Hansen: Let it be for another 50 years

July 16, 2013|By David Hansen
  • Laguna resident Robert Gluckson dances to Beatles tribute band Beatroots on Sunday duirng the city's Music in the Park concert.
Laguna resident Robert Gluckson dances to Beatles tribute… (David Hansen )

There were wall-to-wall people in a Laguna Beach park on Sunday singing, dancing, drinking and probably wishing they could spark a joint.

It was The Beatles faithful, the longest-running rock band fan base in music history. Sure Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash came before them, but The Beatles were different.

They redefined, repackaged and catapulted everything previously in diabolically simple ways that still reverberate 50 years later.

Think about that for a second: 50 years.

Despite incredible technological advances, despite dozens of other new styles of music, rock 'n' roll in its basic form still rules.

If we exclude the church-driven Medieval, Renaissance and Classical periods, there hasn't been any musical style that has dominated for so long.

In fact, we have to go back to the very origin of music to see parallels. Experts say that the first musical instrument was the human voice, and the artists likely imitated natural sounds.


When instruments started being invented, they were basic: drums, flutes or crude strings.

The point is, The Beatles did not stray too far from these original fundamentals of harmonic repetition and palpable tonality.

What differentiated them was the convergence of creativity, social circumstance and courage.

And one more important thing: the story.

"There's a great sentiment — most of it is love," said Michael Waldman, 57, of Laguna. "I like to think of them as the Mozart of our time. The music holds up really well."

Waldman admitted he was a "huge fan" of The Beatles, owning all of their albums. He was with friends who camped out early in Bluebird Park with blankets, lawn chairs, white wine and cheese.

Seemingly every town now has an eclectic "Concert in the Park" series during the summer, including Laguna. It is a distinctly modern phenomenon. Why? Because when in our musical history could we ever trot out tribute bands of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Police, English Beat or Wilson Pickett?

Due to the unifying legacy of rock, and to be exact, American R&B before it, we have the luxury of choosing. It's a robust menu of music, shuffled to our hearts content.

We playlist ourselves based on mood, singer or lyric. We float on sound clouds. We dream on Pandora. We Spotify and Rhapsodize ourselves into oblivion.

But all of that is just the tool to bring music into our soul.

What matters is the content.

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