How come this band has been popular for 60 years? It really ain’t the music. The Beatles’ music was one of their hooks to begin with ... it’s great pop music spruced up with British “elegance” and the Fab Four’s whacky hair, puppydog looks and fun personality.
Their music changed as they went along. It wasn’t the same old, same old, sound. Each year something was different in their music ... something BETTER. They led the pack. Other musicians followed.
Meet the Beatles. Help! Revolver. Sergeant Pepper. Abbey Road. All classics of popular music.
But that Beatley music is not really why we love them still, so many years later, so much dust in the grooves. Hold still ... the music is NOT the reason.
Deep down inside we love the Beatles for their deep and evident friendship – for their love for each other, their tight, tight bonds.
The Beatles went through it all – just great friends taking the world by storm. John, Paul, George and (cue laugh) Ringo! We can see the hardships of Hamburg, the bugged-out stresses of Beatlemania – crazy fans, crazy times. Through thick and through thin, in spite of all the danger, the Beatles were bound together as tight as brothers can be.
And hey, we love the Beatle Money, too! World Conquerors! – the Beatles sold records and tickets by the millions and even their flat flops like the “Magical Mystery Tour” made the news and sold better than anything else going on in the charts. Beatle, Inc. (I mean, Apple Corps) is raking in tens of millions even today in 2023.
Side note: Who wouldn’t want to be famous and rich, playing cool music in a band with your best friends, with cool gear and fab clothes, touring the world and shagging hip chicks hither and yon?
Listen now. Friendship is something we all deeply need, it’s a deep human need and it’s in short supply in 2023. Stats prove this, with people having fewer and fewer friends ... and, worse yet, less and less free time to enjoy their friendships. The sad dearth of friendships is a major humanitarian crisis!
So look at the Beatles joking around on stage or in the studio or out jerking around with the journalists. They’ve got what we want. It’s playful. It’s genuine fun without the stress.
And it’s also joy!
It’s Ringo dancing the Twist in New York. It’s John grinning like a madman and pounding on the electric organ in Shea Stadium. It’s Paul happily ripping his throat singing way up high, with George making his guitar gently weep. When you electrify happiness, it becomes joy. The Famous Fab Foursome were a mega-ton jolt of joy.
They were simply a band of brothers, large, tumbling about, and bigger than life. It’s this shine of love and friendship and happiness that really makes up the Beatles’ very biggest hit.
Todd Volker lives in Ottawa with his wife and son, and they enjoy reading, kayaking, hiking, tennis and camping. He’s a lifelong learner with books in his hands.