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Love, love me don’t

I have a confession to make.
A dangerous confession.
The kind of confession the Apollo astronauts probably made to their wives/families/priests/bookies because they had no idea they were ever coming down again. Yeah, it’s that serious.
I don’t really care for The Beatles.
I could say I don’t like Pink Floyd (I do) and people would understand. I could say I don’t like Nirvana (I do) and I’d get a few sympathetic nods. I could say I don’t like the Dave Matthews Band (I really, really don’t) and would only be glared at by college students who are too busy talking on their cell phones to say anything about it.
I could also say I don’t like Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” and, although most everyone will agree I’m unrefined (I am), they’ll all nod their heads because they don’t know what it sounds like either.
But The Beatles?
There’s been no other band in the history of sound that has meant the same thing to generally everyone – if you don’t like The Beatles you’re an idiot.
Try this: the next time you’re at a party mention loudly that you don’t like The Beatles and see how many people will, 1) take you aside, explain how wrong you are and, like some kind of cultist, try to convert you to Beatleism, or 2) spit in your cheese dip.
I used to be like that … the cult part, not the cheese dip part.
Sitting in my dorm room in college, drinking beer and listening to “Helter Skelter” from “The White Album,” a friend* walked into my room and said, “What is this? Motley Crüe just came out with this song on ‘Shout at the Devil’ and someone’s already covered it?” I threw a beer can at him (half full. That’s how serious I was) and told him to “get the hell out of my room.” He turned and left. I never told him why I did that.
I’ve grown since then; enough to admit the following:
• I like the lyrics of Lennon/McCartney.
• I like the vocals of Lennon/McCartney/Harrison … and, well, that’s it.
• I like The Beatles’ nonMonkee-esque proficiency on actual instruments.
• I like “While my guitar gently weeps.”
• I like, and appreciate, The Beatles’ contribution to rock music at a time when they were really, really needed.
• I like everything about The Beatles except actually listening to them.
But before you judge me a philistine, let me ask you this: if I come to your house and rifle through your CD collection, how many Beatles albums will I find? And if you do happen to have “Sgt. Pepper” or “Revolver,” and it’s not in the original wrapper, can you count the times you’ve actually played it?
Take your time answering. While you’re thinking of a good excuse, I’ll just sit back and listen to something that hasn’t gathered so much dust.
*We’re still friends, by the way. A real Beatles snob would have slit his tires, stolen – then dumped – his girlfriend and never talked to this person again.
Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to the Show-Me State’s Most Spirited Spots,” is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or tsup.truman.edu. Visit Jason’s Web site, www.jasonoffutt.com, for his other books.

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