Monday, 22 February 2010

The Beatles - a nostalgia act?

The weekend before this one, I had the pleasure of attending two Beatles events in Norway, one here in Oslo on Friday, and the next day in Gjøvik, the city where the Norwegian Beatles Fan Club was born. During the latter, I was eavesdropping on a conversation between an older man and a young fan club member, let's call her Louise. The former was saying something like "it's all about nostalgia," to which Louise was agreeing. I wanted to protest, but didn't. After all, it was just a casual conversation. But I have to say, to me The Beatles have never been nostalgia. I'm a second generationeer when it comes to the Beatles. Okay, I was born before they released "Love Me Do", but I was a baby and a child all through the sixties. When Abbey Road was released, I was only seven, and had yet to start to do some serious listening to music. It was all games and horseplay and reading Donald Duck and Superman comic books, that was my sixties life.
When Paul McCartney brought his Wings to Norway in 1972, I was still just 10 years of age, and not really interested. I don't think I even heard about the concert. And Ringo's visit to Norway the year before had passed me by without me noticing. It wasn't until I hit the teens that music started to become one of my passions. I can remember that "The Beatles Live! At the Star Club, Hamburg, Germany" and "The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl" was released. So, from the late seventies and until now, I have always carried the Beatles with me, and I have known whatever was going on with the band. I've read countless books and magazines about the boys, and today I keep tabs on the band through the internet. But it was never a nostalgia trip. The Beatles are just there. A living and breathing part of history. I don't think there was ever a day I didn't hear some or other Beatles song on the radio. And hearing a Beatles song doesn't take me back to wherever I was the first time I heard it. I just try and remember what the circumstances were like in the studio that day, and who did what and wrote what part of the song. I don't think Louise really feels nostalgic about the Beatles, either. After all, she discovered the band by listening to "Anthology 1", so she was probably just avoiding annoying small talk. The Beatles just coexists with time itself. As for that first generation of Beatles fans, I think they may feel nostalgic about the quartet. But not us.

1 comment:

-w said...

I agree. I was only 2 when Lennon was killed and started listening in the 90's. The Beatles are legends and belong to the ages now.