Gimme Shelter (and Social Distancing): What the Beatles and Rolling Stones Can Teach Us About ...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

We are certainly not lacking for expert opinions about how to cope with this coronavirus pandemic. Some colleagues even feel they are overdosing on them (and mine), and won’t read them anymore. Maybe, then, we need a change of pace, to hear from our popular entertainers from the past. Did they have anything useful to tell us in a different way?

Let’s take the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Why them? They were the most popular in an era when we were going through another period of social upheaval, the 1960s. If you weren’t there, Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” is a musical theater piece of the times, first shown in 1971, the year I graduated from medical school at Yale. It is being shown on the PBS television series “Great Performances” on May 15.  

Secondly, the Beatles and Stones seemed like competitive opposites, almost like we have in partisan politics, another kind of culture wars, today. The Beatles tended to be viewed as the “good boys” of rock and roll, with the Stones as the “bad boys.” Yet, both groups played early shows with Little Richard, who died this past weekend.

Source: H. Steven Moffic, MD/


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