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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: Time travel is real

Dan Hahn
Dan Hahn is a graduate student studying English and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

If you could travel back in time, would you? The often troubling and fast-paced nature of the times we live in can inspire one to savor the taste of nostalgia, but I would argue that there is no better time to be alive than right now. Besides, time travel is something humans are already capable of. 

For those unaware, music history was made last week with The Beatles’ newest song titled “Now and Then.” Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone tells the story quite succinctly: “John Lennon leaves a song unfinished, but years later, his friends come together to complete it for him, simply out of love and musical brotherhood.” 

Music production is so advanced that technicians can isolate John Lennon’s voice from an old tape recording that was once polluted with distortion and background noise. 

Impressive that we live in an era where the remaining members of The Beatles achieve a collaboration with the missing members who have passed on. If that is not somewhat equivalent to time travel, then it is almost magical. 

The Beatles are a musical time capsule. When I hear Sgt. Peppers or The White Album, I am brought back to a very specific time in my life: the age of undergraduate college, the excitement of romance, and the long shaggy hair of my youth tied up in a bandana. 

In those days, I was becoming bored by extreme metal. Sure, I still liked it, but I was branching out, and bands like The Beatles were influential in developing my tastes outside of extreme genres. 

They pioneered a musical configuration very similarly to the metal bands that activated my passion for music—specifically, the rhythm and lead guitars of John and George. I was developing a taste for bass lines, vocal harmonies, and the genius of Paul McCartney. Ringo’s brilliance as a drummer would reveal itself much slower, and the appreciation grows with every new listen. 

Ah yes, visiting old memories can be a form of time travel, and what better way to do so than through music? “Now and Then” as a song invokes sentiments of remembrance and enables time travel not only for listeners, but for the group themselves. 

A couple years ago I traveled back in time by watching the Peter Jackson’s documentary “Get Back” about the Beatles’s final studio sessions. I never fully appreciated the powerful, yet fragile collaboration that The Beatles carried on in their waning years. 

In a 2018 interview on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, Paul McCartney was asked about his recent (at the time) solo release “Egypt Station,” and whether he felt like he was doing the best work of his career. Ever the musician, he did not skip a beat as he replied: “You have to remember, I was in The Beatles.” 

Correction, Sir Paul, you are in The Beatles. 

It is vastly interesting how music from our past evolves and presents us with a feeling of timelessness. I often experience these feelings when I least expect it. This must be one of the finer aspects of growing old.  

Even more interesting is that a song from the past can be brought back from the abyss, like a sunken treasure fully restored and enhanced for all to enjoy. 

Here is the equation for time travel, as far as I can tell: take the immortality of music combined with the beating human heart and multiply that by the infinite variables we encounter every day. Add time (one second per second, to be precise) plus life experience, then add just a hint of modern tech. 

Check my math, I say time travel is real. 

Dan Hahn can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.
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Dan Hahn
Dan Hahn, Columnist
Dan Hahn is a graduate student studying English and can be reached at 581-2812.

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