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Old Feb 04, 2009, 06:40 AM   #1
QuarryMan89
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Default Fake Beatles fans.

Quote:
Here's something I wrote for my English 101 course...

My favourite band of all time is, without a doubt, The Beatles. You’ll hear that from many people my age, and you’ll see a lot of people list them in their favourite artists on sites such as Facebook. You will see many people my age wearing Beatles t-shirts. But it wasn’t always that way.

While I had a big Beatles phase when I was in second grade, it wasn’t until I was 14 that I really developed a love for them. With some curiousity I downloaded a track or two for a mix CD I made alongside a bunch of crappy modern music. I immediately was hooked and checked out the 8-hour Beatles Anthology documentary out from the library, and from that time there was no looking back. Over about a year I had all of the albums, had worn many of them out, and read volumes upon volumes of them. It wasn’t just a naive puppy love—I had favourites and least favourites, and I knew the ins and outs of their history. I knew more about The Beatles than probably 99% of the human population.

And I was alone in this for my age group. I had one other friend who had been through this already, but the rest of my peers didn’t even know who the Beatles were, and those who did didn’t give them any thought. This was even while the “classic rock” trend had caught on in my age group, when suddenly wearing Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin shirts made you cool. However, the Beatles still were not “cool”, and I was okay with this. I noticed one other person my freshman year of high school with a Beatles shirt on, and was amazed. I truly was a rarity.

Fast forward a few years, and many people my age own Beatles t-shirts and say they “love” them. However, by and large these people haven’t listened to an entire album. They couldn’t debate with you on the highs and lows of Rubber Soul and Revolver, and couldn’t discuss the quality of Lennon’s fantastic Plastic Ono Band album. They couldn’t tell you the basic chronology and probably have never heard of Shea Stadium as a concert venue. I blame this largely on the film Across the Universe (which, by the way, took its name from a song which has been my all-time favourite for five years. Now it’s only the crappy cover versions my peers claim to “love”)

This illuminates a larger point: the iPod has greatly changed (or destroyed) the way we listen to music. No longer do we need to make the effort of going to the record shops and buying the album we’ve been anticipating or searching through stores to find that new artist we’ve just gotten into. Now we can just pick and choose the songs we want, and only listen to those. I’m all for having a favourite track or two, but for the most part these albums were conceived as single entities. Granted, before the early 60s albums were largely two strong singles and filler. However, once The Beatles and Bob Dylan emerged the 12” vinyl emerged as the primary outlet for popular artists. An album was an adventure through the psyche, a journey through the mind of the artist. It would intrigue us and we would have to look more into it. We would savour every last note. Today we pick what we already like and don’t give the rest a chance.

You say you’re a big Beatles fan? Get in the back of the line until you can at least tell me what album “What You’re Doing” is off of.
Now, I might get flack from this for acting too "exclusive". We definitely should always look to find more Beatles fans, but I think there's a specific way to do that. The 1 album and Across the Universe aren't the way to do that. You're cheating yourself out of the fantastic experience that diving into the Beatles is if you just have those 10 songs we've all heard on your iPod, and a bunch of cover versions.

Does anyone feel the same way?
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Old Feb 04, 2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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Very well written, and you also worded my thoughts on the subject.
It's a shame that music has become a side subject, something to be listened to while doing other things. Each format became more convienient, however the magic of taking on a journey listening through the whole album with the cover in hand is lost.
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Old Feb 04, 2009, 06:03 PM   #3
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I get where you're at, but I wouldn't call them "Fake" Beatles fans, just "casual" ones. And that's ok.
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Old Feb 04, 2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rellevart View Post
I get where you're at, but I wouldn't call them "Fake" Beatles fans, just "casual" ones. And that's ok.
But casual fans will admit they're just casual fans. They don't go around in Beatles t-shirts.
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Old Feb 04, 2009, 07:06 PM   #5
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I think it all comes down to what you mean with a fan, doesn't it? Life is never all black and white. I love Beatles music, I grew up with it, but I will frankly tell anyone that I do not always remember on what album I find a certain song or every lyric to every song. I don't own loads of books about the band, I don't even have the Anthology set! Or a Beatles t-shirt for that matter. Does it make me less of a fan? I'm a fake? Perhaps I am!

As to the convenient format, well, I still buy CDs, not downloads, and the first time I listen to a new one I sure sit there with the cover in my hands like I would decades ago while listening to an LP. On the other hand, even then I would often put on a familiar album, not just by the Beatles, and it would play in the background while I was doing something else.

Nothing is ever static. Once we had no recorded music and everything was live. Then came the old 78s with one song on each side that later was transformed into the EP format. The sound quality was so-so and as there wasn't much power in the speaker you gathered around the player to listen. The first LPs were just collections of songs, a more convenient format, until artists conceived the idea of concept albums; a coherent listening experience that carried you from the first to the last track. That's the golden era of the music album. We've now completed the circle as with downloads we're back to individual tracks again.

We may bemoan the closing of an era yet there's not much to do about it, is there? Each era has its pros and cons. Most albums today are only a collection of songs that fit rather awkwardly together so it's not that much of a loss, is it? And, let's face it, isn't it pretty nice to be able to take your music with you wherever you go? Would you trade that in for the whole album listening experience of the 60s and early 70s? I don't!
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Old Feb 04, 2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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That's awsome QuarryMan, very well written! My thoughts exactly, thanks for expressing them so well.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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I dont know if I'd call them fake fans either. Casual is a good word for them. I mean, if you like a band, I assume then you're a fan of them. Although I do agree it's annoying if all they know is the hits or what they heard from Across the Universe. But hey, you gotta start somewhere I guess. Maybe they will develop into a real interest.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 08:04 AM   #8
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The big plus about things like "1" and "Across the Universe" is that they have introduced quite a few members of a new generation to the Beatles music. Some of these people then decide to delve deeper and become fanatical, but others decide to stay on the surface. I can see your annoyance though if those fans who stay on the surface misrepresent themselves as the fanatical ones.

As far as the iPod changing things to a pick-and-choose song oriented listening experience, I think that may be changing. My first iPod was a 4GB model, which due to its limited storage I tended to fill with songs over albums (except for Beatles, but I was already a fan of them). So that experience was very song-oriented for me. But my next model held 30GB. No longer did I have to limit myself to choice songs from my CD collection and the internet, now I could load entire albums which I did. In fact, I would say about 98% of my songs on my iPod are stored along with their entire albums. I would hardly be able to find anything if I had just a collection of loose songs. With capacity increasing and prices (and physical size) dropping, this may be more the trend.

I do agree with Legs though that there is something special to holding a physical piece of album art, and that is one of the reasons I tend not to buy albums from iTunes. But I also much prefer the large format of the art along with a 12" slab of vinyl rather than a tiny booklet along with a small laser-etched piece of plastic.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 08:20 AM   #9
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I think this is also more about people who claim to be a fan of some group because it's cool, wearing t.shirts just to show how cool they are, while they haven't even got the albums by said artist. Which casual fan of the Beatles, who only likes a few songs, would wear a t. shirt of them?

About the current development. I think it's a general trend that people just listen to mp3's while traveling and doing other things, and that's why they prefer mp3's. I am not against Ipod or mp3 players and mp'3s but when it comes to music personaly I like to take the time to listen to an album. So the convience for having a small format you can carry, isn't a pre for me. I think it's good tho you can choose nowadays how and on which format you can listen to music. And I admit downloading just a few songs by an artist that I like, while skipping the songs I don't like. And I do carry an mp3 player around while traveling, but I found I seldom use it while I am traveling, and I get distracted by other things.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Thank you QuarryMan89 for such a well written piece.

You have expressed what I have felt for so long. I do have every album on my iPod (mono and stereo versions) as well as every solo album. I use my iPod only in the car, or when I go for a walk, vacation, etc. I listen to either vinyl or CD at home.

Yes, Across The Universe (the movie and soundtrack) bug me. I think it is a fake way of listening to the Beatles. If you say you are a fan, listen to the albums as they were meant to be listened to. What I mean by that, is no shuffle, in their entirety. Sit down and listen. That doesn't mean you can't listen casually sometimes, I do that. But they were designed to be savored and really listened to.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 10:09 AM   #11
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I'm ok with casual fans, too. Better that they admit that the Beatles are good then for them to think that they suck or are over-rated, you know?

This is kind of off-subject, but I just have to share. One of my friends just told me that when her boyfriend was about to introduce her to me, one of the first things he said about me is that I like the Beatles a lot. She was like "oh, cool...I like the Beatles too!", and he said "NO.....she LOVES the Beatles."
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 10:16 AM   #12
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I would have given your paper an A+.

I am much better able to deal with people who really aren't fans than I can with sycophants who pretend to BE fans to get into my good graces. I've moaned many times about how I hate fake agreement.

Casual fans are easier for me to deal with than people who are deliberately hostile and think that dissing the Beatles are a way to push your buttons or their equally distasteful inverse, the fawning flatterers who pretend to be fans.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 12:57 PM   #13
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On another note, check out that join date! It was just around the 40th anniversary of conquering America, and the 45th is coming up. Almost five years since The Beatles changed my life. It feels like so long ago, and yet like yesterday. Wow, nostalgia.
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 01:47 PM   #14
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I agree that is a very well written piece QuarryMan89!

One definition of the word FANATIC is : A person who is ardently devoted to a particular subject or activity.

Now that would describe the majority of people here on Beatlelinks!

I enjoyed watching "Across The Universe", no it wasn't The Beatles but it did bring the music of The Beatles into people conciousness once more! If it made only a few people take more of an interest in the music of the Beatles then that is a good thing in my opinon, and some may have been hearing it for the first time!

I grew up with the sounds of the sixties including The Beatles and love that era, but I rediscovered the Beatles as an avid fan about 7/8 years ago now and felt I had come home, it felt and feels so right for me!

I personally like to listen to the albums in their entirety and do so every day in my car as I have them recorded as MP3's, which allows me to get more on one CD! I love the fact that I know which song is coming next on the albums and I am usually singing the first few bars of the next song before it starts, to the amusement of my husband!

As for the iPod issue, I have the albums on my iPod and also listen to the entire albums on that, I also have other artistes albums on it and like to listen to their music as an album not just the odd song from it!

I think any interest anyone has in The Beatles should be encouraged and it shouldn't matter how that interest progresses, as we are all different in our relationship with The Beatles and their music!
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 06:16 PM   #15
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I have often wondered if "fan" is short for "fanatic." Ain't nothing wrong with being a Beatles' fan.

Saturday is Beatles Day! Everybody get ready to CELEBRATE big time!
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Old Feb 05, 2009, 06:23 PM   #16
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It can also be short for "fancier" according to some dictionaries. There's a bit of a difference in the intensity there. I'm more of the fancier type fan, I think, than a fanatic.
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Old Feb 06, 2009, 12:36 PM   #17
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Most times, when I meet someone like you are describing, I just feel disappointed. Because of course I'm sitting there wanting to have a cool conversation with my new Beatlefriend and then it's like, "IMAGINE IS MY FAVO BEATLES SONG OMG"
:(
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Old Feb 06, 2009, 01:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulisMine View Post
Most times, when I meet someone like you are describing, I just feel disappointed. Because of course I'm sitting there wanting to have a cool conversation with my new Beatlefriend and then it's like, "IMAGINE IS MY FAVO BEATLES SONG OMG"
:(
YES. Exactly.
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Old Feb 06, 2009, 01:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulisMine View Post
Most times, when I meet someone like you are describing, I just feel disappointed. Because of course I'm sitting there wanting to have a cool conversation with my new Beatlefriend and then it's like, "IMAGINE IS MY FAVO BEATLES SONG OMG"
:(
I know what you mean PiM, people who say that they "like" The Beatles do not realise how deep a real fan feels about the music and the personalities of "the boys"!
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Old Feb 06, 2009, 09:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbeatlechick View Post
I know what you mean PiM, people who say that they "like" The Beatles do not realise how deep a real fan feels about the music and the personalities of "the boys"!
Completely. They are our best friends, our inspiration, our partners..I don't know how good I am with words, but to me they feel as if they make me..who I am?

*in small voice* ..Does anyone agree?
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