So, I've been reading Mark Lewisohn's fantastic book on The Beatles' early history (the extended author's cut, I might add) and it's made me more appreciative of a band I already appreciated greatly. By the time of 1962, rock & roll had been all but abandoned in the United States. There were passionate but small sects of rock, blues and r&b scenes running around in Britain, but if you glance at the charts, it was mainly dominated by solo pop singers, movie soundtracks or carbon copied "rock" save for a few exceptions. Meanwhile, in Liverpool, an amazing scene was in full flourish with many self-contained groups playing real-deal rock in clubs and dance halls. It was here and in Hamburg (Hamburg in particular), that the boys would gain massive stage experience. This would include the multitude of songs they became versed in (including their own) and their verbal and sometimes sexual intimacy with the audience they played for. By the time Brian Epstein came around, he sought not to change them, but to project more thoroughly and straight-forwardly who they were. (Also, the boys themselves got to design their first suits.)
Recently, I've been listening to "Please Please Me". Hearing just one song off that album makes me want to listen to the whole album straight through. This band purposefully chose songs that weren't greatly known in their home country, wrote their own songs that were statements of self-reliance and gave arrangements to both originals and covers that would sound unusual if altered in any way. I think of how this early history led them to making this album and having multitudes of British people going "What the Hell is This?!?" in a positive way.
When I look at people who want to follow The Beatles' formula, I look at them with profound bemusement. The way that band built themselves up was such a strange confluence of events, luck and organic growth that it is impossible to replicate en masse. When you look at the great artists of any era, you see people who came up through means not dictated by the "Powers That Be". Heck, even some of the ones that do get formed by this formula stand out in history because they have something unique to give to people besides the general grooming of stardom. It's never enough to have all of the ingredients, you need a certain something. In the case of one band we know and love, that something was all they had.
i saw Macca in London for the three days concertd of Hard Rock Calling 2010 with Pearl Jam on Friday and Stevie Wonder on saturday, fantastic show the sunday night , he played for more than 3 hours ,fireworks, explosions in Hyde Park and a tracklist full of Beatles song. Super weekend and great music.I never forget
"That title made the personal and the geopolitical come together. It was the right title for that reason. People were worried it would look grandiose. What is rock 'n' roll if it doesn't dare to have big ideas?'
- Bono on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
did you know
The song 'A Day Without Me' was written in response to the suicide of Ian Curtis of Joy Division and reflects Bono's take on the selfishness of suicide, which is the dominant theme of the song.