Wednesday, April 21, 2004

UNFAB: Gary Hall has published a book that suggests the Beatles aren't all that. Of course, nobody is allowed to suggest anything from Liverpool isn't the greatest without the Liverpool Echo getting up a great huff and puff, and so the newspaper has sought out the great and the good to say exactly why Liverpool's Beatles, from Liverpool are the best thing in the world. Geoff Davies of Probe Plus suggests that they can't be all bad because "even Nigel [Half Man Half Biscuit] likes them"; Stuart Maconie suggests that not liking the Beatles is an "affectation" - apparently because they churned out stuff in so many styles, there should be something there that fits your taste. It's an interesting point, but there are clothes of all styles in TK Maxx, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to hate the place, surely? A lot of the contributors make similar suggestions, that they did so many different sorts of music that nobody could possibly hate it all - Andy McCluskey says "as I got older and less angst ridden I looked back at the Beatles catalogue and realised the quality and quantity [our emphasis] of the stuff was amazing." We understand Barbara Cartland wrote a lot of books, too.

Perhaps the saddest claim comes from Gerry Marsden: "What people have to realise is that if the Beatles hadn't come out of Liverpool no one else would have." Oh, Gerry, could you be more wrong? If the Beatles hadn't happened, then Liverpool wouldn't have spent thirty years desperately trying to break out of their shadow - and there might have been a little less arrogance amongst Beatley sounding bands from the city; if the Beatles hadn't come out of Liverpool, who knows who might have done?

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