So it came to pass that this weekend is the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' arrival in the United States. Certainly, a momentous occasion for me, having loved the band my whole life. Yes, we all know that I go for long stretches without listening to them, but no matter what, I always come back to them.
I decided since it is a once-in-a-lifetime event, I would go to the 50th Anniversary celebration at this year's Beatlefest. I had always mocked anyone who went to these things as no different than the sci-fans who go to the various conventions. I went with the hope that I would hear interesting discussions - perhaps sociological discourse on The Beatles' impact on society, not just music, etc. I had hoped it would not be a swarm of "rabid fan" nonsense.
It was exactly what I feared overall. I will say that the ONLY place that the conversation was worth a damn (and so much more) was the all-female panel with the inappropriately titled "We're Talking About Girls" - seriously, not to get anally P.C., what the fuck is that? What the panel should have been called was "The Impact of The Beatles Through The Generations Beyond Their Music" because this was the one forum where you heard rational, intelligent discussion on the band and what they brought to those who evolved with them.
The general vibe is the "I have a bigger dick than you" syndrome - "I'm a bigger Beatles fan than you". These sad bastards in their fucking tie-dye or Beatles t-shirts... My dread became a real, live nightmare. The vendors (not even selling anything reasonably cool) charging $35000.00 for the "Butcher" cover album - guess what? It's available now on CD, so who really gives a shit anymore? Beatle suits and the tailors? Beatle boots? HOW OLD ARE YOU FUCKING PEOPLE?
I wanted to see Donovan, who was supposed to be wandering around and performing - the gross disorganization of the overall event led to overcrowding and not knowing if he would perform at all;
I wound up leaving. Donovan played, but almost an hour late. Again - the poor organization made this a physically uncomfortable atmosphere. Add to that the incredible amount of heat pumped in...
I'm not even going today - the final day. It isn't worth my time or effort. I have the records; I have the films; I have some books. I know how to play quite a number of their songs on guitar. That's enough. I love The Beatles - I always will. And I'll always remain a fan, in the proper context and perspective. In the final analysis, this "Beatlefest" is not festive at all.