It automatically rips the songs and ejects the CD.

On a side note: Even after watching shows like Star Trek as a kid it never dawned on me that I could hold a device in the palm of my hand that could direct me to any street with visual and spoken instructions or that my car stereo could hold 6 days of continuos music and display the artist and song title. Or that all of that technology fits in a phone/camera capable of connecting to an encyclopedia with no last page. In one generation I’ve seen information move from finite to infinite. The power we hold in our hands… is amazing.

Just an opinion I have about why there is such a generation gap between the 40s music and the 50’s/60’s music. I grew up in the 70s, and listen to all kinds of music, from Classic Rock to metal, to Country, to R&B, and little bits of other stuff too. When I listen to music, I tend to like songs with heart, songs that were written by the artists who performed them to express their feelings. Even today you can tell songs from the heart from songs written to make a buck. This really didn’t happen until the rock and roll revolution. before the fifties, the only music that got on the radio is what the companies wanted you to hear, which was safe, popular music. Why would a record company want to try something new that might threaten the cash flow? When I listen to popular music from the 30’s and 40’s, all I hear is a cash register, and it doesn’t stir my soul. I am not saying that the artists were not talented, I am just saying that what they were given was not music as art, it was music as cash flow. Nowadays, we get taht with the seemingly endless supply of teenage girls coming out of the Disney stable. In the eighties and nineties it was the endless supply of nameless/ faceless boy bands.

Just the ramblings of 1 old geezer, and maybe I will wait less than 7 years between posts…


It just depends on whether you are more interested in listening to the music because of the music itself, or more interested in listening to certain music because its what the consensus of your peers are listening to (ie “its cool”). Clearly you fall into the latter camp. Most do, I guess.