Saturday, January 31, 2004

In praise of monkey suits

Could we please, at some point in time, stop worshipping the Beatles?
I mean, wow, they came to America 40 years ago. Let's all put down what we're doing and commemorate this.
Here's one vote for a substantially more important occurrence 40 years ago this month, The Times They Are A-Changin'.
Go ahead and take your screaming Sullivan fans, I'll stick with "One Too Many Mornings."
It's substance vs. style.
Now, the Beatles did evolve into an exceptional band once they started thinking, but smiling monkey-suited pretty boys just don't deserve such praise.
If you're gonna insist on hyping the Beatles, stick to the period in which they could grow facial hair (and did they ever! Much better than Bob.)
And just three months after 'Times,' Dylan released Another Side. Let's hear it for one of the most underrated songs in his entire catalogue: Chimes of Freedom:
"Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake"
To contrast, Lennon/McCartney (or, is it right in egocentric retrospect McCartney/Lennon) hadn't quite reached their peak as wordsmiths:
"I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend,
If it makes you feel alright,
I’ll buy you anything my friend,
If it makes you feel alright,"
Cute. Catchy. Promising. But certainly not groundbreaking.