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To Cos: Beatles & Rules

Aug 15, 1996 06:35 AM
by Ann E. Bermingham

>I don't know what caused the change in music, but as my tastes run to
>punk-industrial it was good riddance to bad rubbish as far as I'm concerned.
> The Beatles never failed to turn my stomach.
>There is something about trying to mix the spiritual and music that, at least
>in the West, died with Bach and Handel.   Everything tried in the sixties and
>after came, and comes off terribly phoney and sappy.  None of it is worth
>listening to.

As they say, to each his own.  But this reminds of a story I'd heard about
Olcott, going back many years to the seventies.  It was at a Theosofest or
whatever, a jazz-oriented group was booked to play.  When they started to play,
several members got up and left because of the music.  The person telling the
story told me one woman said her husband had to do an exorcism on her from the
ill effects of the music.

I encountered this disapproval of modern music when I played a Todd Rundgren
song and McCartney's Long & Winding Road at an LCC retreat.  While the rest of
the people loved it, an older and well-respected member of TS told me loudly and
publicly that she hated the Beatles tune and thought the Rundgren stuff was OK.

I've always wondered if there is a bias (perhaps fading?) among Theosophists
towards classical and traditional music.  That popular music was considered not
only low-class, but down right dangerous.  If I played my screaming heavy metal
albums by Steve Vai in the parking lot at Olcott, would someone come out
screaming worse than the CD?  : - )

What I'm asking here is whether there is some official policy or prounouncement
on music by TS?  Were there originally prounouncements and recommendations made
by past leaders?  (I'd bet money Leadbeater had his recommendations - he had em'
about everything else.)

As for rules, well, I would think that all the people on this list are plenty
old enough to be responsible for themselves.  If not, somebody else can tell
them to get their act together.

-Ann E. Bermingham

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