Beatles Not The Infestation Bugs Anymore

Aaron Hendel ‘14
Staff Writer

As The Beatles music became available on iTunes on November 16, 2010, the question arose: are The Beatles as influential in our generation as they were in previous ones? When they came to the states they changed the American culture. Hairstyles, clothing, and even the way people talked. Even though many people still know and love their music, does it have the same power?

The Beatles featuring their mop-top hairstyles. Photo from clashmusic.com

People would do anything to be like or get close to the Beatles; nonstop shrieking, stampeding policemen, or even buying televisions just to see them on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” You just don’t see that same effect anymore when Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr are on tour. The Beatles were a generation changer. While that’s an incredible feat, a new era has come. The Beatles legacy will forever be remembered; they no longer change life as we know it.

To show how much The Beatles impact has fallen, just take a look around. Apparel, appearance, and even attitude that were once greatly altered by the Beatles have changed again. The mop-top haircut, as it was referred to, has greatly faded. The full beards they grew in the 70’s have faded too. The denim leather jackets that they brought to the top of the clothing charts are only seen nowadays on “bad boys.” If Staples High School is anything like other high schools, kids aren’t wearing these things anymore. Face the facts; American culture went through The Beatles phase, and while their music is still fairly popular, their customs aren’t.

However, it could also be strictly the music. Recent top album sales have been by rappers Lil Wayne and Kid Cudi. The Beatles rock and roll style is not nearly as popular as it once was. Yes, their music is still selling, but not like it was in the 60’s, where The Beatles had six of the top ten albums sold. For the first six months of 2010, however, The Beatles did not rank in the top twenty for a single album; yet rappers such as Eminem, Drake, and Lil Wayne, did. So maybe it truly is the taste of music for today’s youth that determined why The Beatles are not nearly as influential as they used to be.

After the first week on iTunes for the Beatles, there had been 2,000,000 individual songs and 450,000 albums downloaded, but as of November 28th, the only album in the top thirty was “Abbey Road”, at number 22. The Beatles’ music is now a part of our technological generation, but is still not nearly as popular. I understand that half the band has passed away, so they can’t really make new music, but they shifted rock and roll to a whole new level of popularity.

The bottom line is that The Beatles don’t effect our generation like they did that of our parents. While I as well as many others like their music, you don’t see too many kids at Staples walking around with changed haircuts, clothing, and daily life because of John, Paul, George, or Ringo. Our playlists might change, but that is the extent of The Beatle’s influence in 2010. Some of what they started still occurs today, like wearing jeans but, it is no longer near the same level of impact.