Who’s your favourite Beatle?
It's almost a tie for the Mint Lounge team and it's not John Lennon
I have never heard anyone who can pack in as much optimism, buoyancy, romance, flamboyance, sentimentality and sweetness in one voice.
McCartney, because he’s the least cool Beatle. Lennon had irony, Harrison detachment, Starr slapstick, whereas McCartney radiated a palpable, un-hip desire to please. Plus, he was the best multiinstrumentalist in the band by some distance.
He was the only Beatle who was the closest to admitting his love for football; surprising because The Beatles come from Liverpool—home to Everton and Liverpool FC. In 2008, McCartney said if he had to choose between the two, he would go with the Toffees. He did say that he would support both since “It’s all Liverpool," but “if it comes to the crunch, I’m Evertonian."
Eternally grateful to John Lennon for giving us Imagine, but my heart is with McCartney for Hey Jude. It’s a song that magically surfaces in my life, in dark as well as happy times. It’s personal. I love the way McCartney sings it in the 1968 video. So earnest. And that puppy face.
When I saw them on the TV for the first time— almost instantly—my eyes fell on McCartney. Later on, as I learned more about the four, McCartney appeared to be the goofier, fun-loving one. He wrote one of my favourite songs, Hey Jude. There is profound beauty in the song’s simplicity, which also reveals glimpses of McCartney’s sensitive side. It is why he shall forever remain a favourite.
Harrison, because two of my top 5 Beatles songs—Here Comes The Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps—were written by him. The former makes for a charming making-up-after-a-fight song, which I tend to need quite often. Plus, the hair.
McCartney once described The Beatles as “four corners of a square—without any of those corners, you collapse". But as the Martin Scorsese documentary Living In The Material World showed, it can be really confining for every individual. More so for Harrison, the songwriter, who was overshadowed by the prolific songwriting “company" of McCartney and Lennon. In 1970, he came out with All Things Must Pass.The title track could have been a statement about The Beatles or even life in general.
—Pradip Kumar Saha
Harrison for organizing the mammoth Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and
raising millions for the war-affected people of a country he’d never been to. Here was a rock star who wasn’t afraid to bare the private person ahead of the public persona.
I’d say George Harrison but I’d be hard-pressed to say why.
Right now, I’m feeling fuzzy about Ringo Starr. He always said he was lucky to be in The Beatles. I feel that The Beatles were lucky to have him. He is the finest drummer in pop. His drum parts are
intricately composed and add the right colour to the songs. Just listen to She Said She Said, Rain, In My Life or A Day In The Life.
The cultural sonic world is so suffused with The Beatles that their songs have met my ear drums, though I never consciously sought out their music. This may be heresy to Beatlemaniacs, but I do recall being bowled over by the rich harmonies of Because. One line has acquired particular meaning for Delhiites, given the constant dwelling under the city’s smoggy grey skies: “Because the sky is blue it makes me cry/Because the sky is blue, ah".
My favourite is Lennon because I envied deviants during my mildly rebellious teenage years. Also because his quotes made me look good in slam books: “It’s weird not to be weird."
It’s futile trying to escape the cliché when I say that Lennon’s songs have been a part of the continuing soundtrack of my life. This extends from the Imagine singalongs of my early teens to the impassioned Working Class Hero of college days.
Currently, I’m obsessing over Lennon and Yoko Ono’s public and private demonstrations of love, their hair, and romance in black and white.So, my earworm of the week is Oh Yoko.