13 Reasons To Respect Ringo Starr
Yeah, whatever. People have tried to defend that guy for too long. So now, here are 13 reasons why the Beatles suck:
13. It's been forty years but the price of their albums hasn't gone down. You can go to Target and find a good album made last year for $9.99. Amazon is currently selling old Beatles albums for $14, and most stores have them for $16 or higher. Compare that to Black Sabbath, whose first two albums I bought for six bucks apiece. I bought the entire Led Zeppelin discography for $36 through the BMG Music Club. But NO, the White Album will still set you back thirty dollars no matter where you shop.
12. "Free As A Bird". Yoko Ono found this piece of crap tape in a closet somewhere, made up a little story about how John Lennon always wanted the Beatles to get back together, and this tinny ditty was sneezed out. It was sad thinking that three people and a boombox cassette thought they were still a band, but it was even sadder that millions of us pensively watched a "3:00 Until The New Beatles Song" countdown on national television on the night of its premiere. And that reminds me:
11. Anthologies 1, 2, and 3 were $100 of B-sides that most bands give away. They even sold takes where they screwed up, gluing them together and calling them "tracks". If it had been three years later, Napster would have decimated their profit margins. Now everyone and their mother tries to box up compilations of crummy throwoffs at inflated prices (Elvis Costello, I'm looking at you).
10. They stopped touring. Forget complaints that nobody could hear them; that hasn't stopped the Rolling Stones. Forget the band's desire to "focus on their music"; all bands "focus on their music". It's the very definition of "musician". Their last concert at Candlestick Park in 1965 (I think I got that right) is pretty close to the time Bob Dylan turned them on to weed, and I don't think that's any small coincidence.
9. Covers. The first half of their career was covers, covers, covers. "Please Mr. Postman"? "Roll Over Beethoven"? "You've Really Got A Hold On Me?" "Money"? Those covers AND MORE are on the Please Please Me album ALONE. Would you pay $14 for a thirty minute album by a band today? Of which half the songs were covers from current bands? And compared to the original Isley Brothers recording, the Beatles' cover of "Shout!" is about as worthwhile as that punk version of "99 Luftballoons". The Beatles really Pat Booned the early '60s.
8. Their French was bad and their German was worse. Just like Christina Aguilera's Spanish records, this was a waste of time. "Sie Liebt Dich" nein, nein, nein. I think "Michelle" was just done en francais to confuse the linguistically befuddled American audience.
7. Yellow Submarine, the movie, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the movie. The Beatles weren't in either of them but I blame the band for their suckitude. Why they chose to show up for Magical Mystery Tour defies explanation.
6. The White Album had plenty of filler. Most double albums do (except MAYBE Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness) but no one wants to admit it about the Beatles. "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" is, well, stupid, but not as stupid as "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey." In fact, I think they're really the same song. "Honey Pie" is to "Wild Honey Pie" as Virginia is to West Virginia. "Glass Onion" is like the flashback episode of a cheesy '80s sitcom. Ringo, THE AWESOME DRUMMER THAT HE IS, can't save the asinine lyrics of "Don't Pass Me By" by singing them with his EQUALLY AWESOME voice. And just when you think they couldn't find any other way to waste your time . . .
5. "Revolution 9" makes me want to bring John back to life so I can kill him again. No, that's cruel. But musician-slash-slasher film producer Rob Zombie admits that when he was a kid, this "song" scared the hell out of him. To quote an Amazon.com review on what he's doing now: "Homicidal maniacs have a field day in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, an ultra violent spin-off from Zombie's critically reviled 2003 debut, House of 1,000 Corpses. As Zombie continues to cultivate his name-brand variety of extreme horror and splatter-film homage, he definitely takes his place among connoisseurs of carnage." So besides turning Robbie into a devil worshiper, it has a few useless sound clips from Yoko, some backwards stuff . . . aw, who cares? It sounds the way a high school kid's flash animation looks: choppy, repetitive, anticlimactic, and unentertaining. Has anyone ever wanted to hear this track more than twice? Sober?
4. In 1967 the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which many believe is not only the best album the band ever made but the greatest album ever. Sure, it was innovative, but it was so overproduced it grew bland. "Getting Better", "Fixing A Hole", and "Lovely Rita" are just plain dull, and "Good Morning Good Morning" is so multitracked it's an annoying din. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is as good, if not better, and Paul McCartney knows it. But if you really want to hear the greatest album ever, skip to 1968 and buy a Jimi Hendrix record called Electric Ladyland. It's more colorful and lively, is thirty minutes longer and rocks three times as hard, and the last time I checked it was on sale for $9.99. "Voodoo Child", people!
3. The least the Beatles could have done was put entire songs on Abbey Road, the lazy jerks. I'm not talking about the last note in "Her Majesty" but that freaking "medley" they cobbled together out of some catchy song sketches. Gee, they weren't hurtin' for space in the White Album, so what's the deal? "The End" also demonstrates why there was only one drum solo in the band's whole career. I mean, just think of the foursome trying to conjure up something THAT interesting again. Hey, before I forget:
1. I think I've touched all the bases, from some of the bad music, to the unleashing of Yoko Ono on innocent civilians, to the blind pretentiousness of declaring them the Best Band Ever. But what really irks me? The Beatles' cultural implications--the shaggy bowl haircut, the I-just-got-back-from-India-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-dress hippiewear, the too-often parodied Sgt. Pepper cover, the barefoot masses dodging traffic in the street outside Abbey Road Studios, the 7 billion plus covers of "Yesterday", every Beatles' solo works except for George, the f***ing Monkees--are all useless, gaudy claptrap. It's like the Beatles made fads out of unbiodegradeable plastic that will be with us long after the last Beatle ([shudder] probably Ringo) is reincarnated. So I guess the #1 reason the Beatles suck is because they won't go away. They're here, there and everywhere. Run for your life.