Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm not rushing out to buy the Beatles box set

I'm not rushing out to buy the Beatles box set.

I didn't watch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but I remember classmates discussing it the next day and debating whether the lads or The Dave Clark Five were better.

A few years later, it was the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones. I bought Beatles 45s and Sergeant Peppers, Abbey Road, and the White Album. I even managed to write a high school English paper on the "poetry" of Sgt. Pepper.

As I found my interest in blues and jazz growing, my interest in the Beatles faded away. Part of the attraction of the Beatles, after all, was, first, that everyone my age thought they were the greatest, and, second, establishment figures like Leonard Bernstein gave them the okay. Take away the mirror desires of rebellion and acceptance and it was natural for the interest to fade a little.

While I think I would like to listen to at least some parts of the restored Beatles CDS, I'm determined to resist the marketing onslaught of rock band, box set, and mono sets. It reminds me just a little too much of junior high school.

Now, if a friend or relation buys the box set and wants to loan it to me, I'll take a listen. Probably more to Revolver and Rubber Soul, rather than the latter CDs.

Meanwhile, I've been listening on Rhapsody to the early Rolling Stones CDs and Mannfred Mann, a far hipper band than I knew, to neglected US rockers like Doug Sahm and to contemporary rock groups like Phish, Third Eye Blind, and the Killers.

For those who haven't tried it, Rhapsoday is an internet-based music service. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can access their entire library and download it to a MP3 player.

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