Who Are The Beatles?

The folks at I Hate Young People took to the street and asked teenagers if they could name one Beatles song or maybe just one Beatle or, etc. The biggest lesson we learn? (a) George Michael has bigger cultural sway than Paul McCartney or John Lennon. (b) Don’t trust anyone over the age of 10 wearing a Bert hat. Here:

(Via The Daily Swarm)

Big deal? Not a big deal? Talk amongst yourselves — am on my way to the local nursing home to ask grandma to name the 11 members of OFWGKTA.

Comments (83)
  1. Also, don’t trust anyone who doesn’t know how Bert’s name is spelled. :P

  2. That girl with the pink hair was the most annoying.

    “OMG, I hate the Beatles so much. I don’t see what the big deal is.”

    “Can you name one of them?”


    • You don’t have to know someones name to be able to legitimately dislike their music.

      • She didn’t really seem to know ANYTHING about the Beatles.

        • I dunno, I agree with you, brad.
          I think in order to genuinely dislike something, you should have some reasons why you dislike them enough to categorize them in the ‘hate’ pile.
          Besides not seeing what the ‘big deal’ is.

          • Nah, hating Nickelback and not knowing any of their names is not the same thing as hating the Beatles and not knowing any of their names — because the Beatles are musically and culturally influential to such an enormous, unavoidable degree that to not know the most basic things about them (regardless if you like them or not) really speaks to some sort of deeper, culturally-oblivious ignorance.

        • i hate nickelback yet i cant tell you one of their names….

          • but you know WHY you hate nickelback.
            because their songs are certifiably terrible and unoriginal.
            and knowing about them doesn’t mean you have to know their names.
            granted, i cant recall if she was able to name any of the beatles’ songs, but I think she is kind of being a bitch to be a bitch (original! inspiring!)

      • I don’t know, I would think that it could be used as some sort of reliable basis for evaluating just how knowledgeable they are about the band, in the same way I would be (more) suspicious of someone claiming to love the Beatles but wasn’t able to name their favorite album, etc.

    • She a fucking hipster chick.

    • Yeah, I really hated that girl. She just seemed so ignorant and probably only likes emo boy bands from myspace.

    • And when that girl said:
      “George, something. I dont know, he wasnt very popular.”
      Ooo, and “John Legend” and “George Lennon”
      Whats wrong with this world, I really want them to ask me , i am not even 13.

  3. I really wouldn’t be surprised if they edited out all of the kids that did know the Beatles. I know a lot of young teenagers who listen to the Beatles, love the Across the Universe movie, etc. The only point they proved is that they can find 15 kids who don’t know who the Beatles are. Not that shocking.

    • A site called I Hate Young People is probably not unbiased.

    • I agree. I don’t think I could find one kid in my neighborhood who DOESN’T know of the Beatles, or could name at least two members. I could make a video (and by gosh I think I will!) that edits them together and title it “These are the Beatles!”

      • Same here, David Sloan. However, I live in the middle of the suburbs, grew up here, and 95 percent of the kids are white with affluent baby boomer parents.

        We’re raised to worship the classic rock cult of “Music these days is ALL garbage! The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Tom Petty–now THEY had talent! They played their own instruments! THAT was actual music!!!”

        I’m not sure where you live, but I’m absolutely certain that plays a role in young people knowing about The Beatles in my area.

    • The young girl I baby sit knows how The Beatles are and she’s just seven! This website lies.

  4. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  5. funny timing, my buddy just handed me a few of the stickers he had made the other day

  6. I have a coworker who is 33 years old and has almost zero knowledge of pop culture. He asked me, in all seriousness, if Simon Cowell used to be in the Beatles. I hate him.

    • what the hell did he do with his 33 years of existence

    • I hope you said something like, “Yes. He was originally married to Yoko Ono but divorced her to date the actress formerly known as Prince who was in a series of disney films in the late 1980s, such as Mean Girls and Freaky Friday. How do you not know that?” Oh man, the fun you can have with this guy.

  7. I’m no older than these kids and I recognize that The Beatles are the most influential pop band ever and if you consider yourself a fan of music you kind of have an obligation to know about and like them. It’s the facts. These kids suck.

  8. These people fail harder than everyone on Twitter asking who Osama bin Laden is/was.

  9. “Fergie, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap.”

  10. The kids are not all right

  11. Yeah, if you don’t like the Beatles, that’s perfectly valid, but that pink haired chick said ‘I don’t understand the big deal,’ which irked me. How the hell do you not at least understand the context of why people give them so much praise? They managed to birth/inspire/reinforce damn near every genre of rock you see today AFTER they became hugely popular off of conventional pop music. They experimented so wildly that it’s impossible to pigeonhole them into any category. They transcended music as chart hits and every musician who plays rock owes a massive debt to them, whether they like it or not.

    Oh yeah and they did this all in 10 years and ended the band at high points in each member’s talent and output.

    Fuckin’ respect.

    • Hating something without any knowledge of it is SO in nowadays. Damn kids *shakes fist*

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • Although I think you make reasonable points in your argument, not having unabashed adoration for the Beatles does not make you a cultural retard, but not acknowledging that they changed the face of music is kind of short sighted, in my opinion.
        And their solo shit is not what the topic is about.
        Their solo shit is independent from this, and didn’t change music (at least, not as radically as) the Beatles together did.

      • What’s wrong with disco?

      • Late to the party, but:

        While I hesitate to say Beatlemania was a “fad” then or now, I think Luke’s comment has a lot of merit to it.

        Really, the Beatles’ relevance and presence in the zeitgeist is largely due to changes in culture and technology. They became famous by overtly mimicking (if not outright swiping) songs and sounds other, Blacker musicians were making at the time; while this was hardly out-of-the-ordinary (see: The Rolling Stones, etc.), the Beatles had an image that people could sell. And yes, the Beatles had their own share of detractors at the time, but they were still far more accepted than, say, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, or even Chuck Berry. That technology enabled the band to be in the heads of millions of teenagers during one of the most economically prosperous times in American/British history certainly helped.

        I do agree with Luke to some extent in that disinterest in the Beatles (if not outright dislike) ought not to be considered a cultural handicap, and that people definitely need to think for themselves. I even agree that the Beatles were overrated as a band, and that the production techniques they employed have since been grossly over-mined by their legions of lesser imitators. I’ll stop short of declaring that the Rolling Stones are the better influence, though.

        But Luke raises a good point, and the negative reaction to this post proves it.

      • Hey fuck you, buddy, Ram was a good album.

      • I’m a fan of the Beatles, and I agree with what’s been said by Luke here.

    • That was lovely and everything I wished I could say.
      You, Mr. McIntyre, are eloquent!

    • Agreed. Listen to Revolution #9 and then get back to me before hating on The Beatles.

      • we do not owe this fucktard an explanation of why the beatles were great. if he doesn’t like the beatles, then he is a fucking idiot. he has no music credibility whatsoever. period. i hate this “i hate the beatles” demographic. it is so so small and insignificant and unimportant. they are fucking clueless about music.

  12. Can’t even get through this whole video b/c it makes me angry. I feel like it’s the girl with the pink hair that did it. She seems to be making everyone else angry as well.

  13. Capt. Pink Hair hates them because she’s an Individual and wears ugly glasses.

  14. I’m 19 and even my least musical friends probably know a fair amount about the Beatles. When discussing music no one out of 6 people had heard of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly or Frank Sinatra however…

  15. Paul Mccartney and the Wings? I love their song “Love Take Me Down (To the Streets)”

  16. That’s strange, I’m 16 and I can name maybe 20 songs off the top of my head and I’m not even an avid listener. How is it even possible not to know who John Lennon or Paul Mccartney are?

  17. The best thing about my parents being born in the 50′s is that I grew up listening to the Beatles, among all the other bands they listened to.

  18. Probably would have had more success if they had gone out to some nice upper middle class town where everyone’s parents had once been hippies.

    • Exactly. Why would any of these kids know who the Beatles are?

      Having said that, I teach high school with a poster of the Abbey Road cover on my wall and most kids (yes, even the white ones) don’t know who they are.

      Which is fine, because when the smart ones go to college and figure it out, the pay off will be so much sweeter.

  19. The biggest travesty here? Apparently none of these kids have heard “The Grey Album”.

  20. Thanks to my 6th grade teacher, I became obsessed with The Beatles at an early age. Because of him I at least know what decent music should sound like.

  21. This isnt a surprise considering that just about everyone in this video was black/more likely to listen to hip hop. I figured out a kid at work yesterday had no idea who BB King was and had never heard the name.

    In other news for the most unlikely really good cover of “help” check out dc talks version off their “welcome to the freakshow” live album. –True Story

  22. This is more like “I Hate Young Black People.” I get that it’s just for fun, but I don’t necessarily think these folks being interviewed should know The Beatles, is it part of their culture? Maybe, maybe not.

    I wouldn’t expect old white people to know the essential names of rap or hip hop. Hell, look at the Republicans flipping out over Common being honored by the White House.

  23. Only about two years ago, the Facebook network for my old high-school had a tally of what were the favorite bands/artists/genres among all the students who had an account. Guess who was #1?

    What that tally represented was a demographic within a demographic (upper-middle-class Canadian teens) and the video of this article does the same thing (inner-city American teens). A lot of the responses from those “young black people” were pretty honest and innocent and if someone were to quiz my former high-school peers about country or even hip-hop culture, the results would probably be spotty and equally embarrassing.

    On another note, you should take into consideration how much footage was left out of that final version of “Beatles Fan Club 2011″. As if nobody from those school-grounds have heard of Lennon or “Here Comes the Sun”…

    • Considering not all the young people in this clip were black (girl with pink hair was whiter than white), that’s not really a valid argument.

      Also, while I wouldn’t expect everyone ever to know all the members’ full names, or a song, I would expect them to at least know a bit about them (one of their names, the “Fab Four” nickname). They’re historical figures, and many times transcended the musician barrier and became pop culture icons. These kids are completely clueless about landmark figures in modern history. If you were to name the most important people of the 1960′s, there is no way that The Beatles would not occupy a spot in the top 10.

      I don’t know too many songs by them, other than the standards, but I do know they changed culture and to not know anything about them, like some of these kids, is totally lame.

      • Saying “young black people” was meant to be sarcastic, hence why I later typed “inner-city American teens”.

        The interviewees heard of the Beatles and therefore knew that they are “landmark figures” but the band is not necessarily probable subjects for History class. Not all youths study music as thoroughly as you probably think they should.

  24. no comment. i want to say some hateful stuff right now.

  25. Go to an affluent suburb and ask who Afrika Bambaataa or Slick Rick are. Arguably, just as influential on current popular music as the Beatles, and about a million times more underappreciated. In fact, I’m not even sure this crowd might know who they are.

  26. I don’t think it matters. If music isn’t good enough to win people over without someone having to say, “But you HAVE to appreciate this! Don’t you understand their place in rock history?,” then maybe it’s just not that great. Our generation lived through a huge Beatles revival, with The Beatles Anthology miniseries and the reissuing of Beatles albums on CD, when the world had a collective moment of honoring The Beatles’ achievements and treating them like the greatest rock band of all time. Can you blame a younger generation for caring less when all they have is Across the Universe and Apple’s acquisition of The Beatles’ catalogue for sale on iTunes? The latter event was a nauseating enough display of baby boomer narcissism and out of touch-ness to make ME question my appreciation for The Beatles. And let’s not forget the corporate machine that operates on selling us, over and over and over, the idea that The Beatles are the greatest thing ever to happen to music, with constant redundant (and expensive) reissues and compilations and Rolling Stone features and major films. Yes, the music is both great and influential, but there are also people sitting in offices who profit a lot from having us believe that.

    If anything, I think it’s healthy for us to consider the possibility that The Beatles suck.

  27. who gives a shit if people don’t like the beatles. influential does not automatically equal great. religion influences billions more people than they ever did and i feel pretty okay saying that religion sucks.

    personally i like the beatles. if you don’t, or you don’t know who they are, i will still have a beer with you.

  28. They should’ve interviewed Kanye.

    “What’s a black Beatle anyway, a fuckin roach???”

  29. It’s times like this that I like to quote Scar from The Lion King:

    “I’m surroooooooounded by IDIOTS.”

  30. It’s sad that the “corporate machine” makes you “rebels” think that the value of art and music is purely subjective. That is really one of the great blunders of our current culture. It’s a view that strictly ignores skill and execution.

    Another is the idea that it is purely objective, based on quantitative influence and popularity. That is also not wholly determinant of the value of any kind of music.

    As with anything there are two extremes in this debate, and those sitting on either side are not looking at the whole picture. Somewhere in the middle there is the true OPINION, which states simply: “I don’t like this.” or “I can relate to that.” This aught to be your one true navigation tool, but then, you should always question “Why?” Only questioning this will lead you to trying new things.

    In terms of popular opinion, the anti-Beatle perspective is pretty valid. The Beatles are overdone, oversold, overexposed. There is no choice left for people who want to break with the status quo other than to rebel against The Beatles and everything they represent. But then again, it’s not like that’s a very original idea either (enter 70′s & 80′s punk, hip-hop, metal, disco etc)

    To those arguing that the music of the Beatles has become nothing more than propaganda for some kind of social homogenizing protocol, another way of looking at your argument is: this band made music so powerful, universal, and timeless, that people sitting in offices are ABLE to use it to profit off of us and in some ways control us, generation after generation. That’s no fault of The Beatles themselves. Sure it’s healthy to consider the possibility that The Beatles suck, but I’m sorry, they don’t.

    And these kids in this video will (I hope) know who they are some day. I’m quite a bit older than them and most of my 8th grade class couldn’t name them either.

    And BTW the girl in the pink hair is a LIAR.

    • bbbbbrrrrrrttttttttttttttttttt *excuse me. It stinks like freshman english in here.

    • The Beatles may not suck, but pushing and over hyping them constantly is sucky

      One other thing not noticed here is how paternalistic, ageist and racist (toward the young people of color) this whole affair and video is. Expecting black youth raised (for better or worse) on current Afro-American music to care about the Beatles or be considered nothing is like expecting South African kids in the poorest parts of Johannesburg to care about them-they’re going to to have their own culture and music separate and apart from whites, and even from their own parents and people. Why should it be bad for them to not know who the Beatles were? There are a million Chinese who’ve never heard of them, either.

      A better thing might be to listen to what they listen to, for a change, and try to understand (or at least tolerate) whet they listen to and like, rather that insist that the only thing they must know is who the Beatles were (or for that matter, any other music of the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s.)


  32. Pink haired girl – I hate the beatles
    and yet didn’t know anything at all about them, the other ones I don’t really mind cos it wasn’t likely they’d know or like them, but John Legend.. i ROFLED :)

  33. I’ve heard some people like heroin, should I be obligated to like that, too? Or, wait, is it heroines? Maybe it;s heroines. In which case I do like them.

  34. i’d like to paint her vacuous and insipid bubblegum hair and opinion white with John Lennon’s sperm…

  35. And why would you expect a bunch of 17 year old jigaboos or the pink-haired beeotch that sleeps with them to know who The Beatles are? Really.

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