Look on the bright side, at least they didn’t fast dance

Yikes. This isn’t a YouTube video. It’s an enhanced interrogation technique.

Paul McCartney and Barack Obama have a lot in common. When I was a tyke in sixties-era San Francisco, the Beatles were only spoken of in hushed tones, with all the deference due those musical and philosophical messiahs clearly sent from heaven to deliver us from the tone-deaf talent vacuum of the thirties, forties, and fifties.

Then one day I saw 17-year-old Judy Garland sing Over the Rainbow on the Wizard of Oz. Next it was Fred Astaire crooning Cheek to Cheek while twirling Ginger Rogers across our 13-inch black-and-white TV. Then Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Nat King Cole, Glen Miller, The Mousketeers, and my high school’s Small Ensemble singing group.

And I realized everything I had been taught about the Beatles was true. None of those musical hacks could ever hope to create something as profound as I Wanna Hold Your Hand or even approach brilliance of a song that repeats the line, “Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, Hey Jude,” for 46 hours.

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