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The Beatles as…… jerks?
11 September 2011
12.43am
mr. Sun king coming together
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Look, this isn't a joke. I realise this is not a funny topic, but I make no bones about it. When me and my cousin were discussing music, she mentioned how all the Beatles, but mostly Paul, were all asses. And it got me thinking about how bad of asses they were, and also who was the worst. I always chuckle at how Mith, StarWisher, Inner Light (and others) always seem to glorify George, or how Paulsbass always glorifys Paul, etc. The reason I chuckle is that it always seems to be so biased. I mean, George slept with Maureen for Christ's sake - sleeping with your ex-bandmate's wife is horrible - just as Ringo's booze binges of the 1980's. I think John's faults are well documented, and of course, Paul is/can be very much a hard ass. The first lead guitarist of Wings (I'm in no position to get his name right now) quit because of Paul's totalitarian moods towards his music. I just wondered if I was in the minority here, or if people agree with me.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
11 September 2011
1.12am
PennyLane
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Of course they were asses. Every "rockstar" was an ass. No one is perfect. But the music and their personalities make up for the douchebag ways. It's not they were being an ass all the time, but they weren't gods either. So you aren't completely alone on this query.

Well we all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun.
11 September 2011
3.04am
oneafter909
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Like PennyLane said, no one is perfect. I think that when people are more famous of the sort, they're expected to be more clean or respectful. Which is rather true, still. But if you think about it, if the Beatles were never a band, they'd probably still be sleeping around. 

Step on the gas and wipe that tear away.
11 September 2011
4.20am
mithveaen
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I'll tell you what a friend of my Mom said once about Rock Hudson, once it was known that he was gay. Someone told her "How can you think he's amazing when he's so gay?" and my Mom's friend replied "Well, it's not like I'm marrying the man.. am I?"

 

I know they were (and are) massive jerks. I'm sure that if I had met George, I wouldn't have married him. Heck, not even had a relationship with him. One night stand? Maybe. But that's all. Or not even that.

 

I can tell the difference between an artist and his or her work. Yes, George cheated with Maureen, but can you condemn his music because of that? Who knows what Bach or Beethoven did?. Now I can understand if you have a close person who has cheated on a loved one. I know a girl who got very disappointed of an actor because he cheated on his wife, divorced her and married his lover. Her father did the same thing, so I can't blame her for not liking the actor anymore.

 

But at my age I don't put my favorite actors in pedestals. Example : I like Mel Gibson as an actor and director. Would I want him as a friend? Hell no. And I can't blame someone for not liking him for his racist ideas. He's a massive jerk.

 

So it depends on how you see that person SunKing. Having a great talent doesn't make you a great human being. I admire people like Dalai Lama as human beings. I make jokes about them of course, but don't think I fool myself as many teens who think the Beatles were a huge happy family, and they were the best version of Prince Charming that ever walked the Earth. I don't think that at all. apple01

 

Edit : And I think that's the greatest mistake people make about the Beatles. They were not saints. They were just rock stars. But look what their music has done. At the end, the music is what it should matter.

 

Edit 2 : Sorry for the rant. I just had a beer. They were just human beings that in a way, (like John with Give peace a chance) want this world to be a better place. But it's clear to me that they were jerks.

 

Edit 3 : (sorry about that) That's why I have no patience with jerks that have no talent at all. Like the Kardashians or Paris Hilton. When someone acts like a massive jerk I always say "Ok, you know something? John Lennon was an amazing musician. He inspired people to be better. That's why people forget he was a huge massive jerk who did horrible things to his family. Now, what talent do you have, or what have you done to make people forget the fact that you are a jerk?" I have said this twice, and their answer has always been silence. I don't accept this behavior in real life at all. But again, the Beatles are not part of my real life.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
11 September 2011
4.32am
kedame
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Of course there is a little asshatery in all of them, but I sort of look at their faults as being magnified. I don't think they are really any more jerky than anyone else out there. They were/are just under a huge microscope. Everything is magnified to an insane amount. They did some pretty crappy things, but I think in general, they were/are good people. For every horror story you hear about them, you also hear a story that makes your heart melt at how kind they could be. I'll admit, I find the fawning over John much harder to accept than the fawning over the others. He seems to have few redeeming qualities to me, other than his brilliance...and yet almost everyone who ever knew him loved him to some degree, even after he was a bastard to them. As for Paul's totalitarian methods in the studio, who the hell really cares? His methods have made him some pretty good music, as far as I am concerned. I think I am done defending his material. I don't really care what other people think about his solo music or studio methods...I love it. All of it. Yes, even Mary Had a Little Lamb, even Silly Love Songs, even So Bad, even Freedom. I just don't give a shit about negative reviews any more. As for George sleeping with Maureen, Ringo forgave him. That's all that matters. Ringo and Maureen had a congenial relationship after their divorce. George eventually found happiness with Olivia (even though he cheated on her, too). Ringo beat the hell out of Barbara, but they both got help for their addictions, and she forgave him.

No one in the world has been as famous as The Beatles. It's a miracle they weren't bigger bastards. From all accounts, Paul is a nice fella. So he doesn't like to be criticized...who does? So George hated fame...so what? So Ringo won't sign autographs...I wouldn't either if all people did with them was sell them. So John slagged Paul off all the time...Paul forgave him (even though you know it hurt him...he never cared about anyone's opinion of him like he cared about John's). I think John might have started to grow up a little later in life, and he would have continued to grow if he had lived. That's what makes his death so tragic. He might have come to value Julian as much as he valued Sean. Paul grew into an amazing husband and father. George was a great dad, too, and Ringo is, well...he's still lovable despite his gruff attitude now. I can't help but love them, and I get so sick of hearing about how Paul especially is mean, controlling, stingy, an ass. For each of those stories, you hear one like how he spent $190,000 (in secret) to help try and save Horst Fascher's infant daughter...or how he wrote George Michael a letter when he went to prison for drug possession because he had been there, too.

I totally understand your questions, though. I've had them, too. One of the worst things I did as a brand new Beatles fan was read half of Peter Brown's book. You get disillusioned really fast by reading that book. I really didn't need to know how many STDs the boys got in Hamburg. Honestly, it's no one's business but their own. I think they are good people for all they've gone through. They are remarkably stable, and so are their children. That has to say something for them.

On a lighter note, tomorrow is my one year Beatleversary!

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
11 September 2011
6.53am
StarWisher
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

Look, this isn't a joke. I realise this is not a funny topic, but I make no bones about it. When me and my cousin were discussing music, she mentioned how all the Beatles, but mostly Paul, were all asses. And it got me thinking about how bad of asses they were, and also who was the worst. I always chuckle at how Mith, StarWisher, Inner Light (and others) always seem to glorify George, or how Paulsbass always glorifys Paul, etc. The reason I chuckle is that it always seems to be so biased. I mean, George slept with Maureen for Christ's sake - sleeping with your ex-bandmate's wife is horrible - just as Ringo's booze binges of the 1980's. I think John's faults are well documented, and of course, Paul is/can be very much a hard ass. The first lead guitarist of Wings (I'm in no position to get his name right now) quit because of Paul's totalitarian moods towards his music. I just wondered if I was in the minority here, or if people agree with me.

Well, you know, he's a very nice guy when I think about him. :D The best thing about having a crush on someone is that you can fill in the blanks of what you don't know about a person with something really amazing. :P

 

The book Patti wrote didn't surprise me at all. It surprised me she stuck around him as long as she did. That book made me think he probably would have been insufferable to deal with as a person on a day to day basis. I mean his reasoning to have affairs (because Krishna had many wives) according to Patti was just ludicrous. As a Beatle, was he one of the most attractive guys I have ever seen in my life? Absolutely. I wouldn't say I deify the man because he certainly wasn't perfect, but I think while he had made quite a few mistakes with Patti, I believe he did learn from them.

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." — Dr. Seuss
 
 
11 September 2011
8.22am
GniknuS
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Mmm, they are human and like kedame said, they all seem to be genuinly good people. You can't make the music they made without being good people. I love reading about their flaws because it makes them human, they don't deserve to be put on pedestals like gods because they were not gods. It's interesting because when you're growing up and reading about a guy like Jesus or something, you tend to look at things from a black and white perspective, these are good qualities, these are bad qualities, but eventually you realize that most people seem to trend in the middle area of morality. Most bad things done are done for a reason, and doing good things generally doesn't warrant much of a reward outside of the good feeling you get from doing it. Most people tend to look out for themselves, and the Beatles certainly were victims of this mindset.

As for the reason that I, and most people, love John in particular despite his bad qualities, listen to this interview, all 14 parts or whatever it is. It's his voice really, all of the other stuff goes out the window when you hear his voice, maybe that makes us naive or blind, but it's hard not to love him.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
11 September 2011
10.40am
vonbontee
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Right on Mr Sun King! I came around to the idea awhile ago that most of my musical heroes were jerks at least part of the time. It seems it's difficult to survive in the music business without at least a shred of assholery. Maybe you've got a bandmate who's a nice guy but musically not up to snuff? He's gotta go!

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
11 September 2011
1.25pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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(God, I've never had a thread updated so quickly.) Kedame, I think you're wrong about their flaws being magnified. It strikes me that people are willing to forgive the person because he was great musically. And that's infuriating. Mith, I completely hear you. The music is what matters. But if we brush off their failings because they are great musicians then the line of right and wrong, of good and bad, of what people are allowed to do becomes less and less meaningful. And I never want that to happen.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
11 September 2011
2.49pm
mithveaen
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But that has happened and that will happened, because people like to lie themselves. And they don't do it with famous people, but also with normal people. Ask a woman whose husband beats him, and most likely she will forgive him saying "It's just because he has bad temper". Or ask someone who's in a crappy job, and complain and complain about their bad luck, but do nothing to change that. Or ask a girl whose boyfriends cheats on her, she sees all the signals, but she decides to ignore that and lie herself.

 

It's the same with famous actors. Again, I know many people who get disappointed on them because they discover they're not perfect. If people glorify the Beatles to the status of Jesus Christ, the fault is not on the Beatles. The fault is on us.

 

And again, what's the problem? Trust me SunKing, there are a lot of people in this world who are WAY worst than the Beatles, TRUST ME.

 

Fuck why can we just enjoy their music and have fun????

 

Edit : SunKing, honestly I don't give a damn when people tell me that I like the Beatles way too much. I'm not going to explain it. And to be honest, I don't give a fuck about their flaws.

But don't criticize me. You have no fucking idea about what I have to go through and how the Beatles make me keep my sanity in this crazy world.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
11 September 2011
2.56pm
meanmistermustard
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I know that the Beatles treated the inner circle (Neil, Mal, Derek, Brian etc) like crap at times as well as each other but when you are under the microscope every single moment being expected to be jolly, happy, available and pleasant on cue who wouldnt. The pressures of Beatlemania were so intense and for 4 years it didnt relent.

George thru water over a photographer in a club because he wouldnt stop taking pictures even after being asked to stop numerous times. Ringo walked out after some high falooting women cut his hair. John, Paul and George all regularly cheated on their partners/wives during the sixties (not sure about Ringo).

It wasnt just in hamburg that they slept with scores of young women, it happened throughout the tours (like Roman Orgies John called it).

You can explain why, giving all the reasons, but it doesnt mean it was ok.

 

John is my favourite beatle without doubt and i could spend ages writing out all his faults. He isnt the saint that Yoko makes out he was, but he wasnt the asshole that so many make him out to be. The same goes for Paul, George and Ringo.

Actually on The One Show (a bbc tv program) Ringo did come across as a bit of a jerk, but i think thats his way now of dealing with certain situations. He seemed to be having a good time.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
11 September 2011
3.35pm
kedame
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

(God, I've never had a thread updated so quickly.) Kedame, I think you're wrong about their flaws being magnified. It strikes me that people are willing to forgive the person because he was great musically. And that's infuriating. Mith, I completely hear you. The music is what matters. But if we brush off their failings because they are great musicians then the line of right and wrong, of good and bad, of what people are allowed to do becomes less and less meaningful. And I never want that to happen.

How am I wrong about their flaws being magnified? Do you have every move you ever make reported on in the media? Do people come out of the woodworks to tell the world about every shitty thing you've ever done? Probably not. When one of their flaws is reported, people always seem shocked and then make stunning generalizations about them. Oh, so Paul told a guy to shut up once…well, he must be the biggest dick in the world.

Also, amen, Mith. We know they aren't perfect, but you must take the things people say about them with a grain of salt anyways. Nothing pisses me off more than people try to get famous by spouting off at the mouth at other famous people. It's cowardly and stupid.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
11 September 2011
4.07pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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mithveaen said:

Edit : SunKing, honestly I don't give a damn when people tell me that I like the Beatles way too much. I'm not going to explain it. And to be honest, I don't give a fuck about their flaws.

But don't criticize me. You have no idea about what I have to go through and how the Beatles make me keep my sanity in this crazy world.

Look, I knew this would be feisty, but I never insulted you. I'd never stoop so low.

kedame said:

mr. Sun king coming together said:

(God, I've never had a thread updated so quickly.) Kedame, I think you're wrong about their flaws being magnified. It strikes me that people are willing to forgive the person because he was great musically. And that's infuriating. Mith, I completely hear you. The music is what matters. But if we brush off their failings because they are great musicians then the line of right and wrong, of good and bad, of what people are allowed to do becomes less and less meaningful. And I never want that to happen.

How am I wrong about their flaws being magnified? Do you have every move you ever make reported on in the media? Do people come out of the woodworks to tell the world about every shitty thing you've ever done? Probably not. When one of their flaws is reported, people always seem shocked and then make stunning generalizations about them. Oh, so Paul told a guy to shut up once…well, he must be the biggest dick in the world.

Do I get my faults dismissed "because I'm a great musician?"

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
11 September 2011
6.26pm
meanmistermustard
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The thing with 'celebs' like Paris Hilton and Kim Kerdashian is that that outside the people who want to sell papers and those who do see them as 'role models' they are joke figures. The way the world is nowadays, and certainly the press, people are made out to be something they never were in the first place, slated for not being that persona, and then spat out.

The problem with Paris, Kim, Peaches Geldof and so many others, including Lady Gaga nowadays, is that they believe that they are more revered/talented/relevent than they are or ever should be. If someone can tell me why Katie Price is deemed as interesting and sells papers i would love to know. But then millions of people spend their days watching Big Brother, Im A Celebrity, and the 40 variations of Pop Idol, being sold and swallowing the hardship stories.

 

The Beatles rightly or wrongly are and always will be held in such high regard due to their musical and social legacy that people will try and bring them down and others will be surprised of their flaws.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
11 September 2011
7.18pm
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Buddyhollyland
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If you want saints, join the Catholic Church. Otherwise, just accept that people are people.

That said, I'm not inclined to excuse bad behavior just because I admire the person. I'm a musician and I've known many, many successful, talented musicians who resisted the temptation to see themselves as specially privileged. You don't have to be a jerk or an ass to be great musician. There's an understanding among musicians that you can respect the musician without condoning, excusing or tolerating their non-music-related bad behavior. Many a good musician have lost a job by thinking they were indispensable and thus could behave however they wanted, only to find out their fellow musicians didn't share their presumptions. But outside of the company of musicians, the public tends to be more forgiving, treating musicians like they are special in ways they are not, and there are industry influences that at times force good, hard-working musicians to tolerate bad behavior from other musicians that they otherwise wouldn't. That's hard to fight. Many professional musicians learn to live with that. I didn't, hence why I'm a teacher these days.

I don't invest much in who the Beatles were–I really just care about the music. It's easier to enjoy their contributions that way. The Beatles rightly earned respect, praise and their place in history as musicians, but beyond that, they are as human as anyone else.

I'm not a girl who misses much.
11 September 2011
8.01pm
kedame
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kedame said:

mr. Sun king coming together said:

(God, I've never had a thread updated so quickly.) Kedame, I think you're wrong about their flaws being magnified. It strikes me that people are willing to forgive the person because he was great musically. And that's infuriating. Mith, I completely hear you. The music is what matters. But if we brush off their failings because they are great musicians then the line of right and wrong, of good and bad, of what people are allowed to do becomes less and less meaningful. And I never want that to happen.

How am I wrong about their flaws being magnified? Do you have every move you ever make reported on in the media? Do people come out of the woodworks to tell the world about every shitty thing you've ever done? Probably not. When one of their flaws is reported, people always seem shocked and then make stunning generalizations about them. Oh, so Paul told a guy to shut up once…well, he must be the biggest dick in the world.

Do I get my faults dismissed "because I'm a great musician?"

When did I ever dismiss their faults just because they are musicians? I don't know them. Their faults don't affect me. They don't affect you. Why dwell on it? Should I sit around all the time thinking about all the people they've offended? No. That's fucking depressing. The point is, you don't focus on their faults. I highlighted many things outside of their music that they can be praised for. No one here has said they didn't have faults or issues to deal with, but it's like all of that is highlighted BECAUSE they are musicians. If you didn't know who they were, you wouldn't care about all the shitty things they've done. I'm with everyone else on this issue. I look up stuff about Paul all the time. Sometimes, I get discouraged about the things I read about him, but then I remind myself that you can't get the entire portrait of someone from just a few bad comments they make. I know I can be lazy, snide, and arrogant sometimes. You can be condescending and mean sometimes (like yesterday, when all that girl wanted was for us to look at her art and maybe vote for her, and you had to be rude about it...why?), but that doesn't mean you always are. They have people that love them and have been loyal to them for decades. That wouldn't be possible if they were jerks all the time. Just get over it. It's a lot less stressful to think about the good they have done in their lives.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
11 September 2011
10.47pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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That's not what I meant. I meant that there are people who will always forgive the sins of the famous no matter how bad. And isolated incidents are just that to me. But when anybody commits the same (or similar) offence many times it starts to change perception. I enjoyed Peter Brown's book - as fiction, however. Look, if you had been the girl to ask for the art, or anyone who had posted even once before, I wouldn't care. But it appeared spammy, someone joining for what appears to be, as of right now, the sole purpose of getting votes. I'd love her to stay, but I'm not huge on people joining and having their first post be "vote for me!", ok? If anyone who posts here had done it, I wouldn't have cared. But when the first move of someone is advancement of a personal goal, then I'm not cool. Anything wrong with that?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
11 September 2011
11.31pm
meanmistermustard
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I actually agree with Mr Sun King in regards to people posting, promoting their own agendas with little thought of contributing to the rest of the site. Im not sure why i should vote for someone who comes on here and says 'look at what ive done, please vote' and then disappears until the next reason comes along, or even care. It might be amazing but at least stick around. Otherwise you will end up with endless posts of please go to my site and vote for me or get my page 20,000 hits.

 

As for the jerkside, at some time in life we are all jerks, every human being is. It just depends if thats a more constant character trait or not. How you are all the other times. You see people in cafes and shops being so unreasonable and aggressive for so little reason but they go home or wherever and are so pleasant and loving, and it was only for that moment. Others are just plain jerks who are that way constantly for whatever reason.

Thats why i love the line "everyone angry is only just aching inside" (Twenty Three by Kendall Payne (theres a plug). We all ache, hurt, cry, lash out, laugh, etc just in different doses at different times. Who decides what level/amount is acceptable? There is no line, its down to each individual and each situation.

John, Paul, George and Ringo were the same as nearly all of us. To think otherwise is foolishness. They brought so much happiness into peoples lives, so many positives, and in the end that is what i focus on. It doesnt excuse what they did. John was a bastard (Paul said so) but he was very warm as well. Thats why i hated that documentary John Lennon Naked as they focused only on the nasty bad John who walked out on his family and omitted the other parts (plus it had so much artistic license). As did Albert Goldmans book.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
12 September 2011
12.33am
robert
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I think the challenging thing about examining the Beatles' faults is that it seems to undermine the integrity of the message of their music. The abuse they gave their friends, wives, kids, families etc. just seem to be in stark contrast to the ideas and values their music promoted.

As example, it just doesn't matter how the Beach Boys behaved because their music didn't really try to aspire to a higher cause or level of living.

The Beatles' art (group and solo) does seem to call on people to raise their sights of their lives, while at the same time they themselves did not.

I love them and chose to deal with this paradox by turning up the volume. That seems to work for me.

"She looks more like him than I do."
12 September 2011
1.21am
meanmistermustard
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But you cant expect any person to be spotless just because they sang about peace and love and sent positive messages? So what they you do, sing about cheating, wive beating and everything else? That is an awful message to send out.

Actually Norwegian Wood was John admitting cheating on Cynthia, albeit coded. Wife beating is in Getting Better. Run For Your Life is about insane jealousy. Cold Turkey is John singing about his addiction to heroin.

 John was very open about his failings and did try to change. He gave up 5 years to look after Sean.

Ringo has a very stable, loving and healthy relationship with Barbara and his kids.

George was committed to Olivia.

Paul remained faithful to Linda for 29 years, setting an excellent example to his children, and was more than dignified when dealing with the whole Heather Mills thing, even when she resorted to lies and bad mouthing him in public, fleecing him for £26m.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
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