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Stretching our Rubber Souls: Loving, liking and sorta enjoying the Beatles 

click to enlarge Mop tops welcome.
  • Mop tops welcome.
Mop tops welcome.
A close friend of mine once wrote - in delicate cursive handwriting nonetheless - that the fact that the Beatles ever existed is remarkable in and of itself. The author, now a Ph. D. candidate in classics at the University of Pennsylvania, asserted that the notion of four so ahead-of-their-time musicians (well, three really - we all know that Ringo doesn't count) living in the same working-class town at the same time is on plane with sorcery. And, the fact that they came together to form a band, as my Ivy League comrade insists, is nothing short of a sign of divine intervention.

Volumes have been written on the Beatles. Some have gone as far as to claim the band's music is more spiritual than some religious texts and others have used the band as a backdrop for the cultural rift created by the 1960s. Even with all of this having been written, there are actually people who don't like the Beatles. Seriously, there are people who just plain don't like the Beatles. Just as I don't like Dane Cook, or Bud Light, or NBA officiating, some people don't like the Beatles. But most people do which, too, might be just as strange when you consider that the band hasn't been playing together for almost 40 years.


Why am I pontificating about the most pontificated-about band of all time? Well, KPOV is putting on a Beatles sing-along with a slew of local musicians this weekend and it seemed like a good time to sound off about liking, not liking and sort of liking the Beatles here in Central Oregon.

Locally, Empty Space Orchestra guitarist Shane Thomas likes the Beatles, to a degree. So does drummer extraordinaire Jared Forqueran. Hip-hop star Mosley Wotta loves the Beatles and Anastacia Scott just "sort of" likes them. El Dante guitarist and In the Pocket Artists president Gabe Johnson really loves the Beatles.

"The Beatles were some of the most artful-and productive-pop songwriters of their generation. Ten of the first 20 songs I learned on guitar were part of the Beatles catalogue and shaped the way I learned harmony and melody," says Johnson.

Grove Presents owner Chris Lohrey says, "meh," figuring he could only name about three Beatles songs, not expressly saying he doesn't like them, but doesn't seem to care if he likes the Beatles. Here we have it, hard evidence of the fact that not everyone likes the Beatles.

Beatles deniers are often met with a landslide of contention when they voice their dislike, or even ambivalence toward the collected works of the Fab Four. Bloggers have even come out saying not only that they especially do not like the Beatles, but that they're tired of being subjugated for their beliefs. Then there are the Rolling Stones fans who believe that if they were to like the Beatles it would add the last and fatal wrinkle to Keith Richards' under-chin skin.

But again, no hard feelings to the Beatles deniers, even if Mosley Wotta says "it's plum baffling" that some people don't, for example, have Sgt. Peppers in their collection or at least a few cuts on the iPod. Empty Space's Thomas admits that he wasn't always a fan.

"When I was younger, I didn't like them at all. I kind of acquired a taste for them kind of like onions and mushrooms," says Thomas.

Thomas is 22 years old, and that makes a good point. Again, almost four complete decades since the band called it quits and only half of the Beatles remain on the planet, and one of those remaining wears an ill-advised and hardly cool combination of earrings, a goatee and dark sunglasses. So it makes sense that the younger ranks might not be drawn to what is probably now their grandparents' music. But still, as these local musicians show, there will always be an enormous throng of people who like the Beatles.

Then, there will be the people who find it necessary to pen a cursive exposition on why the Beatles are the ninth wonder of the world. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle.

KPOV's Beatles Singalong
7pm Saturday, June 13. Featuring David Bowers Colony, Kousefly, Anastacia, Canaan Canaan, the Gospel Choir of the Cascades, All Together Now, Mermaid's Muse and many more. 10/KPOV members adv,$12/adv, $15/door, $5/under 18 at door.

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