Category Archives: Maharishi

Naysayers of the Beatles

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My response to the naysayers (some who are rather close to my

home and heart) of the Beatles is, “Really? Have you watched

their beginnings?” Three short months after the assassination of

United States President, John F. Kennedy, (and its devastating

aftermath) along came the introduction of these four young men.

Musicians, artists and poets known as the Beatles. They were

like a ‘breath of fresh air.’

I have a good male friend and one of my best female friends that

like to yank my chains by saying, “I don’t ‘get’ the Beatles.”

I respond, “Why have they endured?”

Were you there to see the changes and evolution from their

playful selves? As our country was fighting for Civil Rights

and the strife of riots in the streets of the South, church

burnings and other side effects that moved us to action, the

Beatles ‘changed their tune.’ They had started their career,

writing original love songs that had fun and simple themes.

I will always feel one of the best love songs they sang was,

“There’s Something in the Way She Moves Me.”

Then, in the 70’s they moved forward to write and sing “Revolution.”

The Peace movement created, “Let It Be.” “Imagine” and “Give Peace

A Chance.” These songs were John Lennon’s answer to ending wars,

like the Viet Nam ‘skirmish,’ which ended up having casualties of

58,200 of our American soldiers.

Again, I understand if you were too young or are still not

able to “get” the Beatles.” It is sometimes how deeply they

made, some of us, think and feel. How they touched our hearts

and, despite the frantic atmosphere we were growing up, they

were part of a generational movement.

By lighting the candles for us of Hope, Inspiration and Endless

Possibilities, we all endured.

They did not stand still and stay one kind of musician.

The Beatles are known for continuing to move forward and

‘evolving.’ They met the way times were changing head on,

filling their lyrics with the news.

There are plenty of examples of popular musical groups, like

the Herman’s Hermits, The Byrds and others who were similar.

They did have wonderful examples of lyrics and songs that

became part of our popular culture. There are the also more

strident and rollicking songs of the Rolling Stones and harder

driving musical groups that may be more the taste you prefer.

But, to be honest, what makes me respect a lot of these groups

is they came from hard working roots and they overcame them.

They had average families brought up in the Catholic church,

in small towns.

They developed character, through humor, respect, and their

continuing, abiding faith. Some of the members left Catholicism

and chose to embrace a universal faith. They consulted with the

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They looked beyond their families’ faith

and sought other levels of enlightenment. They came from England

yet became persons who believed in uniting the world, overcoming

and making it a better place and becoming personally better.

When Linda McCartney chose to eat vegan, that was years before

it became well known or a popular choice, at least among my

friends. The Linda McCartney Foods line is produced by Hain

Celestial, UK Ltd. There have been places on the internet that

focus on ‘voting’ to get this line of meat less meals to the

United States and Canada.

My parents liked and respected the Beatles. We had all of their

albums, while I played Apple 45’s on my little record player.

My father, particularly, liked listening to them. My Mom told us

that in Europe, there wasn’t the same “evils of blacks being

persecuted by whites,” that class structure was different, that

we were not as ‘advanced’ (sometimes she even used the words,

‘less civilized’) as they were. I do know that there was a lot

better examples of inclusion in the musical world, embracing

Motown Sound, starting rock n’ roll with Elvis’ influences.

By adding different styles to make it sound more interesting.

Here are three Beatles’ songs that reflect Motown influences:

“You Really Got A Hold On Me,” “Money” (That’s What I Want), and

“Please Mr. Postman,” all were included in the Beatle’s 2nd album.

There was a professor of Music at University of California,

Berkeley, who recently spoke on CBS Sunday Morning, February 2,

2014 edition.

She was telling the viewers, Berkeley has three Beatle courses,

that have been offered “for over fifteen years.” They are centered

on different aspects of the Beatles’ music.

One college course focuses on using the same chords, different

guitar skills and styles used or emphasized by the Beatles. The

second one deals or analyzes the Beatles’ poetry and writings

in their music. What it was that transferred their words into

becoming legendary songs. This course uses the Beatles as the

impetus to invention of students’ own original lyrics.

The final course is for musicians who wish to learn about the

art of performance. In my mind, the Beatles led others in this

area. Their usage of their natural abilities and personalities

to perform solidly made them popular. They had an innate sense

of how to behave appropriately in their first interviews, showing

humor, lovable and comical characters. They learned to transfer

their lighter weight style by including deeper thoughts, following

their changing beliefs.

This Berkeley Music professor said they recently had a sold

out campus musical performance that played the entire Beatles’

“White Album.” She said their music was able to stand up

against the “Test of Time,” evidenced by the 3 courses filling

up as soon as they are posted at Berkeley for the next semester.

Motown Sound members include “We Can Work It Out,” as one of

their own, using rhythm and blues, with jazz influences.

When a song can be heard years later, performed with a

different dimension of the sound, this is true artistry.

Several of the Beatles’ tunes, as soon as the first notes or

chords are played, I am transferred, taken back in time,

through the years, and my heart strings are again tugged on.

I can be reduced to tears by the beauty of the Beatles’ lyrics.

Fifty years have passed: I still hold the Beatles in high regard.