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With upcoming release of “The Beatles: Get Back” on Nov. 25, students share love for older tunes

Marissa Finney
Senior Riley Dugan talks about the impact of older music on modern music. Dugan said she has enjoyed music from the ‘60s since she was a kid.

Though she was born after the year 2000, senior Riley Dugan, grew up listening to music from the 1960s.

“My dad always played ‘60s music (when I was) a kid. Like, he would always have the Beatles on or something,” Dugan said. “(sixties music is) kind of ingrained into my music tastes. Whether I like it or not, it’s something I like…. It’s one of my favorite genres.

“So many of the bands are really good,” she added. “And some of my favorite songs are from the 60s. One of my favorite bands is The Zombies, which I saw in concert a few years ago. And their whole album ‘Odessey and Oracle’ is just really appealing to me. I’m not much of a lyrics person, but I love the sound of the 60s in general. It’s a lot of British invasion I’m a fan of, Motown, and there’s like a lot of classic funk that started there too that I really enjoy.”

Dugan isn’t alone. Junior Ryan Earl also said his parents introduced him to ‘60s music at a young age, and he has continued to listen to it ever since.

And across a generation and the Atlantic Ocean, WHJE adviser Dominic James said he listened to the same kinds of music as a kid in England. 

“I had an older brother. He was probably my biggest influence because he was three years older than me, (and) was born in 1956. So come about 1963 when the Beatles were kind of hitting their peak, he was interested in that,” James said. “We used to actually go and watch the Beatles movies in the cinema. I remember going to watch ‘Help’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ And I must have been really, really young. I mean, really, probably 5 or 6 when those things came out… I grew up feeling really the Beatles were like gods and the Rolling Stones were the bad boys.”

Recent years have seen a growing number of movies centered around ‘60s music and bands as well. “Yesterday,” a movie about a Beatles fan who wakes up in a different world where the band never existed, hit theaters in 2019. The documentary “The Velvet Underground” about the band of the same name was released in July, and “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” will start streaming on Disney+ on Nov. 25.

“I think that there has been a resurgence (in the popularity of ‘60s music), whether it’s just because people are less interested in today’s music, or people have found it just as interesting and as interesting as I have,” Earl said. “I really think that it’s a good thing that people have had or that it’s had a resurgence in popularity, because it means that there’s more people to talk to about it and there’s just more people like me grooving to the Beatles and bands like them.”

So what has kept these bands relevant for such a long time? Dugan, Earl and James all attribute the perseverance of ‘60s music to a variety of factors.

“It just feels more real and energetic. Not to say that modern music isn’t real, but just to me, it has a certain quality to it that really doesn’t feel like anything else that comes out of today,” Earl said. 

“They’re great songs by great musicians, so they continue to inspire people,” James said. “I think also there’s, for many of these things, kind of a freshness and rebellion, which appeals to youth. So if you just come across The Who for the first time, it’s kind of like early punk in a way in talking about ‘My Generation.’ Teenagers listen to music and no matter what, whether they’re a teenager in the ‘60s,’70s, ‘80s or 2021 people can listen to ‘My Generation’ by The Who, and it strikes a chord because it (has) simple messages, put in a cool way. 

“A lot of the music stood for young people’s attitudes about the world in general,” James added. “And so, yeah, an awful lot of ‘60s music is clearly revolutionary in its tone. And people can associate with that. Whatever generation I think popular music generally tended to trying to challenge the status quo as it should be. Every young person should be challenging the status quo. And that’s what I think is really important about popular music generally.”

Dugan said, “I hope (‘60s music is coming back) because there’s a lot of good music from that era that shouldn’t be forgotten.”

Junior Ryan Earl listens to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album from the ‘60s. Earl said when he was a kid he listened to ‘60s music and he has continued to listen to it throughout the years. (Marissa Finney)
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