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Are we witnessing the final generation of Beatles fans?
16 July 2013
12.38am
SatanHimself
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Let's face it:  There aren't a whole lot of us left.  As the history of the Beatles begins to become akin to Tchaikovsky and Mozart, we need to be introspective.

The Beatles have clearly spanned 3 full generations (Boomers, X and Millennials) and have also become important to the Silent Generation (the current generation of 65+).

This new generation, the Digital Natives (or whatever they'll be called) will have barely an idea of the importance or value of the Beatles.  Albums will be quaint retro to them.  Most of their music will be digested digitally in the form of singles.  While some (like my kids) will have a lifelong kinship to old rock and roll bands, for the most part the history of the Beatles is about to slip away into dusty library books.

 

It's easy to say that good music will live forever, but does anyone *really* know everything by Beethoven by heart?

Will there be a resurgence, or are we living on borrowed-time, as far as it involves active Beatle fandom?

 

 

E is for 'Ergent'.
16 July 2013
1.03am
DrBeatle
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I don't know about that. My kids are all between 8 and 2 and all 4 of them are nearly as obsessed by the Beatles as I am in terms of being a fan. I think it's down to good parenting these days with how shitty most modern music is now. 

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16 July 2013
1.24am
Ron Nasty
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You and you devilish questions, Satan!

Look at all the young people on here – who I would say are children of the internet age.

Sure, The Beatles will float in and out of fashion to some degree. They have done that since the split. I remember a time in the 80s when they were considered so yesterday.

I don't think you can compare classical and popular music, they are different things – and listening to each is a different experience. The fact that so many names of classical composers are common currency among those who don't know their work beyond the excerpts they hear in adverts and on soundtracks says something in itself.

I would say the closest comparisons to The Beatles in the arts would have to be Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, those who defined the artform in which they worked for all time. Neither seem anymore out of fashion than they ever have been. They just are, and their work is constantly reinvented for, and reinterpreted by, successive generations.

The Beatles are like that.

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Mr. Kite
"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
16 July 2013
2.16am
unknown
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No, definately not. The Beatles can't die out now, Paul and Ringo aren't dead. When they die, The Beatles will get even more fans from all the hoopla around it all. I don't think the last generation of Beatles fans will even be in your lifetime. 

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16 July 2013
2.54am
parlance
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^^I feel the same. As long as parents are taking their kids to see Paul and Ringo in concert, that's at least one more generation being raised to love The Beatles. Plus as I've been saying, with all the 50th anniversaries, it's a particularly exciting time to be a fan, and those will spark a whole new wave of interest.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

16 July 2013
12.32pm
fabfouremily
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I've always wondered if they'll still be as ''talked about'' (can't think of a better way to put it) in, say, 100 years time. I hope so, but we can't really know for sure. They will be remembered as one of the greats of modern music, but how many actual hardcore fans there will be I'm not too sure of. Only time will tell, I suppose.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

16 July 2013
12.56pm
meanmistermustard
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Every decade there is a supposed lull in the Beatles fan base, in the 70's during Punk they were seen as being old hat, but every decade there is a Beatle explosion. Since the music is so good and has always stood up with what is current in the music world I don't foresee a time when they aren't there. New parents who have just had kids recently are playing the Beatles to their new-borns and older.

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Mr. Kite
"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
16 July 2013
3.52pm
Funny Paper
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One of the OP's premises he uses to construct his argument is flawed: 

"As the history of the Beatles begins to become akin to Tchaikovsky and Mozart, we need to be introspective.

It's easy to say that good music will live forever, but does anyone *really* know everything by Beethoven by heart?"

In fact, fandom of various classical greats (the ones mentioned above and many more) remains thriving.  Think of all the symphony orchestras and chamber music groups continuing to perform their music in every city of the world; think of the societies, associations, and schools and colleges funding and promoting their music.  Not to mention all the continued record sales of same.  If fandom of the Beatles will have this same degree of success 300 years after 1969, it will hardly be lights out and cause for sadness.

In addition, the analogy has the problem that classical music continues to thrive through the institution and culture of musicians re-performing it, generation after generation.  Beatles music mostly continues to thrive among its fan base through re-listening -- with the spectacular exception of one single Beatle, Paul, who has been for decades now re-performing the music. 

After Paul passes away (as all things must, George reminded us), the flame will be cultivated pretty much exclusively through re-listening, not re-performing -- unless by some serendipitous miracle a band rises up dedicated to re-performing Beatles music and becomes wildly popular in doing so.

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16 July 2013
5.42pm
mccartneyalarm
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The Beatles will never die out (see Sinatra and Elvis). They are too important historically. As far as future fans of their music, there is no competition in today's music (I doubt anyone will remember Justin Bieber…forgive me for mentioning his name on a Beatles site) in ten years. Not so the Beatles. There is a local cover band I see every week. They have a guest guitarist who is only 14. The kid is amazing. His only interest is doing the Beatles. They're too big to die out. (Oops, don't mean to sound like John Lennon!) Also, look at Michael Jackson. He became even bigger after he died. The Beatles' collective families will also labor to keep their music and flame alive. I think they are one of the few who will live on forever.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

16 July 2013
7.17pm
AppleScruffJunior
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Nah, so long as there are people around, there will always be inquisitive people. People searching for something whether it be ideas, books, films, clothes, thoughts or music. People will always  listen to Beatles music as they have reached "legendary" status just as Elvis has done. Growing up you hear of these people; Elvis, Beatles, JFK, Lincoln, Shakespeare etc. and you learn what they are famous for. Take for example my school (about 500 students aged between 12-18) I can bet you that everyone of them will know of The Beatles hell they may not know the name of the members in the band but they know who they are and they know some of their songs.

I can tell you now that if I ever have children, they will be raised with Beatles music in their ears. My 4 year old cousin loves the Help! album and tells me to play that every time she comes over to my house. I got my friends into The Beatles and they know quite a bit about their history just from listening to me. People will always be listening to the lads' music. As a couple of ye said above ^ When Paul and Ringo are gone from this life, radios will be playing their songs, tribute concerts will be held and likely broadcast, albums will undoubtedly be rereleased in mass production and a new generation of fans will be born  and the circle will continue.

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16 July 2013
9.08pm
Linde
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Well said everyone, nothing more to add. I totally believe that in a few hundred years time, people will still know who they are. It will be different from now, but still.

And of course I'll raise my kids with their music tooahdn_george_06

17 July 2013
8.29am
Ron Nasty
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Am I about to throw a hand grenade into this discussion? Freaky ideas in my head…

My first thought was to argue with a point previously made:

Funny Paper said
In addition, the analogy has the problem that classical music continues to thrive through the institution and culture of musicians re-performing it, generation after generation.  Beatles music mostly continues to thrive among its fan base through re-listening -- with the spectacular exception of one single Beatle, Paul, who has been for decades now re-performing the music. 

After Paul passes away (as all things must, George reminded us), the flame will be cultivated pretty much exclusively through re-listening, not re-performing -- unless by some serendipitous miracle a band rises up dedicated to re-performing Beatles music and becomes wildly popular in doing so.

I was going to argue that, with their own interpretation, generation after generation have been re-performing The Beatles music. We call them cover versions, and a song like Yesterday has been covered by more people than any other, and it's likely that every Beatles song has been covered at least once. So, in that way, The Beatles as composers stay alive.

After all, though they have the written scores to work from, it cannot be said that any classical performance of a "historical" piece is exactly as the composer first instructed the orchestra to play it.

But then I got this article from Ultimate Classic Rock about how Jason Bonham is hoping to be able to do a drum duet with a holographic version of his father.

http://ultimateclassicrock.com…..-hologram/

And I was reminded of this:

How long will it be before you can feed every existing piece of a musician playing, every piece of footage of them moving, and come up with an almost "autonomous" hologram of them?

How long before we have holographic Beatles performing Sgt. Pepper, The White Album and Abbey Road – maybe with a holographic George Martin to play the additional sounds on a synthesiser – across the world?

Just a thought.

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
17 July 2013
11.02am
meanmistermustard
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I think the whole holographic show thing will come about eventually, there was a show on ITV recently under the "An Audience with.." brand name that had a Les Dawson featured.  Personally I find the whole concept cheap, tacky and disrespectful (that person cant say yes or no to what they are appearing in/on), might as well get the license for James Stewart's image and put him in a new movie opposite Hugh Grant and Selena Gomez.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
18 July 2013
12.55am
Funny Paper
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meanmistermustard said
I think the whole holographic show thing will come about eventually, there was a show on ITV recently under the "An Audience with.." brand name that had a Les Dawson featured.  Personally I find the whole concept cheap, tacky and disrespectful (that person cant say yes or no to what they are appearing in/on), might as well get the license for James Stewart's image and put him in a new movie opposite Hugh Grant and Selena Gomez.

The 1992 film The Mambo Kings was a story about Cuban-American musicians in the late 1950s.  In one scene, the actors Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas appeared on the (then) popular TV show I Love Lucy -- and through the magic of 1992 cinematography (they could do a lot more today) they had Assante and Banderas actually interacting with and talking with a 1950s Lucille Ball.  Interestingly, they chose to have Desi Arnaz Sr.'s son, Desi Arnaz Jr., play his own father (because his dialogue in the script demanded it).

I think a couple of other movies have already done similar things.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 July 2013
3.11am
parlance
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After Tupac was hologramized at Coachella, I told a friend that if I were a star, I'd start figuring out a clause to put in all my contracts that that can't ever happen, like, ever.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

18 July 2013
9.31am
meanmistermustard
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John made an appearance in Forrest Gump. Here's how they did it followed by the clip. I do like how Forrest tells how John was shot; straight and simple to the point.

 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
18 July 2013
10.17am
Ben Ramon
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I'd also like to add that I see people under 18 wearing Beatles t-shirts all the time. Alongside that, they have a continuing prevalence and popularity in music stores. Only two days ago I went into HMV and there was a specific Beatles section with all the albums on display, as well as books such as Revolution in the Head, films, mugs, posters and coasters; last time I went into the giant HMV in Oxford Circus the entire back of the store had been turned completely into a Beatles section with all of those things and more, a veritable nirvana of Beatles merchandise. Maybe I'm being hyperbolic in saying that it's like Beatlemania is still alive and kicking. But correct me if I'm wrong – no other band commands that amount of publicity, attention and respect. Not a single one. Some people may prefer the Stones but I've yet to see a good quarter of the biggest music shop in London devoted to them.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
18 July 2013
10.54am
fabfouremily
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There aren't that many other artists that are respected as much as the Beatles, which I suppose is a good sign that they'll never die out (or fans never will). The fact that that whole section of the shop was dedicated to them proves it. But things do change, and we don't know what the world will be like in 100, 200+ years. I'm pretty sure they'll never be completely forgotten though.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

18 July 2013
10.55am
unknown
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mccartneyalarm said
(I doubt anyone will remember Justin Bieber…forgive me for mentioning his name on a Beatles site) in ten years. Not so the Beatles.

People say that about every big artist or group that comes out, especially the teeny boppers because for some reason people love to bag them. I really doubt that's true, and for all you know Justin Bieber could end up being like Justin Timberlake, who was in NSYNC over ten years ago and is still making hits. That same thing was said about The Beatles, that they would be forgotten about within a year or whatever. Even Herman's Hermits and The Monkees still have fans. People are going to remember Justin Bieber ten years from now whether or not he's still putting out hits, though, he's too big to just be forgotten in ten years. 

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
18 July 2013
11.00am
fabfouremily
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Yeah, I'm sure he'll be remembered but as another person who made it. Not as someone who had serious talent who'll be remembered for years and years to come. So, he'll be remembered but not as a music great. Don't know if I make much sense there….

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

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