Rock and Roll Saturday – The Beatles
I know there was a lot of Rock and Roll grooving America a long time before the Beatles came along. Between Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, Elvis and Buddy Holly, the generation of rock was already well on its way. And then came the “British invasion.”
I was not even ten years old when the first Beatles hit topped the charts. Their song, Love Me Do, released in 1962, officially launched the musical phenomenon known as The Beatles.
Although theirs was a relatively short run, 1960 to their well-publicized breakup in 1970, no other group in the history of rock had a bigger influence on the direction of music in the sixties. An argument could be made that The Beatles influence went past the music and drove many of the social shifts in thought, dress, relationships and politics of the sixties.
No other group in the history of rock and roll evolved their music along different styles to the extent of these guys. From pop ballads and folk rock to psychedelic and even classical arrangements, they captured the ear of a generation.
Producer George Martin worked with the boys in the early years to blend their raw talent into successful studio recordings. By the time The Beatles White Album was ready for production, Martin was in great demand elsewhere and the Beatles took total production responsibility for that effort. It’s safe to say they were successful.
My first exposure to Beatlemania was the Revolver album which included a couple of my favorite Beatle songs, Eleanor Rigby and Taxman. I think this is also when the Fab Four began their morph into the psychedelic sounds evident on Yellow Submarine.
After Revolver came some of the most successful studio albums of all time.
The history of this pop/rock phenomenon is extensive and readily accessible with a few mouse clicks and outside the scope of what I wanted to present here. I will leave you with a few bits of Beatle trivia — Little known facts about the boys from Liverpool.
- In 1962 a contest was held by the Mersyside Newspaper to see who was the most popular band in Liverpool. The Beatles won the contest by calling in and posing as different people voting for themselves.
- The Beatles got their name from a line in the movie “The Wild Ones”. Lee Marvin’s character had a line in the movie where he referred to the women in the gang as “beetles.” The Beatles changed the ‘ee’ to ‘ea’ so it was like the musical term ‘beat’.
- “Hey Jude” is the Beatles’ most commercially successful single.
- In 1962 the Beatles made the group’s TV debut performing Roy Orbison’s “Dream Baby” on the BBC show “Teenager’s Turn.”
- In 1972, “Let It Be” was the first Beatles’ song to be released in the Soviet Union.
- Paul McCartney got the idea for the song Lovely Rita, (Meter Maid) after getting a parking ticket from a female warden while illegally parked at Abbey Road.
- The song “Yesterday” was originally offered by Paul to the artist Chris Farlowe however, he was not interested in recording it stating it was too soft for his tastes.
- Most know that Paul McCartney is left handed which is apparent when he is seen holding his Hoffner bass left handed. Interestingly enough, Ringo is also left handed which may be cause for his “original” drumming style.
- John Lennon wrote the Beatles song “Dear Prudence” when Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence, wouldn’t “come out and play” with Mia and the Beatles at a religious retreat in India.
- For the “Yellow Submarine” movie, actors were used to voice the Beatles’ lines.