The rarest animal: A boomer who doesn’t like the Beatles

March 14

Regarding the March 8 Free for All letters “All these years later, still believing in ‘Yesterday’ ”:

I belong to perhaps the smallest club in America: I’m a baby boomer who can’t stand the Beatles, the most overrated band in history. I remember my two older sisters, both caught up in Beatlemania, gushing in 1964 about how great this music was. Then I heard “She Loves You,” and even though I was only 6, I thought, “This is just dumb.” I’ve thought the same about the Beatles’ music ever since.

Compare their guitar skills with the true greats of that era: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. There’s no comparison. Compare Ringo Starr’s drumming with, well, just about anyone with real talent. Compare the lyrics with Bob Dylan’s. Again, no comparison. Compare their voices with the soul-wrenching sound of Janis Joplin, the peel-the-paint-off-the-wall power of Robert Plant or the sheer poignancy of Joni Mitchell. Again, no comparison.

As for song-writing, compare the beauty and intricacy of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s counterpoint and harmony with those of any Beatles song: The Beatles come up short again. Finally, their music did not spring from the heart and soul of America (blues, soul music, funk, etc.), so it doesn’t have the raw authenticity of B.B. King or James Brown. Even the band’s stage presence wasn’t much, unless seeing someone sing “woo” and shake a mop-top gets your motor running.

What’s left? The occasionally pleasant but never compelling pap that this music truly is. Sorry, folks: The emperor has no clothes.

Donald Maclean, Silver Spring

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