Short Stories

Being Pretentious (and also Only Twelve)

Much like many other people who frequently listen to the WKNC daytime block, I was raised on the outdated music of my parents. I mistakenly assumed that there had to be a reason I only heard older music at home: it had to be better than new music or something.

I am glad I do not think this way anymore. Amazing music has been made in all kinds of genres and being open minded is what allows you to appreciate as much of it as possible.

Questionable Beatles Appreciation

Album Cover for 1 (compilation album) by The Beatles
Album cover for 1, a compilation album of music by The Beatles

So yeah, when I was younger, I really liked The Beatles. I listened to the “1” album (a compilation album including many of their largest hits) over and over again. For some reason, I thought this made me an authority on music or something.

A few things happened when music was brought up around me during that time which I now think are pretty funny.

Not being the friend you want to talk about music to

I was talking to a friend in seventh grade and he asked me what my favorite Beatles song was because he knew I loved their music. I had a hard time choosing a song so he told me his favorite song. The song was “Across the Universe”.

That song is often though to be one of the best Beatles songs. It has been covered by numerous artists including Fiona Apple, David Bowie and strangely even Evanescence…

Despite the songs critical acclaim, 13 year old me had no clue that the song existed so I told him, “I have never heard it, it probably sucks”.

This was an unfortunate thing for me to say about one of his favorite songs. I definitely did not “win” that conversation.

Music has such an awesome ability to bring people together and I was definitely not utilizing that at 13.

Struggling to know the decades

In sixth grade, my history teacher began talking about music and asked the class what our favorite 80’s bands were. I raised my hand and when I was called on I told the class that The Beatles were my favorite 80’s band. The teacher gave me a look as if I had said something wrong but I was not really sure why.

I later realized that The Beatles broke up 10 years before the decade even began.

Bonus story: Being mildly traumatized by recorded music

This story comes from when I was much younger but I thought I should include it. I was probably three or four and I was in the bath with my mom supervising me. A CD Boombox (an AM-FM radio with a built in CD player) was on the bathroom counter and the White Album by The Beatles was inside it playing.

Many people think that the album is too unfocused as it has many songs that are strange diversions, but I loved the stories and sounds in the songs as a child.

My mom briefly left the room and a song from the B side of the record that I had not heard before began playing. The track was “Revolution 9”.

If you have never heard the song, maybe consider listening to it so you could better understand how a three year old brain would react to it. The song sounds like it was designed to scare kids with its reversed dialogue, baby cries, rising orchestral pitches, crashing cymbals, distressed voices and other harsh sounds.

A fun bath time with soap bubbles soon became visceral horror. I was definitely crying and belligerent while this was happening.

What made this even worse was that I happened to be so small that I could not reach the CD player when I got out of the bath to skip the song so I just had to listen to it. I do not remember if the full 8 minutes and 22 seconds of the track played out or if my mom came back and stopped it but either way I was not having a good time.

I am still freaked out by that song (even though I think it is conceptually cool) and have skipped it while alone a few times.


Don’t be pretentious, especially not if you have no clue what you are talking about. You don’t want to sound like a middle-school aged Beatles fan, do you?