I’ve been thinking about the Beatles over the last week. They had so many lessons and good things to teach those who wanted to listen. Not many bands really try to promote their understanding of the world. Instead, it seems today that bands look for something popular and take that on as a way to show their music is relevant.
Obviously, the Beatles were more than just a band. As writers and poets and representatives of peace they gave more to this world than mere song. I often wonder what John Lennon thought about the book “On the Road” written by Jack Kerouac in 1957 or Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” published around the same time. William S. Burroughs published Naked Lunch a few years later, but it was also one of the books contributing to The Beat Generation and could have had something to do with the way John thought about the world.
Did John Lennon fall under the spell of the Beat Writers? I don’t like to think so. I believe he was a kindred spirit to the Beat Writers and his ideas were his own, even if his music came after. I think that if nothing was published in the 1950, John Lennon and George Harrison would have been more or less the same people.
Four Liverpudlian Scoucers
Sadly, two Beatles have passed away
It’s said that two remain
But, even to this day
some’re not sure if Paul’s the same
Like lyrics scribbled on a crumpled page
Intact and translated from a bygone age
There’s simplicity in the beautiful way
Their words still convey what they’re meant to say.
They’ll always be bright, shining examples
on the vast landscape of burning albums
no longer cryptic symbols of things invisible
But ancient fables and parables made simple
“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
― John Lennon
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
― George Harrison
“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did’.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake
“I declare that The Beatles are mutants. Prototypes of evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with a mysterious power to create a new human species, a young race of laughing freemen.”
― Timothy Leary