New Year smiles: The Beatles having a lark – and a hairstyle called Arthur

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

“What do you call that hairstyle you’re wearing?” asked the journalist.

“Arthur,” George replied.

Since George was George Harrison of the Beatles, the haircut was a moptop, which I suppose got its name because it was meant to look like somebody had jammed a mop into the top of your head. I thought Arthur was a much better name and tried calling it that but it never caught on.

Anyway, when you are a standard-issue loveable moptop, you are meant to be horsing around, having a lark, being a hoot. The Beatles did all that, probably so you wouldn’t notice they were singing nasty, rude, frankly erotic songs. “Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty three,” as Philip Larkin noted. “Between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles’ first L.P.” This was only 1964, so if you were going to usher in a sexual revolution in Britain, best do it politely, in tidy suits and schoolboy haircuts.

Source: Ipsita Chakravarty/


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