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Reference Library: Teens and the Beatles

Date: 20 Nov 95 15:13:36 EST
From: bruce watson <>
Subject: "How to Talk to Your Teen About the Beatles"


from The Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Massachusetts

If you're a Baby Boomer (and who isn't?) you're already counting the days until the Beatles renuion.

Three of the four moptops will perform on a TV documentary this week and I just have to shout "Fab! Gear! Beatles forever!" But in spite of our euphoria, we true Beatles fans must face facts. Only those between the ages of 41 and 49 care, really care about this. Everyone else is just wrong.

Never mind that the reunion is the most important event in world history, on a par with, say, the Crusades. It just doesn't matter to anyone, young or old, who didn't turn off their midns, relax, and float downstream. While the Fab Three sing, our kids will all be watching "Central Park West." Our parents might even read books.

Changing our parents' minds remains hopeless. But to bridge half the generation gap, I offer excerpts from my book "How to Talk to Your Teen About the Beatles" (LifeStyles Press, $29.95).

1. If you're with your teen in a mall and hear "Strawberry Fields Forever," avoid flying into a rage. Don't sing along or explain the drug references. Merely whisper "This song changed my life." Pause to let your teen wonder, then add, "Now it's mall music. What say we get some fried dough?"

2. Your teen does not want to know what "I am the Walrus" says when you play the last part backwards. All your teen's favorite groups sound the same played forwards and backwards anyway. If asked about the song, smile and say, "Coo-coo-ka-choo."

3. If your teen won't let you play the Beatles in your own home, try this subtle strategy. Kidnap the little punk's "Green Day" collection, then send a ransom note demanding one hour of "Rubber Soul" or else the CDs go in the toaster oven.

4. Never let your teen mention the Beatles and Elvis in the same breath. Today's troubled youth have a distrubing tendency to do this and must be corrected, even if your risk provoking a sudden "Back Off!"

5. When your teen asks, "Like what's so great about the Beatles, huh?" don't play "A Day in the Life" again. Instead buy the Greatest Hits of 1963. Program your CD player to spew out "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Surf City," and The Singing Nun over and over. When your teen comes crawling for mercy, say, "That was life before the Beatles."

6. "Okay," your teen will say, "but what about bubble gum like "Eight Days a Week." Resist all temptation to drum Ringo's solo from "Rain" on your teen's nose. Instead shout "1965!" and play "Baby's in Black." Then: "1969!" and play all of "Abbey Road." "Soooo," you ask cooly, "think we'll be seeing bigger things out of Hootie and the Blowfish?

7. If your teen challenges you to a Battle of the Bands, playing the Beatles back-to-back with Mariah Carey, get tough. Begin humming "Yellow Submarine" louder and louder until your adolescent breaks down. Then demand a week's "White Album" privileges.

8. If you must show off your Beatle lunchbox or Beatle wig, do so discreetly. Use the lunchbox for a flower pot, the wig as a guinea pig decoy. Today's teens have no hope of understanding yesterdays fads. They each own more stereo equipment than the Beatles used in recording "Sgt. Pepper." What do they know of love?

9. If your teen still doesn't get it, don't despair. Grasp him or her firmly by the shoulders, saying, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." When your teen stops laughing, shrug and say, "Well, anyway it used to be."

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