When I tell people that my favourite band is the Beatles, I’m usually met with mildly underwhelmed but nevertheless approving reactions. Pop culture enthusiasts and music snobs alike are well aware that the Beatles changed the sound, importance, and impact of music forever. You can’t go wrong with the Beatles. It’s a safe choice. But to me it’s never really been a choice. Since I was a little girl, I felt somehow connected to the music. My parents would play Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I felt certain that there could be nothing more wonderful in this world.
As I grew up, I learned that you could dance, sing, cry, study, listen, think, create, and fall asleep listening to their music. I wondered, how could a group of people who were so far away – from a different world, a different time – how could they so eloquently and with such subtlety and simplicity articulate those feelings that I thought no one could ever understand? I felt both reassured and vulnerable. Listening to their music is among one of the few times that I’ve ever come to any kind of religious or spiritual experience.
The Beatles were a powerful uniting force, one that even a very young, very uncultured ten-year-old-girl could identify with. As I grew up, I started to see that as the years passed, they began to recognize this power, and used their music for social change. Their youthful love songs developed into music that spoke to cultural conflicts, sexual identity, universal feelings of loneliness, family issues, and the importance of promoting peace. The band became increasingly political, and songwriting was no longer a craft, but an incredibly moving art form that could inspire social change.
In light of the current presidential election, I am reminded of the Beatles, and their beautifully expressed pleas for peace, understanding, and equality. If only there was a candidate who could think so freely and communicate so poetically. John for president, that’s my two cents.
And so, we present to you ANDY’s political issue, scraping only the surface of where politics and art intersect.