Do you have any opinions on music critic Robert Christgau? I guess he’s not important anymore, but reading his reviews of solo beatles, I find him frustrating. Even in his retrospective reviews he pans Paul’s early solo work. He negatively reviewed George’s first solo stuff as well. Obvi this can be a matter of tastes, but he claims the beatles are his his top favorite artists yet he seems very “centric” to their solo work. I’m just curious because I see his name pop up in old music critiques.
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We don’t have much to say about him, but the words, “total douche” come to mind!
Everything you pinpoint about him is true. We also unanimously agree that he lost his right to comment on an artist ever again after he publicly suggested Paul should’ve been shot.
Hello! Allow us to elaborate. Firstly, the name isn’t an indictment on denim. 🙂
Jean Jackets refers more to a specific mentality, really. The type that believes the Beatles were “John’s band,” and that John was always both right and righteous. They romanticize John’s childhood and struggles with mental illness as qualities that make him “deep” and earn him a free pass for the worst of his behavior. Because they see John as a savior, they tend to characterize his bullying and vitriol as a righteous man doling out justice. Therefore they consider it unfair to discuss how John’s behavior was damaging to others and would prefer to find fault with his targets and normalize all of it (usually at the expense of McCartney). To them, John was perfect in his “imperfection” and the idea that subsequent generations might have a different, more complex and less reverential take upsets them. Jean Jackets essentially believe that their personal experience is empirical reality, making “outside” perspectives irrelevant and unwelcome. They are deeply invested in hierarchy and maintaining Lennon’s perceived supremacy within the band.
These are the people who have dominated 99% of all Beatles discourse, authorship, etc for the past 50 years (Rolling Stone is a great example). They are fiercely protective of this privilege and hostile towards anyone who challenges the traditional narratives (i.e. invades their turf). In my experience, their love of Lennon is sincere.
While the term “Jean Jackets” evokes a SWM baby boomer with a ponytail in denim outerwear, the Jean Jacket mentality can transcend age, sex or race. So this isn’t specifically against boomers, or men as a whole or even people who believe the traditional narrative. It’s about people who fiercely cling to and perpetuate the traditional narrative, even when confronted with new ideas, evidence or insight that might shed a different light on the story. Don’t be a Jean Jacket!
Again, we aren’t trying to demonize a fabric. 🙂 All the Beatles could look cute in said clothing:
Can you explain what exactly you guys mean by the term “jean jackets” and how it came about? Great podcast – a much needed antidote to the biographies written by emotionally blunted male rock critics. 😉
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Hi there, thank you so much for reaching out, and we’re so glad you’re enjoying our podcast!
“Jean jackets” was invented by Phoebe as a term to reference members of the rock music press, critics, and fans who hold dear the (false) idea that John Lennon was the only Beatle who really mattered and regard Paul McCartney as a lesser or sidekick to Lennon. In other words, people who have a vested interest in keeping the standard narratives about the Beatles story intact. The “uniform” of the 70’s rock critic, “jean jackets and ponytails,” is an evocative reference for both a group of influencers over fandom discourse AND a mentality. Phoebe gives some explanation of the term in our first episode, “The Minds Behind Another Kind of Mind.”
Thank you so much for listening, and we hope you stay tuned!