The Celebrity Legacy of the Beatles

  • P. David Marshall


There are peculiar contemporary moments that recall the celebrated past of the Beatles and which reinforce the belief that their influence continues and is vibrantly part of the present. Oasis is probably the most popular band regularly to acknowledge its debts to the Beatles and the Lennon-McCartney songwriting successes. In a similar vein, the New Zealand-Australian band Crowded House was often linked to the Beatles’ pop sensibility in its approach to songmaking and its sartorial presence. But more than just adopting and adapting the foundations of a musical style, succeeding generations of musicians and singers have also built upon the public display of self that was a part of the various incarnations of the Beatles — both as a group and as individuals. The popular music industry has in many ways routinized the moments of public display that are part of the Beatles’ mythology and has made them representative of youth and contemporary musical culture. This chapter seeks to understand the legacy of the Beatles as celebrity forms for contemporary culture. It is an investigation of the routinization of the pleasures of personality that have become models for the organization of popular music and popular culture.


Sexual Identity Public Display Popular Music Contemporary Culture Rock Music 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. David Marshall

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