The orignal boy band

The term “boy band” conjures images of young heartthrobs dancing in a syncopated rhythm with coordinating outfits and pre-pubescent voices. But boy bands weren’t always filled with the Joey McIntyre’s of the world. The Beatles were the original and best boy band; all the others attempt to garner a snippet of their success and longevity.

Young girls have been sent into a frenzy by the boyish good looks of their favorite musicians for ages. The Beatles’ emergence in the 1960s solidified the idea of a few young lads causing a ruckus with merely their presence. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were the ultimate teen heartthrobs. They created the pattern for a successful pop group and molded the pop music genre into the Grammy-winning, hit-producing machine it is today.

The Beatles boy band formula has been altered and distorted but has never deviated far from the original. McCartney, the lead singer, would be followed by the likes of Jordan Knight and Justin Timberlake. Lennon was the outsider and the rebel; Bobby Brown and AJ McLean, while never nearly as charismatic, attempted to be the same boy on the edge. Today, instruments have been set aside to make way for flashy effects and technical dance moves. Thus, the Harrisons and Starrs of today trade their guitar and drum skills for the rhythmic movements of N’Sync.

The Beatles did more than cause a generation of young ladies to swoon. Their British style and mop-top hair inspired a wave of copycats and look-alikes. It became the acceptable form of rebellion. The guys who wanted to be cool and were brave enough to grow their signature shag delighted in resembling the hottest rock stars. The sharp suits and style followed. While current boy bands have influenced the world of dance, their personal style has never won over anyone except for 15-year-old girls.

The songs The Beatles created have stood the test of time. Their lyrics are as poignant today as they were in the ’60s and ’70s. They managed to capture the essence and truth of the human experience in some songs and create insatiably catchy pop melodies with their other up-beat tunes. Songs such as “Yesterday,” “Imagine” and “Here Comes the Sun” are heart-stirringly moving, while “Hard Day’s Night” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” maintain the band’s legendary poppy sound. They made music to laugh to, to love to and to live life to.

With the passing of Lennon and Harrison, the opportunity to see a living legend is waning. McCartney is still touring and is bringing his musical styling to the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday. The tickets are pricey. The cheap seats in the rafters are going for $50 a ticket, and the now nearly impossible-to-snag primo seats are going for up to $200.

Since The Beatles brought their bright shining faces to The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, pop music — and the world — has changed. However, a love and appreciation for one of the greatest bands of all time remains. So even if you can’t make it to the show, throw on a Beatles tune and sing along with the guys who made pop music what it is today.