Thursday, September 07, 2006

Beatles or Stones?

So I got this email from Brian Kehoe, an incredibly talented musician here in SF, raising the classic debate: Stones or Beatles? Kehoe's take, and my reply, are posted below.

The Kehoe Nation wrote:

Well Shit Howdy all you boys and girls and flying squirrels;Okay, imma stir up some shit! I wanna hear from you folks on this one! Give me yer honest opinion. Don't be shy, don't be some voiceless sissy!It's an age old one, but sure to get the folks good and pissed off!Beatles or Stones?

I pick The Beatles each and every time! Here's why:Beatles - Always trend setters. They cultivated their own sound and look with originality. They were leaders in recording technology and paved the way for generations to come with their inovations.

Stones - Followers. When it was hip to play "The Black Man's Blues", they did that. When the "British Invasion " was hot, they did it. Psychadelic... did it. When it was cool to go country, oh yeah they were following that wave too. THEY DID A FUCKING DISCO RECORD FER CHRIST'S SAKES!! People do you remember that one. Yep, followers.

Beatles - Great songwriting. They shit out melodies for days, with lyrics that told stories, hit you in the heart, and rocketed you to the moon.

Stones - Okay you got me there! They have written a ton of great songs, with amazing lyrics and groundbreaking subject matter.

Beatles - Knew when to hang it up.Stones - Draging their corpses to the new "MEGA MEGA CENTER NEAR YOU!!" again and again and again... $1000 tickets, $2000 tickets... and no fucking guest list... ever!So, there you have it, I bet that pissed some folks off. I wanna hear from you!Oh yeah, The Kehoe Nation will be playing our last show in town for awhile, until the CD release party in a couple of months. So, get your asses on down to the Pound SF this Friday night 9/8.Also, ripping it up, our neighbours from the north, Lions in the Streets. They hail from Canada and are a solid Rock and Roll party!But really folks, gimme early WHO and early KINKS any old time. The true first punk rock!Fuck yeah!

(My reply)

You advance some powerful arguments, Kehoe. But a couple of other things to consider:

-- Bad Beatles songs are almost always much, much worse than bad Stones songs. "Hello Goodbye" is just absolute garbage. Same for Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da. Now, the Stones have put out some crap too -- I missed the disco record, apparently -- but I don't know I've ever wanted to hurl the stereo out the window.

-- What's more embarassing: still rocking at age 95 (or whatever), charging $2000 per ticket for fans apparently willing to cough up the dough, or selling your musical cateloge to Michael Jackson, releasing various compilation Beatles albums on a semi-annual basis, and suing Apple Computer over the use of an apple as a logo?

Plus, the Stones still push the envelope a little from within the confines of their corporate rock world. Witness Mick Jagger swearing last year during the pre-Super Bowl interview, or slamming Bush in "Sweet Neo Con" (though that song sucks too). Also, Keith Richards fell out of a tree in Fiji. In his underwear, I think. Meanwhile, "Sir" Paul McCartney never does anything wrong, never says anything controversial, is content to sit in his freakin castle collecting "Wings" royalty payments. And Ringo? An embarassment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beatles. Hands down. They played in Tenbury.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Johnbai3030 said...

You're merely being a Stones apologist. There is absolutely NO valid argument that the Stones are even in the same class. When he was young, Mick really knew how to strut, which makes him just about as "artistically gifted" as Justin Timberlake. Kehoe's points about a country and a disco album are spot on. The Stones aren't artists, they're craftsmen. They are the most wildly successful barband ever, but still basically a bar band.

2:23 PM  

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