Survey Says: Paul Is Still the Cute One

By Guest Blogger, Julie Farin ( http://twitter.com/JulieFarin) PR pro and Beatlemaniac – not necessarily in that order.

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Who is your favorite Beatle?  That seems like a question one might have been asked on February 10, 1964, the day after the four lads from Liverpool first performed on The Ed Sullivan Show to more than 70 million viewers across America, officially pulling the trigger on The British Invasion. 

But with months of multimedia marketing leading up to the 09/09/09 release of The Beatles Rock Band video game along with the release of digitally remastered “boxed sets” of the Fab 4’s historic music catalogue, it seems like just about everyone is climbing aboard the Beatlemania Reloaded bandwagon.

It comes as no surprise that Zogby International recently decided to poll Americans and ask them which of the Mop Tops – John, Paul, George or Ringo – they like best. “Paul was always more popular than the rest of us,” John Lennon once told Tom Snyder in a 1975 interview.  Well, Lennon would not be surprised to learn that Sir Paul McCartney continues his 45-year reign as the most popular Beatle with 27 percent naming him their favorite, Lennon taking a distant second at 16 percent, George Harrison coming in a dark horse at 10 percent, and Ringo Starr an even darker one at 9 percent.

What surprises me most about this seemingly unscientific survey is the admission that nearly a quarter of those polled said they didn’t even like the Beatles, while three percent said they weren’t familiar enough with the band’s music to make an informed decision.

“It must be the crazy love songs and ‘Yesterday’,” said John Zogby, the CEO of the firm that conducted the poll.  He attributed McCartney’s popularity to his looks (Paul was always considered The Cute One), and his longevity (he’s 67-years old and is still releasing albums and selling out concert tours).  Zogby adds, “Interestingly, John is the main answer for people who never go to church.”  That seems too convenient a statistic to associate with an outspoken man who once infamously proclaimed, “We’re more popular than Jesus” and who also considered himself “basically a Zen pagan.”

It also seems a little unfair to compare the two Beatles who are still living, performing, and releasing albums, with the two who have been dead for many years.  Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me how well McCartney topped this poll.  [Disclosure:  John Lennon has always been my favorite Beatle, and yes, I do go to church and consider myself a spiritual person.] 

Don’t get me wrong, I still think Paul is fab and quite gear after all these years.  In fact, my good friend Michael Starr (no relation to Ringo) has nicknamed me “Lady Macca” because I never miss a McCartney concert when he comes to my town (New York City).  The results of this survey seem as irrelevant and invalid as asking a card-carrying Beatlemaniac to name his or her favorite Beatles song.  That’s “Something” I can never “Imagine” doing.

15 thoughts on “Survey Says: Paul Is Still the Cute One

  1. I played the drums in an advance copy of Rockband at @TwestivalMtl just recently. Ringo Starr I am not.
    But, I can say that Not only is Macca the cutest Beatle, he is also the most talented. I think that is a debate for another blog, eh wot?
    Long live Sir Paul. :D
    @Pepperfire

  2. Me, I say it’s a 50-50 split between Paul McCartney and John Lennon: Paul had the lively, upbeat, colorful side of the equation down pat — perhaps better than anyone who came before or since. Ditto John, with the visceral, brooding, philosophical side. And together, it was genius unlike anything the world had ever experienced.

  3. Yes, Paul may still be considered the cute one, but I would be hard pressed to name five decent songs he has written since the Beatles disbanded.
    Still, the magic he created with John, George and Ringo between 1963 and 1970 lives on. The music of the Beatles continues to transcend genres and generations.

  4. OUCH, Syd! I can name (more than) five great Macca songs written after he left the Beatles:
    Live and Let Die
    Too Many People
    Let Me Roll It
    Calico Skies
    Call Me Back Again
    Rock Show
    Here Today
    Mrs. Vanderbilt
    Junior’s Farm
    …and many more!!!

  5. I think it’s funny that after all these years he’s still considered the “cute one”… I thought they were all cute in their younger years, though! It’s so funny that he’s considered the favorite because of his boyish good looks, how superficial!
    John is my favorite, but as a Beatlemaniac I love Paul and appreciate his music just as much. I have to say that I like Paul’s music with the Beatles way more than his solo stuff, though :l

  6. As a baby boomer growing up during the Beatlemania era, Paul was my favorite Beatle. However, let’s not forget that each of them brought something distinct to mix, which made the overall chemistry unique, magical and to this day, unequalled. As for a post-Beatle comparison, as is mentioned in the article, it’s an unfair comparison, because John’s career was cut tragically short, followed years later by George’s passing. Who knows what John would have accomplished beyond the release of ‘Double Fantasy’ had he lived?. If forced to choose, I would still have to say Paul, who at 67, is still writing, recording, touring and singing the early Beatle songs in their original keys! I am also impressed with the fact that success has not spoiled him. He appears on-stage and in interviews as a down-to-earth lad from Liverpool.

  7. Well, Julie, I still love Paul for who he was. For the record, my Paul solo favorites are (in no particular order) Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Too Many People, My Love and the studio version of Maybe I’m Amazed.

  8. Syd,
    I am 51 yrs old and have listened to the Beatles since they 1st became famous. Pauls solo career has been spotty as far as the amount of quality music he has recorded.I get frustrated with his inconsistency of good releases,Paul has put out a few dud down through the years.He has put out lots and lots of good music since 1970 when he left the Beatles,he has also put out lots of duds. I personnally think he has over extended himself somewhat as far as the amount of releases he has had.
    He has lots and lots of good music and a string of solo hits. When McCartney shines he shines like no one else.

  9. Syd -
    I also think “Maybe I’m Amazed” is one of Paul’s finest compositions, but I don’t consider that song “post-Beatles” because he most probably wrote it (and the rest of his first solo album) while he was still with the Beatles.

  10. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is one of my top 5 all time favorite songs. I, too, think it is one of Paul’s finest.
    But my favorite Beatle? Hands down, George Harrison!!

  11. Good for you, Marisa. George was always my favorite, too. I am the only person I know who actually saw him on his solo tour in 1974 (ruefully dubbed the “Dark Hoarse” tour, due to the quality of his voice at the time).

  12. Let’s not forget the backbeat of The Beatles… Ringo is the only one of the Fab 4 that I know of who inspired a hit song in 1964 by Bonnie Jo Mason (aka Cher):

  13. George. Always George. And, for the record, in the early days it was George who was considered the Handsome Beatle. Cuteness came along later. The Germans called him The Beautiful One. Ahh…George :)

  14. Sorry to come late to the party but my good friend Syd has always been a George guy and I have typically been a John guy.
    But Paulie has written and performed more than 5 great “albums” in the last 40 years. But then again its been 40 years – wow.