Norwegian Wood


In which George Harrison introduces the sitar to the Western world. So you can thank the Beatles for the popularity of world music too, though it took several decades to really catch up. The Beatles did a large part in making pop culture become more global, using their incredible popularity to share ideas that had never before been presented to the Western mainstream. It’s hard to imagine, living in the age of the internet, how isolated people were back then, with nothing but the local paper and the nightly newscast to rely on for information about the world beyond their daily periphery. In 1965, a sitar in a two minute pop song was the first tiny trickle of what would eventually become a fully globalized pop culture. We can safely consider George Harrison the most significant Beatle in that regard, and that’s really an amazing legacy. (So much so that I think it would be disrespectful to Harrison and the importance of his contribution to refocus the conversation on the raging misogyny of John Lennon’s lyrics. John Lennon was a dick, end of story.)

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