If The Beatles Had Facebook Would They Still Be Legends?

Posted November 2

Welcome to the O Music Awards guest writer series, a place where we hand the proverbial reins over to qualified writers/musicians/etc and let them share their thoughts about music and technology. Today’s guest blogger is Eric Victorino, lead singer of the band The Limousines.

Imagine There Are No Legends, Its Easy If You Try…

I’ve been playing a funny game in my head for a while now, taking huge artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin and removing them from their time periods, plopping them right here in our decade and wondering what their daily lives would be like.

How interesting would these rock gods have been to our parents if they had Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts? Half of what made them icons were the legendary tales and mysteries surrounding their personas. Fans didn’t know everything about the people behind their favorite music. They gathered little bits and pieces about what made musicians tick from reading interviews in magazines and watching music videos.

Some artists were so mysterious that the only way to find out what they looked like was to see them in concert. Now we know everything. We know who they’re dating, we know when they’re stuck in traffic and we know when they’re pissed off about their favorite football team losing.

Our parents imagined their favorite rockstars stepping off the stage into swarms of groupies and cocaine-fueled all-night orgies at the hotel, but now we’re looking at pictures of our favorite bands’ meals on Instagram. We know they hate taking their shoes off in the airport security line just like we do. We are relating to them in everyday ways. It’s kind of like that scene in The Wizard Of Oz when the curtain is pulled back and it turns out the all-powerful Oz is really just regular old munchkin.

So let’s take The Beatles out of their London studio in 1966, set them up in a modern studio and listen in for a few minutes as they work on their new album Best Buy Presents Dr. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Gone are the huge reel-to-reel tape recorders and walls of knobs and buttons. The band isn’t huddled around a mixing console or sitting in a circle with their instruments the way we might imagine them. They’re spread around the studio on couches, hunched over their laptops and iPhones, not really ignoring each other but not really hanging out either. They look more like strangers passing time on the subway than the world’s greatest band crafting a masterpiece. An engineer sits at his computer, slavishly clicking his mouse every few seconds as he fixes all of the band’s mistakes in ProTools.

@GeorgeHarriZEN Tweets: Thinking of playing the Sitar on a couple of tracks!

Random Fan Instantly @Replies: You guys are fags. Your new stuff sucks. What happened to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand?”

George hits John on iChat: “Maybe we should just go back to our old pop sound… The fans aren’t keen on our new direction. idk…”

John looks up from his screen with a sigh, but before he’s got time to reply, Paul holds up his phone and announces to the room that Pitchfork BBC has declared “The End Of Beatlemania.” “What the bloody hell is dubstep anyway?” he mumbles as he types Skrillex into his Spotify search.

Ringo says he just got an email from the record label people and reads it out loud from behind his computer screen, “Hey Beats, we think you dudes should be posting daily video updates to your YouTube channel so the fans don’t forget about you in between tours. Make something viral.” Ringo pauses and says he’s got some funny videos of everyone drunk and farting in the tour bus, “We could post those,” says Paul.

Ringo continues reading the email to everyone, “We are gonna set the band up with a phone number so you guys can tweet that out and your fans can call you guys whenever they want, it’s really cool and organic. We’re also going to do a remix contest on Facebook, so after you guys finish working on the songs and getting them perfect, we could let your fans mess around with them, we’ll all hop on Skype and talk about it with your managers and our whole staff when we get back from our Cross-Country bike ride…”

Ringo’s voice trails off as he realizes nobody is listening to him anymore. They’re all huddled around John’s computer checking out n00dz of Mick Jagger on isanyoneup.com. “See, that’s why I never send d*ck pics,” says Paul.

By Eric Victorino of The Limousines, author of Coma Therapy and Trading Shadows For Sunshine.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Kevin Krejci