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Fine, Hate the Beatles

I’ve been a fan of the Fab Four for as long as I can remember. I even remember the moment I first asked my mom about them. I was a fan of the song “I Got My Mind Set on You” by George Harrison, and one time while it was playing, my mom said that he was one of the Beatles. Not long after that, there had been a special about John Lennon, and I remember seeing footage that now, as a lifelong fan know was from his 1972 show in Madison Square Garden. I asked my mom who he was, and she told me that he was one of the Beatles. “Like George Harrison?” I remember asking. “Yeah,” she had said. “John and George were friends.”

The next day in the car, as the local oldies station was playing a Beatles song, I asked my mom, “Who were the Beatles?” She told me their names, and my only real takeaway from that was that somewhere in the world, there was a person with the name Ringo. From then, I had a particular fascination with the group, especially as a few years later, the Anthology would debut, and their music was somehow always around.

As I became a teenager, I moved away from them and began my journey into punk, alternative, and indie rock. Still, the Beatles’ music was a musical lighthouse, always showing the way back to shore if I ever seemed lost in life.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people a few years younger than me knock them. And though I disagree, I understand. I even agree with some of the criticisms, such as the often stated opinion that it was easy for someone like John Lennon to preach peace from an ivory tower.

Not everyone is going to like the same stuff. And I also understand that it’s easy to hate a band that an entire generation or two tries to stuff down your throat. One of the things that made me dislike the Fab Four for a time was hearing every Baby Boomer with an unsolicited opinion tell me how modern music sucks and that the Beatles, the Stones, and Dylan were the best.

But just as many a Beatles fan want to get in the face of those who don’t like them to the point of annoyance, those who hate the band can be just as annoying. That’s fine. You don’t like a band? That’s cool. But if I can respect the fact that you don’t see what I see in a band, at the very least, give me the same courtesy. Let us agree to disagree and move on with our lives. And if I happen to be wearing a Beatles shirt, that is not an open invitation for someone to tell me that they think the Beatles are overrated. Even as a fan, I can admit they are a little overrated. But, to me, they’re still an amazing band.

Music is music. Everyone has their favorite bands. Whatever speaks to you and the life you lived, listen to it with all your heart. But if you don’t like a band, as long as no one is getting in your face about it, please extend the same courtesy to others.

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