Whenever I’m down in the dumps, I always get by with a little help from my friends. Four fab friends to be exact: Paul, John, George and Ringo. If you live under a rock and are making the confused, blank Paris Hilton stare of oblivion because you have no idea of who I’m talking about, I’ll give you a clue. They’re the guys who came together across from the pond and started a revolution – a music revolution.
Still not getting the hint? Okay, I’m talking about The Beatles.
Well kids, they don’t make music like that anymore.
Seriously, how often does a fresh-faced group of young musical prodigies with a new-fangled style, sound and attitude just pop up? What are the odds the bands of today will be remembered in 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years?
What is the likelihood that a band has an internationally broadcasted tribute concert more than half of a century after a band’s first album? What are the chances top country, pop and indie singers join together to dedicate a night to cover some of the most brilliant music ever written?
It happened with The Beatles.
Chances are, it won’t happen with any other bands anytime soon.
True, I may be a tad biased. I probably hold the record for being the youngest Beatles fan ever. I really wasn’t into the idea of going to preschool everyday, and would kick and scream to stay home. You know how my parents would bribe me to get in the car and make the trek to my daily torture? Blast cassette tapes of The Beatles. I would be in my element. At the age of three, I knew every word to nearly every song. (“The White Album” not so much. That was a bit taboo for a preschooler. There are lyrics about guns and “doing it” in the road, after all.)
Ever since then, I’ve been a die-hard, slightly obsessive Beatles fan. I may have even gone through a dress-like-a-native-Liverpool-citizen-from-the-‘60s fashion phase in high school.
But, that doesn’t detract from the fact that The Beatles accomplished a nearly impossible feat: being remembered. Every music group dreams of being a legend. Few can accomplish that feat. Hey, John Lennon has his own flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. If that doesn’t scream “lasting impact,” I don’t know what else does.
I’ll even share the legendary love with other music artists like The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. These artists will be remembered.
But, what artists from the past 10 or 20 years will be remembered a half a century from now? Which ones will make a lasting impact in the culture scene, music industry and political scene? None come to mind.
That’s because the music of today is simply an offshoot of something else. Nothing is unique anymore. Not to mention overproduced music that sounds like a baby alien is doing lead vocals dominates the radio.
What has music become? What does this say about pop culture? Are we living in a time that will just be forgettable? Arguably, we are.
It’s shallow. It’s the same. It’s nothing special. Sure, there are a lot of talented artists out there, but their sound is inspired by artists that came before. Will we ever have an artist that redefines the music industry as we know it?
I have no doubt in my mind The Beatles’ legacy will live on for quite awhile (as well it should).
But, will any bands of today, tomorrow or the day after match the legacy that The Beatles dynasty has established? Arguably no.
So to you young starving artists out there, take a risk. Develop a new sound. Don’t try something safe. Shake things up a bit. Hey, maybe you’ll get your own tribute concert 50 years from now.