Sep 21

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.

EdSullivanbeatles64_2

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.

Feb 07

All things must pass

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away this week. As most rock fans know, the Marahishi will be foreverMaharis_5
linked with the Beatles, the Summer of Love, transcendental meditation and other byproducts of Hippiedom.

But, he’s also a great example of image management (and mismanagement). For one brief, shining moment, the Maharishi ruled supreme as the Beatles’ spiritual advisor and de facto ‘guide’ to a newer, better way of living one’s life.

He played weekend host to a confab that included the Fab Four, the Rolling Stones, Donovan, Mia Farrow and her sister, Prudence (who inspired the Beatles song ‘Dear Prudence’). And then, all hell broke loose as the spiritual ‘holy man’ was accused of sexual improprieties with some of his visitors.

Like quite a few other high profile figures from public and private sector alike, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi saw his carefully orchestrated image literally go up in smoke (pot or otherwise) because of some ill-conceived acts on his part.

It’s been said many times and in many ways, but an image can take a lifetime to build and a nanosecond to destroy. For the Maharishi, it only took a long weekend with John, Paul, George and Ringo to become the fool on the hill.