OA: Samantha Stiles Column October 24, 2008

Begging to differ about The Beatles

This week I shall continue the clash of the music columnists.

Earlier this month, Rock Cesario wrote in his column that “The Beatles were the only band in the history of rock ’n’ roll to have a cultural impact on the world.”

A competing music columnist in town, Craven Lovelace, responded on Oct. 10 with “bosh.”

It’s a statement I have to agree with. And yes, I looked up the word “bosh” first. It means absurd, nonsense.

I’m saying it; I agree with Craven. I do not think The Beatles are the only rock band to have a culture impact on the world.

Opinions are opinions, and I have quite a few that all of you Out & About readers disagree with and tell me about. But just like Craven, I must disagree with Rock.

By saying I disagree, that’s not to say I don’t respect Rock and The Beatles. I can see where he’s going with that statement. Judging by the amount of people he’s had e-mail him and tell him what their favorite Beatles songs are, Rock is not alone in the sentiment.

I say, a rock band’s cultural impact must be judged on a one-on-one basis.

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with The Cranberries. I wanted to dress like Dolores, wear my hair like Dolores and tack up posters of the band all over my room.

Whatever has warmed your heart has or will shape the music you’ll love in the future.

I’d say that’s cultural impact.

It’s easy to go way back in time and say that certain trailblazers of rock ’n’ roll were the most influential. It’s like dominoes, it takes one to tip off the rest.

We could judge who has made the biggest impact based on the number of cover bands making a living from old songs, such as Lez Zeppelin and Elvis impersonators.

Didn’t boy bands become a subcategory of rock and R&B and culturally impact young girls in the ’90s?

Groups such as Boys II Men, Backstreet Boys and *NSync are still woven into today’s music scene.

Members have contests for new bands, judge bands or continue to have successful music careers today.

There are probably millions of girls (and some boys) out there with *NSync concert T-shirts stuffed in their dresser drawers or Nick Carter posters in their closets. Heck, I wish I had held on to my New Kids on the Block sleeping bag.

I’m not making a case based solely on boy bands.

The same goes for other kinds of rock music.

Would pop punk and indie music be what they are today with out early Dashboard Confessional or Elliot Smith?

Elliot Smith! How could I forget. He was the first musician to die in my lifetime where I truly felt music would never be the same without him. That’s impact.

Now, I can’t vouch for the rest of the world and what has culturally impacted it, but I’ll take a stab at saying Michael Jackson had some sort of impact on some continent.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made some sort of a point.



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