Theodor Adorno wrote all the Beatles’ songs as a Cultural Marxist assault on America. Possibly.


One of the finest conspiracy theories concerning popular culture is the claim that Theodor Adorno, a main figure in what became known as the Frankfurt School — proponents of an obscure academic approach to cultural criticism later branded “cultural Marxism” by communists annoyed they were too arty and not sufficiently doctrinaire — secretly wrote all the Beatles’ songs.

This was, of course, in order to propagandise classical music back into popular culture, or perhaps instead to corrupt the moral fibre of the youth of America and their precious bodily fluids:

Adorno was part of a secret society who recognized his amazing skills in teaching/understanding classical music and put them to good use. Before his death in August 1969 (the very reason the Beatles disbanded, as their master composer was gone) Adorno wrote hundreds of songs to be distributed later (1969 – 1975) to various groups, that is why the early 70s music sounded so much better than the late 70s music, and the very reason why Led Zeppelin were musically dead after the last of the Adorno songs, KASHMIR, was included on Physical Graffiti.

Apparently it’s more plausible that someone else wrote in the styles Lennon and McCartney continued with in their later work than that musicians and particularly songwriters are magpies who will use anything they have on hand to try to do a good one this time around, or that creative individuals can learn and work without your particular favourite training, particularly when they have access to the explosion of records and books in the 1960s.

Adorno’s corruption spread far and wide through his chosen propaganda ensemble:

New words and new phrases–prepared by Tavistock(1)– were introduced to America along with the Beatles. Words such as “rock” in relation to music sounds, “teenager,” “cool,” “discovered” and “pop music” were a lexicon of disguised code words signifying the acceptance of drugs and arrived with and accompanied the Beatles wherever they went, to be “discovered” by “teenagers.” Incidentally, the word “teenagers” was never used until just before the Beatles arrived on the scene, courtesy of the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations.

I certainly didn’t know that before. In fact, I still don’t.

(That article, by the way, will link you to an article in the singular Metapedia, an “alternative encyclopedia” that blames Jews for everything wrong in the world and only coincidentally is full to the brim with neo-Nazis.)

The theory seems to have originated with The Committee of 300, a book by supposed ex-MI6 agent John Coleman. (Shorter writeup by Coleman.) This reveals how Adorno in fact masterminded the whole British Invasion of the 1960s, although apparently for that the Tavistock Institute (which Adorno had nothing to do with outside the works of conspiracists) was the work of Jesuits rather than Jews. Or perhaps, if you ask Henry Makow, the Illuminati.


I hope that’s all completely clear with everyone.

Later, of course, this important information was forgotten, and “Cultural Marxism”, the derogatory name for the obscure academic movement, was adopted by right-wing nutcases as a snarl word for everything they didn’t like in the world and considered more progressive than Edmund Burke. And was only slightly adapted from “Cultural Bolshevism”, a 1930s Nazi term positing it all as a Jewish plot. The following diagram, from 4chan’s alt-right (i.e., Nazis) /pol/ board, is my favourite conspiracy chart ever, even given its appalling lack of Beatles. (Click to expand.)


Where is Beatles band?

Back here in consensus reality, Adorno was a ranting opinionated music blogger of his day. He hated pop music and considered it all alienating manufactured rubbish he didn’t want anything to do with. He hated jazz too. What he was really into was Schoenberg’s twelve-tone stuff, which heavily influenced his own compositions. He also particularly disliked the Beatles:

What can be urged against the Beatles … is simply that what these people have to offer is … something that is retarded in terms of its own objective content. It can be shown that the means of expression that are employed and preserved here are in reality no more than traditional techniques in a degraded form.

Oh well.

Update, June 2018: I appeared on the Rock’n’Roll Twilight Zone podcast, talking about this conspiracy theory! Give it a listen.



of course, Theodor Adorno really did write all of New Waver‘s lyrics


17 thoughts on “Theodor Adorno wrote all the Beatles’ songs as a Cultural Marxist assault on America. Possibly.

  1. haha holy shit, we literally just glossed over adorno’s stuff in intro to crit theory today. tbh a lot of the alt-right/gamer fuel hybrid crowd could really learn a lot from his critiques of genre before hootin and hollerin about how Actually, Jewish Plot

  2. oh man this article is wild
    id heard of frankfurt school conspiracy theories but not this one

  3. The term “teenager” first appeared in Life magazine in the mid 40’s, the term “cool” was used by jazz musicians in the 30’s.

  4. Rings true to me; I could not really FEEL the Beatles as a young teenager in 1965 and didn’t understand their popularity. They didn’t sound musical to me; they were super wordy and I wondered what made young people such as myself so interested in so many words all of a sudden, although we had Bob Dylan, even wordier, but more truthful to himself. Also Simon and Garfunkel were out there and we liked them. Now I just see other musicians’ poetry of the time as more honest that the Beatles, who had made a bet with someone that they could become more popular than Christianity, which they almost did.!

  5. Pleased to see “where is Beatles band?” You are Samuel K Amphong and I claim my free subscription to the NME!

  6. What’s worse is that people actually believe that conspiratory bull. They should be thrown into a padded cell and lose the key.

  7. Richard above – ‘Where is Beatles band”… outstanding, you just took me back to my late 1970s teenage NME reading self.

  8. Heh. Just heard about this today. No truth to the conspiracy at all, but it IS true that Yoko Ono took voice lessons from a feral cat.

    In music, “rock” is shorthand for “rock and roll,” and the phrase was not coined by disc jockey Alan Freed. According to Eubie Blake, it was the name of a piano style popular in the cathouses at the turn of the century (to keep the customers moving along) and that he first heard it in 1898.
    [Tonight Show with Johnny Carson interview, specific date unknown.]

  9. This conspiracy theory I cannot buy at all. I’d be surprised if Adorno contributed ONE word of their lyrics or ONE note of their music. Truly gifted musicians play by ear and memorize everything. There is too much video evidence of The Beatles creating their own music in studio to suggest otherwise.

  10. Of course if all of the secret society and Tavistock social engineering is true, then it stands to reason that Adorno would publicly distance himself from “pop” as it would otherwise risk “blowing his cover.”

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