We watched the movie Yesterday a few nights ago with our kids. They had heard of The Beatles but that was the first time we had “the talk” with them.
It goes something like this: “You know kids, there is this band. You have probably heard about them… it’s important you understand just how great they are!”
I was introduced to The Beatles through my friend Wayne Hopwood in the early 1980’s. His parents kept up on the latest technology. They had the first laser disc player, and when those flopped, they upgraded to the compact disc player. My first Beatles experience was analog, on good old vinyl.
I remember my parents marvelling that I was listening to the same music they listened to. The Beatles provided the soundtrack of my youth, through elementary and middle schools and into high school. The music spoke to me. The evolution of the band and their sound is a representation of the stages of my life, from my happy-go-lucky adolescence to the more confusing cacophony of my teenage years.
Our kids, Silas and Ella, love music as well. Ella cleans her room to the soulful sound of Tracy Chapman drowning out the hum of the vacuum. Pre-bed dance parties are powered by the epic songs of Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody was a must-see for them and now they patiently wait for Emily and I to preview Rocketman before they get to see it.
From yesterday to tomorrow
I was a little taken aback by how little they knew of The Beatles. I felt as if I had done them a great disservice. How do they know so much about rock and roll and so little about John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr?
It’s on me though! I realize how little we’ve listened to The Beatles in recent years. So over the past few days, we’ve been playing the songs of my childhood and introducing them into the life of our children.
It is impossible to overlook the complex craft of musicians of past generations, especially The Beatles. That is what you get from Sgt. Pepper’s to Imagine and Ella’s personal favourite about the walrus.
The movie is a classic Hollywood production. It’s a whispy love story without a lot of substance. It lacks the depth of its inspiration. However, it is a vehicle to remind us that before people created singles designed to attract streams and downloads, artists made albums to stimulate creativity, question authority, explore the human mind and disrupt the status quo.
If you haven’t listened to The Beatles recently, I encourage you to dust of a record, laserdisc, compact disc or even mp3. It’s well worth it!