Yesterday, John McMillian, assistant professor of history at Georgia State University, appeared on KQED’s Forum in San Francisco (listen here) to talk about his new book Beatles vs. Stones. It offers a new look at how the two British bands co-existed, often helped one another, and strategically defined themselves against each other. The Beatles were everyman’s band. Wholesome, clean-cut, witty, the Fab Four appealed to the young and the old, the rich and the poor. The Stones, trying to make a name for themselves in the wake of Beatlemania, positioned themselves as the anti-Beatles. As the journalist Tom Wolfe once wrote, “The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn down your town.”
50 years later, The Beatles still have a nearly universal appeal. The Boomers and their now middle-aged children haven’t let dust gather on The Beatles’ discography. And, if you plunk the grandchildren in front of old Beatles’ videos, they’ll love what they see. Just watch above.