In 399 BC, when philosopher Socrates stood accused of corrupting the youth of Athens as a result of his teachings, he suggested that “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology 38a). Indeed, philosophers, artists and musicians have spent the centuries that followed espousing the same thing. All of us could benefit from a more examined life, an attempt to find patterns and meaning in the choices we’ve made up until now. For my money, what better way to do so than through the music that surrounds us?
On some level, all of us strive to follow the life arc of The Beatles. In their “She Loves You” period, they were young, incredibly cute and insanely popular. Their adolescence was marked by their Rubber Soul and Revolver albums, and Sgt. Pepper crowned them Homecoming King. They struggled to find their purpose on The White Album, then truly discovered themselves on Abbey Road. By the time they released Let It Be, they’d accomplished everything they’d ever dreamed. They went out on top, then embarked on separate solo careers that have gone down as the most amazing second chapters in rock history.