How to put it? What makes me think of The Beatles? I often talk to the musicians, the guitar players in particular, and maybe it's luck of the draw, one of them is from Blackpool, that can't be far away from Liverpool, and then Ken, one of the blokes I most respect in the world, a guy with a sense of humor, and something about the living spirit. He plays a Guild arch-top. I talk to him about Telecasters, Tellys, about Eastman's, about Gretsch guitars. Talk to him about music history... deep stuff.
And I think about, you know, Beatles songs, like, you know it totally makes sense people, young ladies, would absolutely scream when they heard these songs. "Please please, me, oh, yeah, like I please you... I'm a loser, I'm a loser, and I'm not what I appear to be, she was a girl in a million my friend, I should have known she would win in the end... I wanna hold your hand hand hand, I wanna hold your hand..." And the thing about this stuff was that it was real! It was real emotions, and very brave to admit, like, how a person might really feel, especially given the things you might like to do in life. "And when I touch you I feel happy inside, it's such a feeling that my love I can't hide, I can't hide..." I mean, it's real stuff.
To put this stuff out on the page, no wonder people fucking screamed. It was honesty. It was an Irish quality, rock n roll, chords, lyrical ability, harmony, a gift of words, a blessing to and contradicting the modern world of Hitler and his plans and his economic strategy and his war machine. Those take-over-everything kind of shitheads, burn the planet for a buck, no shortage of them... There was The Beatles.
And it was an intimate kind of honesty that spoke to people's real lives. And all the others needed was a sketch from these guys gut experiences, I mean, imagine living such a life as an itinerant musician in a new form, rock n roll... and those people would get it, and say, yes, ah-haa, someone else has a soul and a life and all these things. No wonder one of the great poets Larkin you know comes up with the line of his first year of sexual intercourse and "The Beatles first LP."
I suppose there's a power in admitting things, in letting out what's really on your mind, the things we would seem to feel awkward about, stuff from our intimate lives that doesn't fit neatly in society's arrangements. Maybe that's why all those girls would scream when they played, for this burst of male honesty, stuff about feelings, far different from the simple old male aggression I'll-tell-you-how-it-is-honey. "Help me if you can, I'm feeling down..." And it all was electrified.