Friday, June 01, 2007

Today is the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers." It was an album than influenced rock, recording and the counterculture in so many ways an entire essay could be devoted to them. Some ways include hastening the rise of rock on FM radio, new studio recoding techniques, the mainstreaming of psychedelia, the concept album in rock and much more. There are probably 10,000 essays on the subject in the media and on blogs today. If you are looking for a few just Google "Sgt. Peppers 40th".

I was reading one such essay today and found my subject matter of the moment.
Washington Post.

"It has been 45 years since Mitch Miller, head of A&R (artists and repertory) at Columbia Records, dismissed the Beatles as "the hula hoops of music." In other words, a passing fad.

Wow, did he get that wrong. Here are some other classic blunders of prognostication, Beatles related and otherwise:

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876.

"It will be years -- not in my time -- before a woman will become Prime Minister." -- Margaret Thatcher, 1974.

"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market." -- Business Week, August 2, 1968.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.