There once was a magic moment when the early sixties had not changed into the later sixties and all the hedonism and smelliness of hippiedom had not manifested.
I remember somewhere in first, second or third year secondary school getting into a stand up shouting argument with Galvin that The Beatles were not stinky hippies like the Byrds. Both these bands had not been around for a reasonable amount of time, For one of them at least eight years, I think the Byrds hung on for longer. The argument was so intense we ended up in weekend detention where we both discovered The Clash provided through a cassette Galvin’s brother had given him. It was 1978 after all and we were a little behind the times on some level.
My major argument in defending The Beatles was based on Rubber Soul managing to be both psychedelic and a great pop record. I don’t remember the argument but I damn well stand by it.
At some point in the next year or two it became impossible to admit in public a love for The Beatles. They were not hip anymore according to the the late 70’s early 80’s influencers of Kerrang, NME Melody Maker and Sounds. They had become less than influential. Punk and glum men form Manchester were in, paisley was out and long overcoats and floppy unkempt hair were all the go, along with patched denim and skin tight jeans depending on were your loyalties lay.
I am also sure that some of this denial was based on the search for a date, girls were not we were all sure into digging into musical history. I am sure this bias caused many a promising date to be missed as well.
Rubber Soul was my mums favorite Beatles album, she never explained why but she could sing every word without the record playing as she ironed or cooked dinner. I think it was something to do with being the end of a Beatles era. She had seen them at The Cavern, in New Brighton, all over town she said. They were her youth, her and my dad were however too settled to follow them past Rubber Soul seriously. 1965 was the last year they didn’t have a child. I am sure by the time Revolver came along they were too busy working and figuring out how to raise me. Rubber Soul therefore become my mums last Beatles album she bought and heard when it came out. It was the end of the Beatles in her record collection as well apart from the Red and Blue albums, she had every album and single up to that point, after that she was content with the collections.
Rubber Soul for me therefore is the album when The Beatles went on to transform music in some way, leaving my parents behind to raise a child and work. It’s a divergence, of course great things were to come.
For me it is also how I discovered The Clash and their ilk. At times had to keep my love for punk secret as it did not go with my NWOBHM pals.
“Im looking through you, you’re not the same.”