I recently watched one of many Beatles documentaries in my life and something stuck with me. In the film it was said that upon arrival in an Australian city, 300,000 people (half the city) came out to greet the Beatles. 300,000 people! That's a huge crowd. I thought back to scenes of fans waiting at the airport for the Beatles to walk out of the plane. I thought about Shea Stadium and how the screaming was so loud that you couldn't hear the music. And then I thought, why doesn't this happen anymore? Is it because, in a very high brow answer, "there will never be another Beatles?" No, that's not it.
In an age of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, StubHub, etc. shouldn't we have larger crowds forming for our artists because of the faster communication available to us, unavailable to Beatles fans? We have better, faster transportation too! What is stopping another Beatles-like invasion from occurring?
I acknowledge that in the era of the Beatles, there was Elvis, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan: very big legends. But do we have legends today? It seems to me that our biggest stars are artists like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. There's nothing wrong with them as artists but they definitely are not The Beatles. What about U2 or Coldplay? Or Jay-Z and Eminem? They fit the mold a bit better but why aren't huge crowds awaiting them at every airport? Why aren't crowds screaming so loud these artists think about not performing live anymore? Is it the artists that are not good enough to garner the reactions the Beatles did or is it the people in societies across the world that have fallen into an apathy or boredom over music? Somehow I don't think it's either of these.
I don't have all the answers but if I had to choose one, I would say this: I believe there is a genuine effort on the part of some suppressive element on this planet to create an atmosphere where artists are kept in line and the public is kept at home. In my hometown there were hardly any live music venues so artists hardly ever performed there. We were forced to admire artists from afar while watching them on TV. There's nothing wrong with TV or the internet but I think there should be more encouragement to go outside and do something, to interact with other people just a bit more. If that happened I think our artists would become inspired enough to want to do more shows.
We should be waiting for our favorite artists at the airport. We should let them know what they mean to us in bigger ways because at the end of the day we don't go home and look forward to watching the evening news, we look forward to listening to our favorite band, watching a movie, reading a book, catching an episode of our favorite show. Let's make sure we catch more shows in person, because i think that'd create another Beatles Invasion, except we could turn it into an Artists Invasion, and that would truly change the world.
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Awesome observation. I think you're on the right track. Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, the internet are great tools that mankind can exploit, but they have a downside: they tend to fixate people on electronics and shy from interaction with other people. Electronics can be hypnotic and the perfect mechanism to turn outgoing, extroverted and generally upbeat folk into zombies: the perfect control mechanism. There you have it.
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I'm David Carus. From overcoming one of the most dangerous cities in the country and graduating from one of the most prestigious colleges in America to leading an educational movement as a teacher and running for Congress at the age of 25, I decided the best hope our world has is through art.