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The Beatles: A Band or A Movement?

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Andres Sanchez

Professor Brenda Reid

ENC 1101

2 December 2014

The Beatles: A Band Or A Movement?

        You really have had to live under a rock to not have heard of The Beatles, especially in a western society. The Beatles emerged in a time where the youth wanted to break away from the traditional and conservative ways of their WWII generation parents change the world. The 1960s was when Beatlemania(1963-1967) occurred, but this era is also infamous (or famous, regarding to your point of view) for drugs, rebellious youth, pop, and the strive for equality (or freedom). This era was very important for the development of culture and society in what we know as civilized countries, some might call revolutionary. The 1960s was a very exciting, scary, hopeful, and sad time to live in. The Cold War was raging on, equality activists were marching the streets, the hippie movement was in full effect, and tens of thousands of american citizens were being drafted to fight a war they didn't believe in. The Beatles were not only a music group with four cheeky, funny haired individuals who would tell jokes on stage, but they a group who would shape a whole generations culture worldwide, and set an exceptionally high bar for future artists to come.

        The generation gap has always been an issue with parents not understanding why their kids do what they do, listen to what they do, and think how they do and a vice-versa feeling from the children to parents. This has never been such an issue as in the 1960s generation or the baby boomergeneration. The baby-boom shortly followed the second world war. This generation wanted change from the traditional ways of their parents (society) and were against the authority being forced on them. This anti-authority attitude led way to the counter-culture, or hippie movement. With the most popular phrase being turn on, tune in, and drop outthe youth fled schools, being drafted into a war they did not agree with, and their authoritative parents. The Hippie movements fundamentals were drugs, love, and music.  Music reflected the popular feeling and was used as a form of protest during this period, so many songs were about drugs, love, anti-war, and against the traditional system.

        Starting off as a group of 4 cheeky individuals in Liverpool they quickly became a hit in Britain and eventually the world. The Beatles caught the attention of these youthful rebels with their fresh, unbroken by authority, and loving songs/swagger. They were heavily influenced from black music artists and rockn roll legends, even though they were also a pop band. From 1962 to 1965, they came out with over 100 songs which only 14 were not directly about love and relationships. Even in the soviet union, where everything was controlled by a anti-west government, the youth there seemed to find ways to smuggle their music. In a Beatle-approved biography Hunter Davies wrote: Manufactures all over the country were by [December 1963] competing to get a concession to use the word Beatle on their products. Beatles jacketsthe collarless ones, usually in corduroy, first worn by Stu in Hamburgwere on sale everywhere as early as September 1963. Beatle wigs started appearing. [...] Most teenage boys were growing their own Beatle-length hair. From November on there was a continuous stream of newspaper stories about schoolboys being sent home from school because of their long hair and of apprentices not being allowed into factories. (187). You can see how The Beatles slowly began to take over the decade and highly influence this new generation.

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