In the 50 years since they split up, the Beatles’ dominance has snowballed, says Craig Brown
Back in 1967, the MP and philosopher Bryan Magee ventured a prediction in the Listener magazine. ‘Does anyone seriously believe,’ he asked, ‘that Beatles music will be an unthinkingly accepted part of daily life all over the world in the 2000s?’ My old Latin teacher would no doubt have identified this as a num question – an example of a question expecting the answer ‘no’. But over half a century later, and well into the 21st century, it’s safe to say that Magee got it wrong. Thinkingly or unthinkingly, the Beatles are indeed an accepted part of daily life all over the world. There are now reckoned to be over a thousand Beatles tribute acts across the globe. When I was in Liverpool for the annual Beatles festival, I watched the Bertils from Sweden, Best Beat from Serbia (crowned ‘one of the 30 most prominent Beatles tribute bands on the...
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