ITHACA—For more than fifty years, The Beatles have been hailed as the greatest band of all time, boasting more than 600 million records sold. Since the formation of the group in 1960, many have considered them to be the pinnacle of commercial success and cultural impact. But does that make their music good? No. In fact, a lot of their music sucks. The most obvious example of their absurd over-adoration? They never even performed at Slope Day.
Comprised of history’s most beloved homophobic wifebeater John Lennon, Kanye West-collaborator Paul McCartney, George Harrison (irrelevant even then), and musical genius Ringo Starr, the quartet’s “revolutionary” discography has aged like a tub of yogurt forgotten in a communal fridge over winter break.
Every year, Cornellians gather for a celebration of fine arts and fun, headlined by esteemed musical guests such as Pulitzer winner Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki (whose music has been described as “grind on a stranger while under the influence of what you hope was ecstasy”). Since the annual Naval Ball in 1890, Slope Day has showcased a variety of musical talent and has been an important part of campus culture. Interestingly enough, the Beatles, who critics have described as “the most important band of all time,” has never performed at Slope Day.
Other venerable acts, like Drake (who has more “slaps” than The Beatles) have graced the stage, but the British group is noticeably absent from the lineup. How can they be considered the “greatest” if they never travelled from London to Ithaca for the preeminent celebration of arts and culture in upstate New York?
When Slope Day was revived in 1977, why did the group not reunite to honor the rich history of the festival? Why has John Lennon not been able to book a live gig since the 1980s? The simple answer is that they weren’t that good to begin with. With musical pioneers like Snoop Dogg and Gym Class Heroes gracing the Slope, the student body has not longed for the cacophonous music of The Beatles.
The Beatles are only celebrated by people born before the iPod was invented and decent music was widely accessible. In the minds of Cornellians with taste, The Beatles are, and will always be, trash for their failure to meet the standard set by icons-in-the-making like Rico Nasty, who performed at Slope Day, an event that has consistently captured the zeitgeist of each generation.