Stick around to the end and I will tell you and show you my personal Beatle encounters…YES, I have some pics!
I know you are wondering why I chose to write about The Rolling Stones before the BIGGEST & MOST IMPORTANT band in the history of rock music. I picked “The Stones” simply because they rock a little harder than The Beatles. If I had to choose a more interesting, innovative, and unique band I would always choose “The Beatles.” I realize The Beatles are in the Rock category, but I view them as a Pop/Rock band. POP is short for POPULAR, and with “The Beatles” twenty No. 1 hits, I would say they were massively popular. They also had thirty-four Top 10 hits. Two of their hit songs spent months on the charts…” Hey Jude” and “Come Together.”
All of this happened during the brief time that they were a band….1962-1970.
The Beatles had a massive influence on pop music and pop culture. Their music combined elements of classical, pop, Indian, psychedelic and what we would later know as hard rock music.
Most Americans became “Beatle fans” in 1963 when John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s first single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” shot to #1 on the charts. In 1964, The Beatles led the British Invasion to America. The Beatles along with The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Donovan, The Yardbirds and the Dave Clark Five had an ENORMOUS impact on the course of Rock & Roll in the United States. The British Invasion changed Rock & Roll and what we now call Rock music forever. The Beatles and “the Brits” brought new hairstyles, fashion, and a brand-new sound from across the pond to America.
The Beatles landed in America on February 7. 1964. Just two days later Sunday, February 9 they appeared on the BIGGEST variety show in the world, “The Ed Sullivan Show”.
A record breaking 73 million people tuned in to watch The Beatles perform their first live show in America. Every kid and music lover in America turned the dial of their black and white TV to watch The Beatles on this historical night. The Beatles completed 3 consecutive Sunday nights of headlining on the Ed Sullivan show. Thanks to my mother I was able to stay up to see The Beatles debut performance on the show. (Those famous episodes of the The Ed Sullivan Show are available on DVD here)
The Beatles took off like a rocket and remain in the Rock & Roll stratosphere to this day. Although they decided to “call it quits” in 1970 their statistics, their popularity, and their legend lives on.
Here are a few interesting & fun facts about The Beatles
- The Beatles were huge fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, so they decided to name themselves after insects. They decided on The Beetles but then flipped the spelling to “The Beatles.”
- The Beatles producer George Martin was a classically trained pianist. He produced all types of music, but he was not a huge fan of pop music. I suppose he changed his mind when he saw the fame and fortune that The Beatles brought to him.
- The Beatles did not think they would make it big in America. They were not sure if Americans would embrace a foreign band. I am not sure what changed their minds. Maybe it was the 73 million who watched the Ed Sullivan show, the instantly SOLD-OUT shows in America or the constant radio play that made them believe in their popularity in America.
- John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of the Beatle’s hits. Early on, they decided that both, would get credit for all songs written. If Lennon wrote a song, both Lennon and McCartney would receive the writing credit.
- Unbelievably, The Beatles had a tough time signing a contract with an American record label. One of the biggest record labels of that time was Decca Records and they told The Beatles manager Brian Epstein that guitar driven groups were going out of style. Several music label executives did not believe in the potential of this guitar driven group from Liverpool. In 1963, Capitol Records finally signed The Beatles to a recording contract.
- The Beatles recorded the majority of their first album in one day. They recorded ten of the fourteen songs on the album in just 13 hours.
- That amazing song lyric “Yesterday” was once called “Scrambled Eggs.” Paul woke up with a song and melody in his head. He needed to remember it so he kept humming Scrambled Eggs until he found the words that would give birth to the classic song “Yesterday.”
- Eric Clapton played that incredible guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” George Harrison wrote the song, so he wanted it to be perfect. George invited his friend Eric to the studio for the recording and the rest is history
- Billy Preston was the ONLY musician to ever receive a “feature credit” on a “Beatles” song. John Lennon wanted Billy to become a fifth member of The Beatles, but Paul McCartney was against it since the group was nearing their break-up.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY PERSONAL FUN FACTS ABOUT THE BEATLES to include sightings, meetings dining and photos
- My first sighting (or not) was when I lived near LAX under the path of flights. In 1964 I was ten years old, and I had a bad case of Beatlemania. I convinced my friends to join me outside as we gazed up at EVERY plane that flew over on August 18, 1964, until our mothers told us to get our crazy butts in the house. I KNOW WE SAW A PLANE CARRYING THE BEATLES EATING THOSE AIRLINE PEANUTS (or NOT).
- When The Roxy theatre opened with “Neil Young” in Los Angeles I fell in love with this venue. I knew that Lou Adler was one of the owners of the club. I was obsessed with anything to do with Carole King and the record label that Lou owned, “Ode Records.” So, I was extremely interested in knowing more about a musical that was opening at “The Roxy Theatre” in Hollywood Ca. in 1974. The opening was star-studded, and I was in a group of people that were hanging out and trying to get in. Well, that night I did not get in, but I got a glimpse of my first real Beatle as John and Yoko were quickly escorted into the side door of the club.
- Once upon a time (In 1990) when I was a music buyer at Wherehouse Entertainment all our music buyers received an invitation to a special lunch with Ringo Starr and his family. This was an AMAZING day…LUNCHING WITH A BEATLE…WTF.
Ringo was humorous and charming. Here is the photo from that special afternoon.
- In 1999, Paul released his eleventh album titled “Run Devil Run”. It featured covers of rock & roll songs that Paul loved from the 50’s. It also contained three songs written by Paul that he and wrote in that “50’s style”. There was a listening party to premiere this album at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Paul’s distributor invited the Wherehouse Music buyers to hear the album. Paul was in attendance, but he did not perform on this evening. We were all included in a group photo with Paul. (I am poking my head up near McCartney)
- Also, as a buyer at Wherehouse Music I was invited along with our rock buyer Bob Bell (and one of my favorite people EVER) to preview a new live concert film by Paul McCartney. It was called “Paul McCartney: Back in the U.S. Concert Film. DVD.” I do not always remember every detail, but I DO REMEMBER standing at a high cocktail table in the lobby of the Arclight theater in Hollywood CA. when Sir Paul McCartney himself walked over to our table. He approached Bob and me as though he was just any other “regular Guy” at the DVD preview and reception. He introduced himself as Paul McCartney (as if we did not know) and it was a blur after that. We were standing and talking to “PAUL McCartney” a real life “BEATLE.” This was such a “SURREAL” experience. There was so much I could have said to him, but I think we both just tried to be calm and cool. We were trying NOT to look like the famous scene from “I Love Lucy” when she and Ethel sited the actor William Holden at the famed Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, CA. If you love comedy and “I Love Lucy” I highly recommend this episode from Season 4, Episode 17 called “L.A. At Last!”. Bob and I floated out of the theater that day.
While writing today I listened to a lot of my favorite songs by The Beatles. The Beatles created albums that you can enjoy in their entirety. All the songs flow well together. Here are some of my favorite Beatle albums. (and if you don’t already have these albums, I included links to where you can get them)
The Beatles Stereo Box Set is worth taking a closer look at. With the holidays just around the corner…
…this LIMITED-EDITION BOX SET could be the perfect gift for that Beatles fan in your life…OR YOU!
Do not let the price on this set scare you. It provides EXCELLENT value. It contains 17 REMASTERED DISCS and a BONUS DVD. This LIMITED-EDITION Box Set is also available for VINYL COLLECTORS. Check out the product description on this beautiful Beatles Box Set. You may want to get this now before the holiday rush….and while it is in stock! Here is a link to both the CD and LP versions
Meet me back at here soon and I will tell you about another Rock-tober feature…This one is my favorite hard-rock band……