Favourite Beatle: The Eternal Debate

Who’s your favourite Beatle? It’s a question that’s almost impossible for fans to avoid. Sooner or later someone will ask you, and you need to have an answer for it. If you don’t, they will keep hounding you until they get one. But that’s not enough. You will then have to argue the case for your favourite Beatle, and there will always be that one person who disagrees with everything you say and will try to start an argument over who’s the best.

There was a time when I loved getting into discussions about favourite Beatles. Now, more often than not, such discussions end up turning into ‘The Battle of Lennon versus McCartney’ or ‘Ringo wasn’t a good drummer’ or ‘John Lennon was The Beatles’ and, honestly, I have no time for any of that. It’s fine for people to have their favourites, but it’s wrong to pit them against each other, not to mention completely pointless. Nobody was ‘the best Beatle’ and nobody can tell me that one was somehow less important than the others. If you took any of them out of the equation, The Beatles wouldn’t have been The Beatles as we know and love them. It’s that simple. And don’t even get me started on the Ringo thing. Any drummer will tell you how important he is.

NPG x133070; The Beatles (George Harrison; Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr; John Lennon) by Norman Parkinson

There is another reason why I’m now reluctant to answer the question. It’s not as clear-cut as it once was. Growing up, my favourite Beatle was George. It was always difficult to pinpoint why. I can’t say it was because he was a guitarist, as I was fascinated with him long before I even learned to play guitar myself. Maybe it was because he was seen as the Quiet Beatle and that made him intriguing; I really don’t know. Whatever the reason, he remained my favourite for a long time. Then I started getting more interested in Paul’s solo stuff, and before long he was challenging George for top spot. To this day, Paul’s output is still my favourite of all the post-Beatles material.

It’s now got to the point where I really can’t say, “My favourite Beatle is…” without having to go into more detail. And having favourites doesn’t mean you love the others any less. George and Paul may be up there, but I adore John and Ringo too. For most people, it’s just a bit of fun, but some take it far too seriously. It shouldn’t be something that causes genuine arguments.

So whether your favourite Beatle changes often, has always been the same or you just can’t choose one at all, it really doesn’t matter as long as you recognise the equal importance of all of them. They’re not called the Fab Four for nothing.

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