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How The Beatles Became Working-Class Heroes

The band members' background made them a touchpoint for '60s politics in more ways than one.

The recent release of Peter Jackson’s sprawling Beatles documentary, Get Back, has stirred up a new wave of interest in the Fab Four. Little Writer and activist Richard Eskow joined Roundtable to talk about the Beatles’ working-class background and what working-class politics looks like today.

In this segment, Eskow discusses the political panorama of the Beatles’ day and what made them so relatable.

“George Harrison once said, with great resentment, 'Ringo and I are the economy class Beatles,'” Eskow said, noting that the Fab Four themselves hailed from the ghettos of Liverpool and got their start playing in the region’s gritty bars. “All the resentments that everybody seems to have in their jobs and careers and social lives, they had them, too.”

Amidst the political turmoil of the 1960s, the Beatles came to represent young people’s optimism for the changes of the age.

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“It was the end of the silent generation. JFK was assassinated. The world was in turmoil. People were looking for something uplifting,” Eskow said. “For all the changes they went through, they were always fun. They were always interesting. They became the focal point for all this energy.”


Richard Eskow, Host of Zero Hour

Watch the full discussion below: