The New Beatles? The New Wings?

The October 1991 issue of the humor magazine National Lampoon had a section devoted to contemporary up-and-coming college cartoonists. There were some very memorable comics including…

(by Jeanette Moreno)

(by Mark Peaslee, aka Mark P. Slee)

(by Korey Coleman)

And since I’ve always felt that I was born 40 years old, here’s one that stuck with me the most…

(by Van Garrett)

It’s dawned on me, as my 41st birthday approaches, that a lot of the people wandering my neighborhood (Williamsburg, Brooklyn) might not get this comic1  , and so I post this with this challenge: What artists would be mentioned in this comic today?

(BTW, I have this same notion about Jane Fonda. In the early 90s, when I got into her early work like They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Klute, it used to bum me up that she would go down in history as the “Workout Lady.” But the fact is I don’t think she’s remembered much for either.)


BACK TO POST 1As for “that Wings thing,” I haven’t been able to find on the internet the source of the legendary late 70s story, which is supposedly a moment overheard in a record shop: Two teenage girls. One holds up a Beatles LP and says, “Hey, did you know Paul McCartney was in another band before Wings?”


Filed under Humor

33 responses to “The New Beatles? The New Wings?

  1. Mitch

    Maybe Gorillaz and Blur (for Damon Albarn)?

  2. I don’t think it’s about which *band* an older musician is in now. I think it’s about which reality show. Bret Michaels isn’t known for Poison anymore, is he?

    • How often is Bret Michaels’s past referred to? And I mean past past, like years ago, not seasons. Or does his look and prior reality shows do enough? Has his new status rendered his prior one irrelevant (at least as far as “now” is concerned)?

  3. I’d have to say Radiohead. Only one other band up there with The Beatles for me and that’s them.

  4. How often is Bret Michaelss past referred to? And I mean past past, like years ago, not seasons. Or does his look and prior reality shows do enough? Has his new status rendered his prior one irrelevant (at least as far as now is concerned)?

  5. My friend of mine was once talking to a guy we know, and it went something like the following:

    He: So what kind of music do you like?
    She: Oh, I listen to a lot of different things, but mostly pop and rock. Especially older rock music.
    He: Ah, older rock, you mean like 70s classic rock?
    She: No, you know. Nirvana and stuff.

    • Ouch. I think being on the receiving end of this kind of conversation is a rite of passage, maybe the thing that grays the temples officially.

      I found it easier (and less depressing) to simply put Van Garrett’s comic up instead of listing any of my many instances of “How to Lose Your Audience in the Workplace with One Cultural Reference.” Silly me, I thought “My Dinner with Andre” as a punchline would never go out of style. I settled into this mindset: “OK, young assistant/intern/PA/AP, tell you what. I’ll keep all of my 70s film references out of the office if you only refer to me as “Pops” behind my back. Deal?”

      • We should use Wallace Shawn as a way to define generations.

        Born in the 60s: “Isn’t he that guy from Manhattan and My Dinner With Andre?

        Born in the 70s: “Isn’t he that guy from The Princess Bride and The Cosby Show?”

        Born in the 80s: “Isn’t he that guy from Toy Story and Clueless?”

        Born in the 90s: “Isn’t he that guy from every Pixar film ever and Gossip Girl?”

        Born in the 00s: We’re waiting on Toy Story 3 (in 3D!)

      • I LOVE this idea. (I didn’t know he was on Gossip Girl.)

  6. blackwatertown

    Nice selection thanks. All new to me.

  7. mitchwu

    Haha…wow. Well, here’s a crash course…

    Two songs from Blur –

    Song 2:

    Girls & Boys:

    And two songs from Gorillaz –

    Clint Eastwood:

    Feel Good Inc.

  8. Kris

    ok this might be a bit off topic as it does not really involve music per se- but it does re: issues that makes one feels older- I work in a school (in the UK)- and being the “cool” 41yr old that I am – I asked couple of boys at break time what they were doing – as in “are you boys waiting for something or just hanging?” They went all silent until one of them said…”What’s hanging?” Oh I do have a music one- I am aghast at the young people who do not realise that real Abba does not involve Greek Islands and Merys Streep singing off key…

  9. Were not far away from kids not knowing that Dave Grohl was once Nirvana’s drummer…

  10. I’m 16. And I love Wings. So glad Paul has added “Letting Go” and “V&M/Rockshow” to his setlist.

  11. Mockinpott

    About a year ago I was talking to an 18 years old girl, she was complaining because the tickets to a The Mars Volta concert were too expensive ‘just because another band called R.E.M. was playing with them’. Broke my heart…

  12. Justin

    SMA — I remember that joke a little differently. A young boy asks his father: “Dad, what was the name of that band Paul McCartney was in before Wings?” In which case, my update would be easy (and unfortunately kind of sad): “Dad, what was the name of that band Dave Grohl was in before Foo Fighters?”

  13. This is fantastic. The only post I’ve ever read all of the comments on. However, the comic that stayed with me was the first. Maybe because I miss my cat and recently acquired a dog who has seen me at my most insane… too often.

    • It is generating some great responses, isn’t it? Nice to know I’m not alone. Thanks for the kinds words.

      Actually, Jeanette Moreno’s “Me to cats” comic was kind of a defining comic for me in my early 20s. I was just becoming aware of all the faces I’d need to make it in the world, and this comic kind of sums it all up.

  14. The examples I can think of are Joy Division/New Order or Sex Pistols/PIL. But those are rather old examples.
    I can´t even think of any new actual bands worth remembering, let alone think of their relationship with other new bands worth remembering. (But yeah, I am 41 too…).
    Mentioning a certain Robbie Williams/Take That would be a terrible thing to do, right?

  15. I was talking to a guy who worked in a stall in Camden Market here in London where they sell the ubiquitous Che Guevara t-shirts so beloved of students across the Western world. One day a girl comes in to the store wearing a Che t-shirt, the guy says to her, “So, you like Che Guevara?” The girl replies, “Who?”

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  17. Good one on Robbie Williams… raises an obvious one… I barely remember that Justin Timberlake got his start with N’Sync, a whopping 15 years ago!

  18. Shelby

    Between me and a friend, when “The Ocean” came on the radio;

    Me: Ahh, I love Zeppelin.
    Her: Zeppelin?
    Me: You know, Led Zeppelin? You seriously don’t know who Led Zeppelin is?
    Her: No, who is Led Zeppelin? Is she old? I don’t like this music anyways, I’d rather listen to Kesha.

    I’m fifteen, and I am ashamed of my generation.

    • OK, Shelby, I’ll bond with you.

      I’m 12 and at baseball practice. I’m in the outfield and the kid next to me asks me if I like Blondie. I say, “The group or the movies?” (The former was the then-hot band with Debbie Harry, the latter was a series of films from the 40s with Penny Singleton, based on the comic strip.) He scrunched up his face at my question so I asked it again, mentioning both. His reply was a disgusted, “Fag.”

      And so it goes for the folks such as us. As my Pop would say: “It’s just another knock in life’s school of hards ones. Get used to it.”

  19. I’m doing some volunteer work for an activist group in 2002 alongside a lot of younger adults in their early 20’s. I had managed to make a connection with David Byrne’s girlfriend at the time, who was sympathetic to our cause. The phone rings and I pick it up. “Hello Brian? This is David Byrne…”

    In a flash, all the sounds and images flood in; the big suit in Jonathan Demme’s brilliant “Stop Making Sense”, the looming projected face in “Burning Down the House”, the Eno-collaboration masterpiece “Remain in Light” that obsessed me during my first years in NYC.

    When I put down the phone I spin around in my office chair to the three hip younger folks behind me. “I just got off the phone with David Byrne!”

    Long pause. “Who?”

    “Ever hear of a band called the Talking Heads?” They glance at each other. No response.

    That’s when it first dawned on me that I might be on the other side of the fold.

  20. Bonnie B

    Oh! I have one! A few years ago when I was buying groceries, the checkout girl noticed we had the same birthday when she checked my license. I said, “cool! It’s Paul McCartney’s birthday, too.” And she looked at me politely and blankly and said, “really?” and clearly had no idea who I was talking about.

    For me, it doesn’t make me feel old when someone younger doesn’t get a reference about movies or music from my time or a time before my time even (I love big band music), it just makes me think, “aw poor baby” and feel a little sorry for them.

    But I feel old when I don’t get other people’s references. For example, I have no idea who Dave Grohl is. Thank God for Google!

    P.S. Jeannette and Korey are friends of mine and I agree, they are great.

    • Oh, please say hi to them. I hope they see and like this post. Looks like these comics are still a hit.

      “Thank God for Google!”
      You said it. I think the smarter young people lay low whenever the old fogies talk about music and films from the 70s and 80s and as soon as we leave the room, they Google it. I know I do it!

  21. Having just seen Barbarella, I will forever think of Jane Fonda in the titular role. That and her appearance on a Colbert segment called Cooking With Feminists in which she prompts Stephen to say “I’m in trouble at home.”

  22. Pingback: Funniest Cartoon I’ve Seen Today. « Paul Altobelli

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