The first entry into my Hall of Fame is none other than the greatest musical group to ever walk the face of the Earth. They need no introduction, but I’m giving one anyway. It’s none other than the four mop-topped lads from Liverpool…John, Paul, George, and Ringo, The Beatles.
The purpose of the hall is to highlight things that have molded me and have guided my taste in all things pop-culture related. There is no entity that has singularly impacted my life as much as The Beatles have.
When I was 12 years old, I was listening to shit music admittedly. My first concert was a double-bill of MC fucking Hammer and Vanilla fucking Ice. I shit you not. However, one day I was browsing SPEC’s (an old music chain in the south) and I came across The Beatles’ section of the rack. The album that I ended up buying that day was “Please Please Me”. I had no idea this was their first album, but I knew that I always liked the Beatles when they came on the radio when riding around with my mom. I picked it up because it had “Twist and Shout” on it which was awesomely used in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“.
From that day forward, I was transformed musically. The next weekend, I took my allowance and picked up “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help”. My mom offered to buy me a CD a few weeks later and I wanted “With The Beatles”, but my mom couldn’t find it and brought me home “Revolver” instead. At first, I was disappointed with this. I was heavily into the pop side of the band at the time and I didn’t like the cover, but I put into the CD player and was whisked away never to be the same again. I purchased the rest of their catalogue in subsequent weeks and branched into my dad’s vinyl collection, soaking in stuff like The Doors, Creedence, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.
My taste in modern music also changed. Out the window was the shit that most of the kids my age at that time were listening to. Boyz II Men, and basically any of that poppy R&B that dominated airwaves at the beginning of the 90s. I do love “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe though.
The Beatles’ impact on me stretched to other facets of my life, including style, the books I chose to read, and friendships. I bonded with fellow classic rock lovers at school which eventually opened to other acts like Black Sabbath, T-Rex, and David Bowie.
I like to think that my taste today is eclectic. I can respect a good pop song, I have an appreciation for classical music,
and there’s a bit of rap that I enjoy. However, the staple of my musical diet since the age of 12 has been the Beatles. I remember skipping school the day Anthology III was released as I had just gotten my first car a few weeks before. I chose my first, but not my last, experience skipping class to buy a Beatles CD. The first record I listened to after I smoked my first joint was “Rubber Soul”.
To this day, I am still enamored with the band. I soak up all information I can on them and have read 1000s of pages of books, articles, and watched every documentary out there on the band. While my appreciation for the members’ solo works does not equal that of the band, I still try to keep up with what Paul and Ringo are doing today at their ripe old ages.
I do not think there will ever be a band that has had the impact this band has, either on me, or the entire world. Music has changed so dramatically, from the way its distributed to how segmented genres are. I don’t look upon this as a bad thing. In 200 years, people will be talking about The Beatles the way Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven are talked about today.
That’s fine by me.
It’s now been exactly 20 years that this band has been a big part of my life. I still get excited when new material emerges and I have a very large Beatles bootleg collection that I still add to. No group has captivated me as much and I expect none ever will again.
The Beatles are my first hall of fame induction and there was no second guessing on the decision whatsoever. I would not be who I am today without them.