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Historian claims Beatles were not heroes but only capitalists exploiting youth culture
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Historian claims Beatles were not heroes but only capitalists exploiting youth culture

The Beatles were not heroes, rather, much of their accorded fame and popularity was due to their capitalist exploitation of the then youth culture, claims a Cambridge University historian.

London, October 9 : The Beatles were 'not heroes', rather, much of their accorded fame and popularity was due to their capitalist exploitation of the then youth culture, claims a Cambridge University historian.

David Fowler has disputed the hugely accepted idea of Beatles as the forerunners of a cultural movement of the swinging 60s.

Instead, the historian has claimed that the band's gigantic status owed to its commercial interest in selling records, which they did enormously, rather than acting as leaders of its generation.

"They were young capitalists who, far from developing a youth culture, were exploiting youth culture by promoting fan worship, mindless screaming and nothing more than a passive teenage consumer," Guardian.co.uk quoted Fowler as saying.

"They did about as much to represent the interests of the nation's young people as the Spice Girls did in the 1990s," he added.

Fowler further busts the myth that bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were far away from echoing the voice of the young people.

He said: "The Beatles did not generate a youth culture at all; merely a youth audience of passive teenage (mainly female) fans who became superfluous when the group stopped touring Britain in 1965."

John Lennon might have arguably declared Beatles to be bigger than Jesus in 1966, but the study published in 'Youth Culture in Modern Britain' sees the folk-dancing rural revivalist Rolf Gardiner as the true youth culture hero of 20th century Britain.

Fowler argued that it was Gardiner who pioneered the 'cult for youth' where the young generation were free to voice their beliefs and question the prescribed notions handed down to them from previous generations.

"People like Rolf Gardiner were true cultural subversives - pop stars before pop stars even existed," he added.

ANI

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