When it comes to the weird world of rock fandom, obsessives abound, but even among the most intensely worshipped artists, from U2 to Metallica to Gaga, no one ever has or ever will inspire quite the crazed degree of fixation you’ll find among Beatles fans. For every area of oddball Beatles minutiae you can imagine, there’s a whole subsection of the Fab Four’s cult who have dedicated themselves to it with an unsettling amount of élan. For quick and easy verification of this fan-omenon, you need look no farther than your laptop. Just start surfing around on Tumblr, for instance, and let the full breadth of the Beatles blogosphere begin to reveal itself in all its most disturbing manifestations. Better yet, let us do it for you — at least we get paid for it. Here’s the five weirdest micro-Beatles sites we’ve found so far.
Barring a search of the sort described above, it’s sobering just to imagine what sort of freaky phrases must have gone through Google in order to bring Beatlemaniacs to this example of niche appeal at its most curious. As the title implies, the focus is on photos in which John’s thighs are prominently featured. Sometimes the great one’s gams are bare, pictured in shorts or bathing suit, but just as often they’re clothed. And other Beatles’ stems make the occasional cameo appearance as well, apparently just for egalitarianism’s sake. That screaming you hear in the distance isn’t coming from a video clip of the group’s first Ed Sullivan appearance — it’s the sound of Beatles fans with very specific sensual requirements consummating their relationship with themselves.
No, it’s not a repository for admissions that have been made by the Beatles themselves. Rather, it’s “a place where you can leave your deepest Beatle’s [sic] secrets with no shame.” Sweet jumpin’ Jesus, there’s a wide-open window to weirdness for you. Of course, some of the “confessions” that occupy this particular blog are entirely benign, and occasionally even endearing, while some seem rather random but ultimately unremarkable. But then there are the ones that, well, maybe you should just see for yourself: “Sometimes I get scared to change into new clothes because I always feel like Ringo is watching me.” “I’d like to believe that Paul is dead. I don’t know why, but someone or something is telling me that it’s true.” “I sometimes look at my brother, and he reminds me so much of John. I get scared knowing, that perhaps if he was the reincarnation of John Lennon, my brother is tone deaf.”
Arms, legs, backs, bellies (sometimes pregnant ones), ribcages, they’re all fair game for displaying your undying dedication to John, Paul, George, and Ringo in permanent ink, and this blog boasts the full range of Beatles tattoos. Fans post photos of their bodily Beatles paeans, revealing the dizzying range of inspirations and effects the quartet’s legacy has had. While there’s an ample array of Fab Four imagery to be found, song lyrics seem to dominate. And though it’s easy enough to understand the idea behind someone picking “All you need is love” as their message to the world, it’s tougher to back-engineer the thought process behind people (more than one) who opt instead for “Happiness is a warm gun.” Bonus points for commitment go to the woman with the entire lyric to “In My Life” covering her back.
In retrospect, this one was inevitable. Considering that the blogs we’ve highlighted here are merely the tip of the obsessive iceberg [We haven’t even gotten into The Shirtless Beatles or Beatles Babies, to name just a couple], sooner or later someone had to cry “Enough!” and begin a Beatle blog backlash. As its name indicates, this iconoclastic site is a hater’s haven, dedicated to tearing down the Fabs’ legacy brick by Beatle brick. Fair enough on the face of it, but something feels disingenuous about the presentation. The site purports to be the work of two teenage girls “who hold the firm belief that the Beatles are the most overrated and one of the worst bands in history.” But the obsession with intimations of homosexuality, the unusual degree of knowledge about Beatles esoterica, and the too-consistently atrocious spelling “mistakes” all make us eager to declare shenanigans.
We’re not talking about smoking as in, “Those guys had a really smoking band.” This blog is concerned with smoking of the “puff, puff, cough” variety. Yes, this is a collection of photographs of the Beatles actually smoking, mostly cigarettes but also the occasional cigar, with surprisingly little to be seen of any illicit substances. There’s an extra level of enjoyment to be gleaned from the introduction, in which the proprietor seems to be speaking from a strictly medical standpoint in observing, “I know, it’s not the healthiest blog out there.” You said a mouthful, my friend.