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Beatlemania


whitefang

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Forum member d posted a thread about John Lennon. Im trying to start one about the Beatles. I dont think there is anyone between the ages of 55 to 65 who didnt like the Beatles. But, if you loved em, hated them, why or why not, lets let it all hang out. To use an old 60s phrase. And why not? You cant talk about the 60s without mentioning the Beatles. From clothing fashions, hair fashions, social impact and even politics, the Beatles figure in all of it!

 

My kids used to ask what was so great about them. I hardly knew where to begin. How about the music was so different from what was playing at the time? Yep. How about more than once five Beatles tunes were fighting for #1 on the charts at the same time? Sure. How about during a one year period they managed to pull off an extensive world wide tour, make a movie, make countless television appearances and STILL manage to record two albums? Absolutely!

 

Add to that the fact most of the tunes on ALL of their albums were so damned GOOD. Or that in the short six years of their recording period, they managed to release roughly 10 albums, plus another four or five albums worth of material. And NONE of it sucks!

 

Name another rock band thats managed to do all that.

 

I remember when I first heard them. Sure, it was 47 years ago, but its still all clear to me. I was in my room, December of 63. I was 12 years old. I was listening to my radio, and the DJ said he had a new record by some English group called the Beetles. Weird name for a group I thought. But, the song knocked! Me! Out!! I Want To Hold Your Hand in a blink became my favorite song. Well, after the song was over, I noticed it was 10 oclock, time for the Jack Paar show. I liked the Jack Paar show, so I turned off the radio and went into the living room where my folks already had the show tuned in. Well, sonofabitch! Paar said he just came back from England and had film footage of the biggest sensation in England, the Beetles! So I first heard them and then saw them the SAME NIGHT! Of course, I then learned from the printing on Ringos bass drum the name was really spelled B-E-A-T-L-E-S. Well, THAT only made them cooler in my mind! Even my MOM thought they were cute (She always liked George. She said it tickled her that his skinny legs could hold up that big guitar). This was on a Friday night. I couldnt wait to get to school on Monday (a miracle in itself!) to find if anyone else caught the show, or at least heard the song. It seemed nobody did.

Hey! Did you hear that new song by a group called the Beatles?

What? Beetles? Aw, you mean the Crickets, Buddy Hollys old group dont you? Hes dead and they broke up.

No, no! THIS group is called the BEATLES, with a B-E-A, and they got a new song out thats real cool!

Yeah, sure. Whatever you say.

I may have well been announcing an alien landing!

 

But, it didnt take long for everyone to catch up. No, Im not saying I was the first or only kid to hear them where I come from. Im pretty sure there were a lot of other people listening to the radio that night. Or who caught the Jack Paar show. Just nobody I seemed to know. Within a month, you couldnt go anywhere without seeing all kinds of stuff centered around the Beatles. Beatle books. Beatle magazines. Beatle trading cards! Of course, as soon as I gathered the scratch, I bought the I Want To Hold Your Hand single. And as was my habit, I immediately played the B side. I Saw Her Standing There quickly became my SECOND most favorite song.

 

It seemed right on their heels came the re-enforcements of the British invasion. The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, Herman and the Hermits, The Who and others now long forgotten. But you may have noticed that they all, save for the stones, kind of sported that Beatle look. Some of those bands bass players even got themselves that Hofner bass that Paul McCartney used!

 

As times changed, the Beatles music changed. Sometimes so closely we werent sure if they changed WITH the times or they CHANGED the times! Certainly, they were freely experimental, and as luck would have it, the experiments worked. And to their credit, as they went about influencing American popular music, they never tired of pointing out it was American popular music that was their biggest influence. So not only did they have talent, drive, and creativity, they also had CLASS!

 

I remember in the beginning, there were occasions where girls who were lifelong friends would stop talking to each other because one thought John was cuter than Paul, or vice versa. The guys didnt give a shit. We preferred either George or Ringo. George, because he played those cool guitar riffs; Ringo because he seemed to be the kind of guy it would be fun to hang out with(and he still does!). They guys never got into it until it seemed you HAD to be either a Beatle fan or Stones fan. I had trouble escaping it. When some asshole would lumber up and ask, Hey, are you a Beatle fan or Stones fan?, I would answer, I like them both. This wasnt good enough. Bullshit, man! You gotta like one or the other!

Sheesh! It was as bad as the liberal/conservative horseshit we go through today.

 

Ive taken up too much time strolling down memory lane on this. Id like to hear YOU guys and your memories about any of it all

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Most of the world---at least the world that might read this---can't remember what it was like before the Beatles.

That's why WFang's kids ask him "what's the big deal?".

 

The fact is, however, that they had the biggest effect on popular music of anyone ever.

Jazz was a massive (& I mean m-a-s-s-i-v-e) cultural shift not just in the USA but around the world.

From Louis Armstrong through Ellington through bebop & Miles , etc., it was the most significant thing since Gutenburg redesigned the printing press.

 

Popular music took another big shift when clean cut USA kids started getting into the "bad neighborhood" of R&B records.

First there was Elvis, [who frankly had his shoes tied together (sensibility-wise) in this regard---maybe that's something to do with his stage moves :laugh:]....

... but the way the Beatles took the power into their hands as far as

seeing where the future was ;

pulling together the variant strings of all types of music, old & avant ;

exploiting media as it arrived (& even defining where it would go !)

&, most stunningly, deciding twice (in regard to touring & in regard to their overall partnership) when to call it quits (Hey, Mick & Keith)...

...well, as one may say it was "way beyond compare"...

d=halfnote
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There's been a term = "the 5th Beatle".

Early this was self-directed by a NYC DJ, who shall be nameless in my post since he was just a weasel anyhow but the term later came to be used in regard to others in the band's milieu (attn: not "plain English"! :whistle:).

 

Here's one view of the relative importance of those involved in the Beatles's success:

John Lennon

Without him the band would've never existed & would never have done any innovative work.

He was a musician of greater ability than many give him credit & he dominated the direction of the band & their most creative work.

Paul McCartney

The other driving wheel & the most musically adept of the band, but frankly, any band created by him woulda just sounded like Cliff Richard X Buddy Holly without Lennon's vision.

McCartney was/is creative but his greatest skill was fleshing out (or responding to...often in his own next composition) what JL or others thought of.

Brian Epstein

Without his, admittedly flawed, business acumen & money they would've never gotten out of NE England.

George Martin

Many don't realize that Martin re-arranged most of their early work & even late into their career wrote some of their harmonies & even guitar leads, as well as playing on many of their tunes. Plus he took a big chance on the band; when no one else would even give them an opportunity to record, he not only did that but let them try their own songs.

 

I expect some rebuttal but those were the 4 main "Beatles".

Ringo Starr & George Harrison were both very talented & instrumental to their success but, as Lennon himself once said (Macca would never be so undiplomatic), "it was me & Paul plus the others".

d=halfnote
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The Beatles? What more needs to be said? It's all academic. What an amazing legacy. I could say that they are a little before my time but they are one for the ages. I may prefer other bands from that era, like Led Zep, but the influence of the Beatles is and will always be undeniable.

 

My first exposure was probably my friends parents record collection, and then going to the public library and checking out records there, and of course the radio and other artists covering their songs.

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I honestly think that modern kids cannot understand what is was like.

 

Society was different - more taboos - things not spoken about.

 

UK was *still* recovering from WWII - we had only just got over the very worst and were starting to come into some benefit - people were finding they had a bit of money in their pockets and the severity of the past years was waining.

 

Music was different. There weren't the sub-divisions in the marketplace there are now.

 

You had Jazz, Smooth Crooners, Pop & Rock. That was it.

 

'Heavy' hadn't been invented yet.

 

In the UK at that time Dixieland-style jazz was pretty big & accounted for about 50% of the market.

 

It was the beginning of the Boomer generation.

 

Suddenly these 4 guys appear, playing music that cut across all boundaries - looked homogenous (good marketing) and were very personable.

 

Within a year they were responsible for the largest slice of the UK's revenues from export, and were being given trade awards and hob-nobbing with Prime Ministers and Royalty - even Prince Charles ordered in a guitar & amp!

 

They were front-page news every day for 3 years.

 

They permeated every facet of UK life. Beatle suits, Beatle boots, Beatle wigs, Beatle music. They were feted, lauded and pandered to. Their opinions were sought on every subject - whether they knew about it or not!

 

A whole industry was based on their band image.

 

 

This all lasted till about their Maharishi stage when the fervour died down a little.

 

 

But make no mistake. The Beatles revolutionised the UK. They turned it on its head and gave it a good shake.

 

It was the sort of thing that doesn't happen even once in a generation.

 

There were a lot (please note 'alot' is *NOT* a word) of other things going on in the world from which people wanted relief & solace - Vietnam, Carlos The Jackal, the Red Army Faction etc etc. and Human Rights were burgeoning in the 'civilised' West.

 

All of these things combined with the blooming Boomer generation with money in its pocket to elevate a band to being something special.

 

The proof of the pudding, musically, is how well the music lasts.

 

Many of the Beatles songs find their way into other forms - orchestral, jazz, ballad. When you look around at the songwriters of the 60's you'll find very few whose compositions achieve such universal adoption. The only others I can think of in that kind of class would be Carol King and Ray Davis, but I'd be open to persuasion on that one.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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The first time I heard the Beatles on the radio, I got really excited, the first time I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show, it changed my life, forever!

I was in about 5th grade, and I was obsessed with them for about 5 years. I listened, ate, drank, slept and dreamt about the Beatles. Started bands, etc. I still hold them in the highest regard.

The only other artist that has affected me almost as deeply,(but I'm a bit more mature about it now!) is Tom Petty.

"Who's gonna teach the children about Chuck Berry?"
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There was nothing like the Beatles before the Beatles. They did the impossible, presenting what had been termed "race music", i.e. rock & roll, to the mass white American audience.

 

Elvis did something similar, but it really wasn't the same. He really played amped-up country music, as did all the white Sun Records artists. It was as close as anyone could get to black music and still have it played on white radio stations. The Beatles, on the other hand, morphed "I Wanna Play House" into "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", or to put it another way, they amped down black music and presented it as pop, removing the threatening sexual overtones parents were scared snotless their kids would pick up on.

 

Since then, the football they kicked into the air has been caught and run back into the end zone by so many folks that it's no big thing anymore. But back then, it hadn't been done before.

 

I think that the Beatles brought something else to the table that hadn't been there before, too. McCartney and Lennon(and eventually Harrison) really were good songwriters, and produced some timeless tunes. As an Air Force brat who'd been carted around from state to state, overseas and back, "In My Life" gave me a bit of a shiver the first time I heard it, and at 57, it can bring tears to my eyes. That's not the only song they wrote that does that to a lot of folks. Most of the Brit pop groups who came after them disappeared because they just didn't have the songs.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I was 8 when they exploded onto the North American scene. It was pretty hard to escape from the hoopla. I had friends that were into them right away so I was exposed to them involuntarily. At that young age I wasn't sure what to make of them as my experience with music was limited. I never bought any of their records however I remember having an album of "British Invasion " hits that excluded them. As I got a little older I discovered the Yardbirds and then eventually Steppenwolf, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and others. I guess I sort of drifted towards the "heavier" styles of music. By the time "Prog" came along I had drifted far away from The Beatles. As the early nineties approached I realized it was time to "rediscover them and proceeded to purchase pretty well all of their albums and I'm glad I did as I now appreciate them for what they were- great songwriters with a creative flair that touched upon genius.
"Let me stand next to your fire!", Jimi Hendrix
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Well, rw, I'm not sure you can say the Beatles were from the same "era" as Zep, Unless you really split hairs. Zeppelin were just nosing in as the Beatles were bowing out.

 

As far as that "Just me and Paul and the others", that's bullshit. Not that it was said, but when you look at the history, they had plenty of chances to make a difference.

 

If "the others" weren't that important, why didn't they change guitarists in Hamburg when Harrison was deported for being underage? There were plenty of British musicians hanging around that town looking for gigs who wouldn't have the legal hassles. But they packed up and followed George home. And don't forget, they wanted Ringo even before they settled for Pete Best. But he was tied up with the then successful Rory Storm. When they finally got into the studio, Martin suggested a different drummer and asked them if they knew of someone else. They didn't answer "It doesn't matter", they mentioned Ringo specifically. Martin apparently knew his way around a negotiation, and next time they went to the studio, Ringo was there waiting for them. Doesn't sound like they weren't thought of as vital to me. I think it was a case of Lennon, who in his own way became as full of himself as McCartney.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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And a lot of it was a question of coming along at the right time. Had they hit America in 1954 or 1974, I doubt it would have had the same impact. (This is in no way disparaging their talent.)

 

That's almost impossible to evaluate, EI.

If they were timeshifted to 1954, the pop culture groundwork that led to their work, even if they were the same, would not have prepared the public.

In 1974, it's impossible to know the comparable situation but without them it almost certainly wouldn't have involved much attention to rock bands from England & those bands that were popular would certainly have developed in a different way.

d=halfnote
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Man, I really appreciate hearing the Geoff's view. Here in America, you'd almost think we'd discovered the Beatles, at times. At any rate, some recollections . . .

 

I remember sitting with my parents, watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I'm not sure my dad ever quite got it, musically, but culturally, he knew that this would be important to people my age, the way Jazz was for him.

 

I remember the whole Stones/Beatles split, but I seem to recall that some of it was driven by parents, who considered the Stones 'dirty' in comparison to the wholesome-looking Beatles. I also recall, as a side note, the Animals being considered beyond the pale by most parents.

 

I remember seeing 'Help' in the movie theater, and enjoying all of it, the music, the jokes, the absurd plot. The invention of the music video, IMHO.

 

It's just too much to go over, after a point. Every album seemed to open some new approach to music, technology, ideas. It's not really surprising that their arc of time as a band was so short, they'd lived through so much together in that time.

 

I will make one observation, concerning the Beatles' influence on young people. Working in a music store where most of the guitar students were high school boys, I knew a number of Beatles fans among the students, and while it's true, they can't imagine a time before the Beatles, or fully appreciate the changes we all lived through, the music still speaks to them.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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Speaks to them, WP, or sometimes speaks FOR them. My grandniece, just 22 years old, had her wedding ceremony inside the banquet hall recently. And she found a girl(good guitarist, too!)who sang "In My Life" and "When I'm 64" during the proceedings. Blew me away!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Just got back from Vegas and I Saw'er them standing there at the Mirage Love show...it was really fantastic and I highly recommend it too all Beatles fans...I now have an even greater Love for their music (though I didn't think it possible until this last weekend)...me and 3 buddies from my 60's band celebrated our 60th birthdays at this magical history tour...

 

comment: Like Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show only being shown from the waist up and his early county fair performances being censored by parents who didn't want their teenagers listening to black music, the Beatles records were heaped in large piles and burned throughout the bible belt as the "Christ You Know it ain't easy and they're gonna crucify me" lyrics set off a firestorm of censorship...It makes me wonder if my dislike of rap music as an old timer who can't appreciate this genre, is just history repeating itself? :facepalm:

Take care, Larryz
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the Beatles records were heaped in large piles and burned throughout the bible belt as the "Christ You Know it ain't easy and they're gonna crucify me" lyrics set off a firestorm of censorship

 

Actually, they were heaped into piles and burned in response to John Lennon saying, "The Beatles have become more popular than Jesus." When you take his remark in the proper context, he was right. Lennon explained he never meant he thought the Beatles were BETTER, just that, as was true, more kids were buying Beatles records than Bibles, and could more easily quote Beatles lyrics than they could scripture. I always thought those lyrics in "The Ballad Of John and Yoko" were John's tounge-in-cheek comment on the whole matter; as the reaction of the people to Jesus upsetting the apple cart in HIS day was not too unlike what Lennon had to deal with.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Since posting this thread, I've gone back and started watching my "Anthology" tapes. One story Paul tells struck me how much alike they were to pretty much most of us in these forums:

 

He talked a bit about how in his youth in Liverpool, he and George once rode a bus clear across the city(plus two transfers)because, "There's a bloke over there knows how to play B7." I recall doing similar things when first learning to fumble through figuring out the guitar. Never took a bus across town, but walked many a mile to learn some chord or chord progression.

It would be great to feel that kind of youthful exuberance again, wouldn't it? Now, though, you can just search the web for a chord finder site.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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the Beatles records were heaped in large piles and burned throughout the bible belt as the "Christ You Know it ain't easy and they're gonna crucify me" lyrics set off a firestorm of censorship

 

Actually, they were heaped into piles and burned in response to John Lennon saying, "The Beatles have become more popular than Jesus." When you take his remark in the proper context, he was right. Lennon explained he never meant he thought the Beatles were BETTER, just that, as was true, more kids were buying Beatles records than Bibles, and could more easily quote Beatles lyrics than they could scripture. I always thought those lyrics in "The Ballad Of John and Yoko" were John's tounge-in-cheek comment on the whole matter; as the reaction of the people to Jesus upsetting the apple cart in HIS day was not too unlike what Lennon had to deal with.

Whitefang

 

+1 on John's bigger than Jesus statement being the main reason for the firestorm and the burning heaps of records...but the Bible Belt did ban the ballad of John & Yoko due to the way the word "Christ" was used in the chorus...the Beatles were also banned by radio stations not only in the US but Mexico, Spain and South Africa as well...their music was also banned in Cuba & the USSR due to alledged hidden meanings in the lyrics and there were accusations of Satanic messages in the backward playing of tracks on tunes like Revolution and Sexy Sadie, etc...for me, it was all good and none of it should have been censored...

Take care, Larryz
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Funny. My uncle just emailed me something with Tons of beatles songs along with Video. I think it's from Beatletube.com

I was just 5 or 6 years old when I became obsessed with "Come Together" I had a record player that was broken, my oldest sister spun the record with her finger so we could crudely hear it through the speakers. Ozzy Osbourne does some fantastic remakes of Beatles songs.

 

T

T.
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