One Direction – The New Beatles
We can all reminisce to a time when suddenly everything changed, a moment, as overwhelmed we are consumed while controlled by music or musicians. Unaware of the affect it would have upon our lives, perhaps not until years later.
As a 13 year old I would stumble across a certain John Winston Lennon. I like many other kids of that age would find themselves in 1980 engrossed at the media furore and the world’s attentive disposition toward Lennon’s death. Overwhelmed does not really do those emotive feelings justice; my whole being would change one Friday afternoon during that December month in 1980.
Friday each week would be celebrated with a lunch time disco at my senior school. Entry would be confirmed by an ink stamp to the back of the hand with the school logo upon it, and 5p which would go to charity. This would be a place that had been electrified previously during the year by The Jam; Madness & The Specials whilst intertwined would be the odd piece of Kenny Rogers & his “Coward of The County” halcyon days. For a boy my age it meant everything, everything.
This particular Friday would become a defining moment. For the few days since the death of Lennon there would be a preoccupation from TV & radio and it would not deviate from its collective tale – The legend that was Lennon, The hero, The God. Alongside this would be Beatlemania flooded across all media, TV and newspapers would regurgitate constantly “The Fab Four”. As significantly the message manifested itself I could not deny it, the truth was I did not want to, with my new found musical enthusiasm I would lap it up without question.
For a two minute period during that Friday disco I would experience a felling an emotion that would not be replicated from that moment forwards, as the “DJ” Mr Smith, who also happened to teach religious education would gently slip on a vinyl 45 toward the record deck, unaware of the mayhem which would in a moment swamp him and the school dinner hall.
I will never forget that intro, even if I had listened and heard it many times before – Today it would be the first time I truly understood, having witnessed its infectious nature – “Oh yeah I…… tell you something I think you’ll understand……” The place would erupt with a crescendo of testosterone and with it the creation for 2 minutes and 25 seconds of our own extraordinary example of Beatlemania – Even now I still experience goose-bumps thinking of that day or rather those moments. The screams that would reverberate around that dark dingy hall, voices yet to be broken would pierce even less developed ear drums. A moment where all & everyone would collectively contribute, even the kid who would remain silent throughout the whole duration of his school years whilst assuming the role of the bullies victim – Yes even he would scream & shout without inference of pinching or punching.
I would never be without The Beatles in my life from that moment onwards – Hooked.
This would signal the very beginning of my journey toward adulthood. The time when decisions I would begin to make would be based on my own selfish fulfilments – I would be youth and the world would begin to engross me. Rather more so music would battle alongside football intent on my affection, for my part I would glean the realisation for a 13 year old, some things are more important than family, friends or existence in this world itself.
The essence of my new heart and mind collaboration would be manufactured around a certain held belief, a philosophy that dictated that I alone truly understood my kinship with my music. It would sit rather unwell if others, namely my peers, could or would begin to have a similar comprehension – To be au fait with. God forbid that they would also “Get It”.
In musical terms, generally the law states you must assume that anything that may have been produced later than April 10th 1970 – Is somewhat inferior purely on the grounds that this date represents, again according to folklore the disbanding of “The Greatest Musical Band Ever” – The Beatles. And the World would never be the same again.
If our parental propaganda is to be believed, and a generation or more are to in some way give credence to a perpetually opinionated argument driven by those intent on giving their own youthful existence greater meaning. We must with white flags aloft, petrol in one hand & gas lighter in the other set in motion the preparation covenant like, the destruction of history itself post 1970.
Well to steal a still to be claimed quote “Nostalgia aint what it used to be” –
Clearly the distinction between what may be cool and what might give others the impression of a low standard of pleasure intake tends to be incredibly difficult to determine for many a teen – and so it continues to represent a difficult puzzle for each new generation. Hoodwinking however has become rather more succinct; add to this the inception of Cowell like musicality and it becomes ever more difficult to separate marketing malingering and showmanship from actual bona fide talent.
Today even 10 year olds have their own identity and minds, social media, computers & other forms within a technological world that leave this 40 something, dazed and confused – all add to a greater understanding and existence for the children of this day.
One Direction are entertainers at the height of their powers who seem to constantly come under both scrutiny and derision in equal amount, experiencing contumely at every juncture from adults and teens intent on lauding it over the less initiated.
The accusations, and there are many levelled at this clearly manufactured band, range from – puppets being strung along by the modern day Geppetto – Simon Cowell, they are lads unable to play musical instruments singing songs that are to quote those proficient in popular music – “Rubbish”. They are assumed to be lacking in the commodity of talent.
And that ma Lord is the evidence for the prosecution.
Why can we not just accept that young people enjoy and are indeed consumed by One Direction and their like? Has it really become so essential for young people to be derided purely because they enjoy something slightly less intellectual than the pompous saving the World Coldplay types that are lauded as respectable alternatives.
The day we become quintessential romantics, as we fall in love with that first band, album or song – It means everything, we will use up every ounce of our existence with our new addiction – These Directioners are no different, the Bieber fans feel what we all felt. The main difference between the decades seems to be the inception of Twitter & Facebook, giving these super-fans a greater voice to glorify their heroes as they pay homage at the altar of the internet Gods as they worship. Where we had Smash Hits and NME today’s music junkie can find his or her crack house online.
Let’s not forget that early on in their musical careers The Beatles would sing songs such as “I wanna hold your hand” “She loves you” and “From me to you” – If One Direction were churning out such lyrically challenged songs they would most definitely be ridiculed from the “Music Police” whilst threatened with imprisonment or death.
So the question remains – Are One Direction the new Beatles?
History will tell us the answer is No.
Their flavour of the month just happens to be incredible palatable right now. The fan base these huge stars have would prove that indeed the interest is significant enough to warrant a comparison – Is it really that relevant that older people disagree with their younger foes, surely this is how it should be.
Ok so it is rather an unfair question where the consequence of such an irrational argument will always receive condemnation from the masses. It becomes imprudent to compare – Weighed against the new breed of band is what can only be called Beatle Proof, where nothing and nobody can compare.
The most important thing for me is that my kids (I don’t have any) are not bullied because they fill their bedroom walls full of pictures of Harry, Niall, Zayn, Liam & Louis. Whilst endeavouring to fill their tiny minds with John, Paul George & Ringo. Instead the recognition that they are setting out on a journey & should be encouraged to travel alone in pursuit of their very own beat of the drum.
You pay’s your money – You takes your choice.
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