Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Beatles - A Musician's Ground Zero

By Grant Gerver

Like you needed to read something else about The Beatles. Well, they seem to be all-pervasive in my life. In 1964, I was 14 years old when they hit the United States and Ed Sullivan. Indeed, it seems like yesterday. My dear mother gave me their first US album, "Meet The Beatles," for Hanukkah. I have never been the same since.

I knew almost immediately that I had to become a musician. And, I gratefully have. I give all credit to John, Paul, George and Ringo. I'm getting a heavy sentimental rush just typing those names. Their influence over the music world, and our culture in general, is too staggering to comprehend. Put simply, they changed everything.

For me, The Beatles were, and still are, "ground zero." Everything musical in my life has flowed from them. Just the other day, a Facebook friend and work colleague of mine posted some lyrics from "Hey, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." Without hesitation, I remarked that this song ranks up there as one of my all-time one hundred favorite Beatles' songs! There are so many incredible tunes they've written, that to pick anything less than a hundred would be musical torture of the worst kind. That's how truly great they were for me.

Whenever I hear a Beatles' tune, I automatically begin singing every lyric without hesitation. The magic spell of nostalgia wells up inside me. I am transported back to the glory days of "the old neighborhood" where Chas, Jim'l, Amy, Nancy, Joanie and a host of others delighted in "The Beatle Revolution." Chas, Jim'l and I literally started our very own garage band. Some things you never forget. When I think of the younger music lovers out there who've never even heard of The Beatles, it blows my mind. How is that possible?

For me, the "Four Lads from Liverpool" are the most influential musicians of all-time. Now, I realize you may have a great argument against mine, but I'm standing firm. Yes, there's Beethoven, Dylan, Elvis, and the many blues, rock-and-roll, country, bluegrass, soul, rap, hip-hop, gospel, opera, classical, and big band artists who've come before and after. And, I know there are so many more I've neglected. Sorry.

But, if you really think about all that The Beatles have meant to the modern-day musical universe, from mind-boggling studio recording innovations (with unsung hero and musical savant, Sir George Martin at the helm), the explosion in bands and solo performers doing all their own songwriting (which he encouraged them to do from the outset), and the overall uniqueness of their vocal sound, harmonies, instrumentation (including the introduction of India's sitar), and, lyrics that truly conveyed very thought-provoking ideas and philosophies, then The Beatles have lived up to and exceeded all the incredible hype they created.

Here's another thing that struck me just yesterday: have you ever heard two Beatles' songs that sound alike? Everything they did seemed to be an original classic masterpiece. Just my humble opinion. I would even go so far as to say that The Beatles' have provided the soundtrack for my life.

About the Author: Grant Brad Gerver is an entrepreneur and creative consultant for Filibi. Free Online Classified Advertising and Printable Coupons with a 70% twist. Come post your free ads with filibi today. "Gerv" is also a YouTube (gbgerver) blues singer-songwriter and guitar player who performs with The Buzzard Brothers. He's a retired elementary school teacher who works in the mental health care field.

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