Realizations The Autobiography
of Julian Lee / COPYRIGHT
2009 JULIAN LEE
Back to Main Page
The Beatles, Rock Music, and the Sixties
I remember the moment that I learned that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. We were still a very innocent nation then, and most can remember exactly where they were when they heard. I was in a new and exciting game of kickball in gym class, around the 2nd grade. I even remember just where I was standing on the gym floor. An upper door flew open and in came Sister Michael Agnes, a nun I'd never had in class who was quite heavy and probably specialized with younger students. She bustled in as only heavy people can do, her white linen flying, and her face was red. Standing above us on a raised platform she cried, almost convulsively and, we suddenly saw, through tears: "Teachers! Children! President Kennedy has been shot! All classes are dismissed."It was the first and only time that happened. So I knew something big had happened. The next few days was a very sad time. The nation was traumatized and violated by that event, as suggested by the Don MacClean song "American Pie," that was the day American innocence died and for him and many, "the day the music died." I remember sitting alone on somebody's sloping yard, while Mom, Dad and the whole nation were inside watching the funeral in the house, and just wondering "Why?"
And they delivered. They released something in your soul. And what were they? Four creative young men in harmony. Full of life. Being what young men are supposed to be: phenomenons, hyper-new, bold and beautiful, manly and artful, having some kind of knowledge only the young know.
There they were in their nice black tailored suits and white buttoned collars. It's hard to understand, now, how against the backdrop of the plain, conservative, regimented 1950's their slightly longer hair was beyond cheeky and had a talismanic power. Add to it some pointy boots with slightly elevated heels, and now there was a vague sense of menace. But look at their boyish enthusiasm and esprit-de-corps, plus music that was from God's own melody-arbor, and it amounted to a male spiritual phenomenon and cultural revolution. We young people actually did view them as some kind of demigods, and the feeling was overwhelming. Each new Beatles song that came out, in that period, placed unnamed longing into winters, made a springtime feel more spring, changed whole summers of days and nights, and made the future bigger and more alive.
What I was actually hearing, was the sound of male energy, the sound of young men. It was the genius of the young male, along with his sexual energy like a mating call, distilled into music. A young man is full of energy, the creative energy. He does amazing things. He fights. He howls, and sings high. He creates. He tries to impress. In those lyrics, too, I got my first introduction to the idea of male-female attraction: "I want to hold your hand!" Why? a young boy asks. He seems to want to do this very badly. Later it would all be clear. But it's a mark of how innocent was the age that a song could reach such emotional construction simply around the lyric, "I want to hold you hand." May we have innocent ages like that once again. To boys and girls, you couldn't help but love the Beatles for putting so much emotion and drama into the innocent sentiment of holding a girl's hand. It was raw, fun, and beautifully innocent.
Girls screamed over the Beatles and went hysterical. Young men, too, were deeply moved in their masculine hearts. It spoke to your manhood and your own creative nature. Many years later I realized why women screamed. First, there was the backdrop of the 1950's which were very conservative, uniform, and self-controlled. Our parents generation had survived the war and come out on top by being disciplined, regimented, uniformly conformist, and following orders. For them, that's where safety and prosperity had indeed come from. The Beatles represented a break from order and unleashed -- albeit in ignorant ways -- the growing sexual potential of the "baby boom" generation as they matured. Basically the Beatles, and much that came later, stirred up the sexual potential of young men and women and broke the cultural boredom that was setting in, for young people starting to think, late in the 1950's.
But women screamed over the Beatles because they were intrepid young men in harmony. The "in harmony" part is very important. They were doing something new, different, and creative together, and they were doing something brave. (Breaking social conventions.) These are the things young men are supposed to do. So though my father would see the hair and say, "They look like girls," they were in fact acting precisely like men. And they were in harmony, and creating. What does this say to the female bones? They see "young men in harmony" and their bones say:
-- We will have a successful hunt
-- We will get through the winter
-- We will repel the enemy
-- We can procreate.
Thus they screamed, in feminine joy.
Young White European men, if you want your beautiful White European women to come after you that way, and worship you as Gods, and become your wives: Be in harmony with each other. That's what makes you strong, and makes you strong for them. They need this. And only your moral regeneration will put you back in harmony with other men of your kind. One of the greatest faults of the great White race is the tendency of its men to fight amongst each other, and the Jews know this and exploit it, and it only weakens you for your women. Start by being slow to criticize each other and using less demeaning, crude, and insulting language. Then go even further in brotherhood and friendship. Only moral regeneration will make all this clear.
Later at the age of 13 I developed a strong aspiration to become a musician, songwriter, and musical performer like the Beatles and so many of the other groups that had come before and after them. I developed an aspiration to be a songwriter that was so heavy I thought I would break in two if I could not write a Great Melody right there and then at 13. I started playing the guitar, dabbling on my mother's piano. Later at 16 I formed a rock group. And I started trying to write melodies, placing a huge expectation on myself. One melody did floated in at 13, which later became "Anthem For the Men Of The West." I remember the wild back yard I was cutting through when that melody floated into my mind after months of beating the skies within for one "original melody."
When a man is in his higher nature, he gets more than adequate thrills and satisfaction from things like music, good literature, poetry, beautiful buildings, the happiness and purity of children, walks through field and wood, and moonlight on untouched snow. When he is in his lower nature and sinking into ignorance, he starts getting most of his thrills in the form of the sex thrill and its biological and spiritual self-destruction. But I had not sunk to that point yet. At 10 or so, there were still karmic blessings bringing spiritual sweetness in my life.
It seems odd to have a section titled "Hair," but hair was somehow very important to me in my youth and for my generation. Maybe that is an expression of the idleness or emptiness of the successful, ordered lives our parents had achieved -- that something so small would seem so important. But in fact, the way people dress and handle there hair in any age has deep significance. I was part of a generation that used hair as a powerful symbol of creativity and rule-breaking. Astrologically, one can easily point to this as a delightful finding for the "Pluto-in-Leo" generation. The sign of Leo, also, gives a high valuation of the hair, seeing it as an expression of life force, authority, and power. Of course, I didn't think of it that way. For me after I bought my first packet of five-cent "Beatles Cards" (came with bubble gum, but the pictures were the best part) -- I just thought having hair strikingly longer was "cool."
"Cool" was a word we used it a lot. New lingo constantly circulated among me and by male buddies growing up. "Cool" to us really signified "of note," "attractive and also new," "impressive," "intrepid," "cocky," "better," "above the others." Something that was "cool" stunned you a little when you saw it and you felt the other had some power above you. Showing "cool" was an expression of strength, independence, originality, and power. Longer hair just seemed an obvious slam-dunk sure-fire way to be impressive and a cut above. How odd, yet it was so. Youth still pursue the most bizarre things -- even defacing their own natural beautiful bodies -- in search of the "I'm cool" thrill. This obsession is based partly on a lack of more natural self-esteem that comes from parental attention, partly from disconnection with more primal realities of life, and partly from manipulation in the mind-deluge of media, the chief "cool pushers" often being Jewish. In fact, Jews were big hair mongers of the 1960's because they had a more powerful and urgent imperative in breaking down the rules and order of Gentile society, and longer hair symbolized that. More on that later. But the Beatles were Gentiles, and the Gentiles of that generation were also stirring with Pluto-in-Leo. Had I had my way, I would have looked like Franz Lizst by the time I was 16.
My parents could not understand one lick of all this. In mother's conditioning, a short butch haircut such as administered to new Marine Corps recruits was how a masculine male should look, no question about it. She was completely repelled by excess length or any uncombed messiness in her boys' hair, and I suppose by the girlishness it implied to both her and dad. She couldn't see it through our eyes. For me, the longer hair was essentially a cocky, masculine show. It was a symbol of wild freedom and rule-breaking that felt powerful against the wonderful, safe, conformist backdrop of the 1950's. (Liberals or progressive do require tearing down what conservatives and traditionalists protect, to ever have any thrills or fun.) Boys tended to do that, not girls. It created a stir and conflict. (I later in fact did get into conflicts and fights over style matters like that, including simply having longer hair.)
But I couldn't see it through my parents' eyes. They saw it as what it was: The breaking of social norms and rules. To them it represented unwholesome and dangerous abandonment of tradition. Their more mature minds naturally thought: What makes these young ones an arrogant Law-Unto-Themselves, that they feel they can throw away conventions of their elders and society? What does it mean? What rules will they break next? The military thinks the same way: If all are conforming to the little rules, the big rules will also be followed and there will be order, chain-of-command. They can get things done, including winning wars. Thus the military is full of very small regulations on dress that seem picayune, but they are signs of the integrity of order and discipline. Each time mom and dad saw me sneak my hair a bit longer they'd only see wildness, rebellion, femininity, and chaos. They did not see that I was trying to express a masculine drive and distinguish myself as somehow "excellent."
So from the age of about 8 -- when just getting some little bangs made my life worthwhile up to the age of 15 when the Great Commander was no longer in the house and mom didn't have a prayer against us -- I was in a war with my parents over my hair. It sounds funny to say it, but there was great emotion and feeling about it on both sides. They tried everything, and so did I.
Mother even twice sheared off my slow gains while I slept, which I found traumatic when I awoke. There were personal and psychological elements here, too. I was an Aires sun. I had the Sun-Trine-Uranus. I was destined to be different in my context; an upsetter. My looks meant a great deal to my self-esteem, especially since I felt unprepossessing. I just considered butch haircuts to be unnatural, boring, and conformist. They meant you were a nothing. I felt invisible. I had a crying need to feel greater self-esteem through distinguishing myself. I wanted to distinguish myself and call some attention. Mother was not the best haircutter in the first place, but doing it while I slept, tossed and turned, while trying not to wake me -- made it come out even worse. When I awoke butchered just as I had started to feel o.k. about my looks, I would weep. She probably did this under pressure from Dad. One morning in the 7th grade at 13 -- the worst age when I was really starting to care how I looked to the girls, had pimples, and was more insecure than ever -- I woke up with the worst butcher job ever. There was no way to fix it into, say, a moderately short haircut. Only a buzz cut would have fixed it and that was out of the question. Nobody had those any more. I was faced to going to school looking like a retarded toad. Dad heard my early morning moans and sobs in the bathroom and came in to try to reason with me. He asked, "Why is this so important?" I couldn't articulate it at all. Instead, he gave me his best wisdom lecture about how I should try to distinguish myself by other things, be cool in cooler ways. I couldn't relate to any of it.
The deeper significance of the hair war was that restraint of the hair reflects restraint of the animal nature. Restraining, ordering, and cultivating the animal nature of sex along definite channels is what made us human and gave us a well-ordered civilization. My father and mother both knew this by instinct, though I did not. I didn't even know the animal nature yet. So they knew that the stakes were very high indeed. This war was a morally legitimate one that they waged. Wherever there are clear higher rules around sex and its sacredness, the people restrain and cultivate the hair. Wherever hair is wild and undisciplined, the animal nature is also becoming wild and undisciplined. This is demonstrably true with any glance at the changes of the sixties, which involved longer and longer hair, and declining restraint and rules surrounding sex. It was really that loss of sexual restraint that my parents were working against in the hair war. Just as a sergeant who sees his men failing to keep the rules of dress and haircuts fears, legitimately, that his company is going to lose discipline and lose a greater battle.