“The guitar’s alright John, but you’ll never make a living out of it”

Here is Dom from wedding band Rock My Reception and this weeks blog…..

There is a quote in Beatles folklore which has been re-printed in many of the umpteen biographies, ‘definitive-history-of’ books, and quoted by Lennon himself in interviews. It is a comment Lennon’s Aunt Mimi made to him as a teenager when focussing more on his burgeoning passion for guitars and all things rock and roll rather than, on what she saw, his ‘serious’ studies at the Liverpool College of Art.

“The guitar’s alright John, but you’ll never make a living out of it”

Obviously, with hindsight coming into play this quote is now riddled with delicious irony and must’ve been used as a ‘told-you-so’ tool by Lennon against his aunt whenever she should subsequently get his back up. Indeed, the unprecedented events which were to unfold in the near future would’ve made any parent re-think their outlook on what ‘serious’ studies should be.

In the eyes of many parents in the 50’s the idea that one could make a successful career out of a seemingly passing teenage fad back in the late 50’s could only have been an alien one. The general consensus being that if you were lucky enough to have passed your Eleven Plus exam you were probably well on your way to a College and University path, the end result being a white collar job, high-ranking society status and all the qualities of life they should bring. For the rest, a secondary modern education until fifteen or sixteen whereby the options may have been more limited to blue-collar, manual jobs. Fast forward to the 21st Century and we get a slightly different view. Not all of the University graduates of the 50’s and 60’s reached the goal of being happy and fulfilled in their lives and not all eleven plus failures ended up settling for mundane 9-5 blue collar jobs. Many took hold of the reins and became successful entrepreneurs in their own rights. In some ways rock and roll could almost be interpreted as being a catalyst for the very notion of societies youth at the time taking matters into their own hands. Taking their own sub-culture and transforming it, with a mixture of passion and enterprise, into a lucrative commodity.

It is thanks to the generation of, now sexagenarians and septuagenarians, that subsequent generations of youth have had the freedom to indulge in their passions without the scorn and ridicule that may have been bestowed upon their 1950’s predecessors. As musicians honing our skills in the early 90’s, me and Kieran were often met with the phrase, “Hey lads, when are we seeing you on Top Of The Pops, then?”
At the time this gentle ribbing may have seen slightly patronising, but on closer inspection it actually proves that the very notion that it was now possible to succeed and achieve stardom via a love of music was imbedded in societies psyche.

Sadly, things may have gone slightly awry in the advent of Reality T.V. The idea that you could make a success out of a passion now replaced by that of stardom, regardless of talent or hard graft being the be all and end all. After we won the wedding industry award back in January, we were overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages from people who have known us over the years. The general feeling that the hard work had payed off and that we could now concentrate on a more sure-footed career; pubs and clubs starting to become a less dependable source of income. What we didn’t expect was the mantra-like expression, “So, when are you going to apply for the X-factor?”. It seemed a bizarre notion that so many people would share the view that the natural corollary to achieving success at a wedding award ceremony should be to contact Simon Cowell and company!

So, perhaps we’ve come full circle. The idea now being that a girl half-tunefully singing along to a Beyoncé number on the radio should drop her flourishing career in the bank to be humiliated in front of a panel of ex-soap stars, one hit wonder singers from the 80’s and some egocentric perma tanned music mogul is now the status-quo.

There may even be an Aunt Mimi of 2014, chastising their nephew with the following rebuke:

“An art degree is alright John, but what about filling in that application for Britain’s Got Talent?”


A Young John Lennon. An Inspiration To Rock My Reception

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